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  •                                 NETFUTURE
                       Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #73       Copyright 1998 Bridge Communications         June 18, 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
          Technological Zealotry: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose
          Can Photography Blind Us?
          Exchanging the World for a Map
    *** How Technology Dumbs Down Language (Stephen L. Talbott)
          ...and Undermines the Global Village
    *** Correspondence
          Where Were the Academics When It Counted? (Bob Jacobson)
          Response to Bob Jacobson (Langdon Winner)
    *** Announcements and Resources
          Canadian Teachers' Federation Shows Some Backbone
          Higher Education and Computer-Mediated Communication
    *** Who Said That?
    *** About this newsletter

    What Readers Are Saying about NETFUTURE

    "You may well consider my concern over a possibly lost issue of NETFUTURE a compliment to your skill in choosing topics and in expounding your views on them. In this age of information overflow on all fronts, not many people read texts over 5K that do not have graphics in them."

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

    *** Quotes and Provocations

    Technological Zealotry: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

    In order to save you much wasted time, I present this faithful digest of 179,645,392 conversations on the Net about technology:
    CRITIC: This machine is getting out of hand and carrying us where we don't really want to go.

    TECHNO-ZEALOT: Don't blame the machine. It's up to us to put it to good use.

    C: That's what I'm saying. It's up to us, so we'd better back off for a while and actually think about our relation to the machine.

    T-Z: Luddite!

    Can Photography Blind Us?

    It's amazing how often one runs into what I have called the "fundamental deceit of technology" -- the belief that a technical advance, by itself, is the solution to an essentially human challenge. (See NF #38.)

    Kenneth Brower, writing in the May, 1998 issue of Atlantic Monthly, describes the work of noted photographer, Joseph Holmes. A "consummate and obsessive printmaker", Holmes has become an expert in digital printmaking. The story of the digitalization of photography is a fascinating and disturbing one, but what particularly caught my eye in this article was Holmes' confidence that his servitude to technology will grow less burdensome with time.

    Currently, he spends most of his life in the studio. "His time in the field toting a camera has been reduced to three or four weeks a year. He does not like this imbalance but sees no way a