• Goto NETFUTURE main page
  •                                 NETFUTURE
                       Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #60       Copyright 1997 Bridge Communications     November 18, 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
          NETFUTURE has a new home
    *** Quotes and Provocations
          First It Was Quality Time...
          These Are the Classrooms the State Has Made
          The Business of Pandering
          Model T's; Babies Spell the End of Your Life
    *** Beyond the Dreams of Avarice (Part 2) (Stephen L. Talbott)
          I'm stiffing you for the good of society
    *** About this newsletter

    *** Editor's Note

    I was dumbfounded and gratified by the number of offers -- more than a dozen -- I received from organizations interested in hosting the NETFUTURE mailing list. I had the unexpected pleasure of choosing from among some wonderful universities, non-profits, and businesses.

    Beginning with the next issue, NETFUTURE will be sent to you courtesy of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). Headquartered in The Hague, IFLA runs its online operations out of Canada, using technical infrastructure maintained by the National Library of Canada / Bibliotheque Nationale du Canada.

    This affiliation was arranged through the kind mediation of NETFUTURE reader, Terry Kuny, who is part of the IFLANET Administration. Terry works within the Universal Dataflow and Telecommunications Core Programme of IFLA, whose mandate is to provide the library community with critical appraisals of emerging technologies.

    The Government of Canada will not be liable for anything that comes to you from NETFUTURE. (I had to say that.)


    Goto table of contents

    *** Quotes and Provocations

    First It Was Quality Time...

    You hear it incessantly these days:
    Today's world is one in which technology has compressed to nearly zero the time it takes to acquire and use information, learn, make decisions, initiate action, deploy resources, and innovate. It's a world that operates in real time. We experience real time when our credit card is verified in seconds, when we withdraw money at an ATM, or when we use our computers to track a package that we've sent by overnight mail. (Blurb for Regis McKenna's Real Time: Preparing for the Age of the Never Satisfied Customer)
    The current rage for "real time" leaves one wondering what kind of time we had before our business was mediated by computers. It's hard to imagine that the ancient hunter-gatherers, beset by predators and dependent upon their immediate environment for food, failed to respond in real time to the threats and opportunities all around them. Was there a gap of awareness or action in their lives that a computer might have "compressed to nearly zero"?

    It would be truer to say that the computer is what inserts a psychol