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  •                                 NETFUTURE
                       Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #77       Copyright 1998 Bridge Communications       October 6, 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
       Privacy and Prejudice
       Loosing Genetic Restraints (Scene 1)
       Loosing Genetic Restraints (Scene 2)
       Does the Computer Eliminate Boring Work?
       Tips for Television Watchers? (Francois VanSteertegem)
       The Value of a Real Canadian Goose (Stuart Cohen)
       Yes, We Can Sing Through Email (Bryce Muir)
       Would Hemingway Use Emoticons? (John Mihelic)
       Documenting Paralinguistic Practices (Bob Parks)
    Who Said That?
    About this newsletter
                  ** What Readers Are Saying about NETFUTURE **
        "I earn my living in the computer industry and I'm not sorry I do,
              but I recognize that technologies change our modes of
           perception and consciousness as well as social and economic
        context and behavior.  I think these are the most critical issues
       of the next century.  I am drawn to NETFUTURE by both my curiousity
                  and my desire to make choices I won't regret."
                        (For the identity of the speaker,
                          see "Who Said That?" below.)
                             QUOTES AND PROVOCATIONS
    Privacy and Prejudice
    There's a puzzle on the Net, having to do with privacy and prejudice.
    Privacy, of course, is a hot issue today, and rightly so.  Sitting at my
    terminal in my basement, I can probably find out more about you than you
    would care to divulge freely.  In fact, the question playing itself out
    right now in courts and legislative chambers and corporate strategy
    meetings is whether we will all be wholly exposed on the Net.
    But this sits rather oddly with what many have proclaimed to be the Net's
    greatest achievement:  it frees us from bias and bigotry.  The idea is
    that I can't see your age, sex, race, or handicap, and therefore I will
    hold no prejudicial feelings against you.
    This, as I've pointed out before, is nonsense.  We've always managed to
    discriminate against each other on the basis of intangibles such as belief
    fully as well as on the basis of external traits.  In fact, as long as
    anything is left of the other person, we can find something to
    discriminate against.  All of which suggests that our ease in getting rid
    of discrimination on the Net is simply our ease in getting rid of the
    other person.
    But, far from being an end to prejudice, this begins to sound
    uncomfortably like that euphemism for murder -- "termination with extreme