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  •                                 NETFUTURE
                       Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #65       Copyright 1998 Bridge Communications     February 10, 1998
                Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (stevet@netfuture.org)
                         On the Web: http://netfuture.org
         You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes.
    *** Quotes and Provocations
          A Compulsion to Learn?
          How Do Justice Department Prosecutors Differ from Lara Croft?
          Finally:  Relief for Overworked Fingers
          Toward More User-friendly Refrigerators
          Disclaimer from Peter Cochrane
    *** How Technology Co-opted the Good (Part 2) (Stephen L. Talbott)
          The hope for reform of technological society
    *** Who Said That?
    *** About this newsletter

    What Readers Are Saying about NETFUTURE

    (This week's comment comes from the author of two of the classic texts in technology criticism. For the speaker's identity, see "Who Said That?" below.)

    "How far we've come!  Even publishing titan Henry Luce
    thought it crucial to preserve the boundary between `church'
    and `state', between the integrity of journalism and the
    profit-seeking wiles of advertising -- a line now routinely
    demolished by those who cover the wired world in today's
    print and electronic media.  That's why the independence
    and lucidity of NETFUTURE are so wonderfully refreshing.
    Steve Talbott's newsletter is one of the few places on the
    Net where wisdom finds a voice."

    *** Quotes and Provocations

    A Compulsion to Learn?

    With more and more universities establishing "Internet addiction" counseling programs, Alfred University administrators now tell us that intensive Internet users suffer academic dismissal at more than twice the normal rate. So today we witness a curious phenomenon: some schools are earnestly restraining students who look a little too eager as they embrace the "learning tool of the new millennium".

    Score one for the old-fashioned library, few of whose "addicts" were ever in danger of flunking.

    (Thanks to Suzanne Sluizer.)

    How Do Justice Department Prosecutors Differ from Lara Croft?

    For some perverse reason the free-associating side of my mind has insisted on filing these recent stories in the same mental compartment:

    ** Writing about Microsoft's difficulty in adjusting to the current political and litigious environment, the New York Times quoted a Seattle City Council member as saying, "They simply don't understand why people don't see things the way they see things." The article went on to report local sentiment to the effect that

    Microsoft's insularity, its focus on hiring stereotypical nerds without an outside life, is what has come back to