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  •                                 NETFUTURE
                       Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #72       Copyright 1998 Bridge Communications          June 2, 1998
                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
          Next: Pigs That Fly?
          Ties That Bind
    *** Tech Knowledge Revue (Langdon Winner)
          Report from the Digital Diploma Mills Conference
    *** Announcements and Resources
          Media, Democracy, and the Public Sphere
          The Global Problematique
    *** Who Said That?
    *** About this newsletter

    What Readers Are Saying about NETFUTURE

    "I use issues of NETFUTURE in a course I teach in our administrator preparation program. I think it is a terrific resource, and a great eye-opener for my students, who when they think of computers in schools tend to think uncritically. They are sure that they must get more kids in front of more computers. I spend a lot of time in the course getting them to think about why they would want to do that."

    (For the identity of the speaker, see "Who Said That?"

    *** Editor's Note

    With this issue Langdon Winner inaugurates his column, Tech Knowledge Revue. It's a lengthy inauguration, but well worth reading for its clear-eyed look at the forces promising (or threatening) to dismantle higher education as we know it. Professor Winner carries you into the midst of the passionate deliberations at the recent "Digital Diploma Mills" conference.


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    *** Quotes and Provocations

    Next: Pigs That Fly?

    Andrew Kimbrell, founder of the International Center for Technology Assessment in Washington, D.C., describes one of the "classic" experiments in genetic engineering this way:
    Dr. Vernon Pursel inserted the human growth gene in a pig. Pursel hoped to create giant pigs that would be major meat producers. The problem was that though the human growth gene was in every cell of the pig's body it did not act in the manner the scientists expected. Instead of making the pig larger it made it squat, cross-eyed, bow-legged, smaller than an average pig, with huge bone mass, a truly wretched product of science without ethics. Pursel tried to find a silver lining in his experiment gone wrong by claiming that the pig was leaner. Pursel's argument was that people are worried about cholesterol, so maybe we can sell this as lean pig. Did he really think the public was ready for pork chops with human genes?
    That pig strikes me as a good metaphor for the constructions of the Information Age. The prevail