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  •                                 NETFUTURE
                       Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #47       Copyright 1997 Bridge Communications        April 30, 1997
                Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (stevet@netfuture.org)
                         On the Web: http://netfuture.org
         You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes.
    *** Editor's Note
    *** Quotes and Provocations
          Waiting for the Revolution
          What Price for Our Selves?
          The Rhetoric of the Electrical Sublime
          Choose Your Battlefield
    *** Getting Schools Wired -- or Hooked? (Lowell Monke)
          Addiction may be followed by rising costs
    *** How NETFUTURE Happens (Stephen L. Talbott)
          Basically, by the seat of my pants
    *** About this newsletter

    *** Editor's Note

    Starting with the next issue I will run an occasional "Announcements" section in the newsletter. Submit any announcements to stevet@netfuture.org. Please understand, though, that the selection of announcements for publication will be arbitrary, without any effort being made for completeness with respect to any set of criteria. Nor is there any promise that submissions will be acknowledged.


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    *** Quotes and Provocations

    Waiting for the Revolution

    Noted computing pioneer Douglas Engelbart, who recently accepted this year's $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, says that "in twenty or thirty years, you'll be able to hold in your hand as much computing knowledge as exists now in the whole city, or even the whole world."

    Actually, that already holds true for us today relative to twenty or thirty years ago. (How does it feel?) And, presumably, the same truth will continue to obtain each year between now and the date Engelbart is heralding.

    Supply your own punchline. Here are a few for starters:

    What Price for Our Selves?

    The April 24 Wall Street Journal ran a story about some of the newer, more aggressive advertising ploys on the Net. In one current test, a commercial "robot" will try its pick-up lines on you if you drop the right keywords in a chat room. (Mention "clean" or "dirty" and then be prepared to hear, "Hi. I'm Dusty. Would you like to learn more about Black & Decker's Dustbuster?")

    Some sites are making viewers download full-screen ads before getting to the site content. This is to guarantee that the ads are actually seen, since people quickly learn to recognize and ignore banner ads.