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  •                                 NETFUTURE
                       Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #76       Copyright 1998 Bridge Communications    September 15, 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
       I'll See You in Court
       Is E-trash Necessary for a Good Education?
       Can We Sing through Email?
       America Screws Up
    Tech Knowledge Revue (Langdon Winner)
       The Real Millennium Bug
       In Search of Reality (Gary Davis)
       Mixed Reactions to Participative Knowing (Stephen Keith Sagarin)
       Multitasking, or Attention Deficit Disorder? (John Thienes)
       On the Importance of Our Powers of Attention (Gavin Ferriby)
    Announcements and Resources
       Physicians and Scientists against Genetically Engineered Food
    Who Said That?
    About this newsletter
                  ** What Readers Are Saying about NETFUTURE **
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           I have been for some years now working in the management of
             Waldorf schools in Australia, and find your publication
                both highly confirming of the attempts many of us
               in this field are making to find truly human ways of
              working, and extremely stimulating in the quality and
                      carefulness of the published thinking.
                        (For the identity of the speaker,
                          see "Who Said That?" below.)
                             QUOTES AND PROVOCATIONS
    I'll See You in Court
    Given the movement toward patenting facts, databases, programs, and
    genetic code -- what I will call "informational structures" -- I've
    decided it is time for radical action.  I'm patenting that particular
    informational structure known as the syllogism.  Oh, I know:  syllogisms
    have been kicking around in the public domain for a couple of millennia,
    thanks to Aristotle.  But I don't mean the syllogism in general.  What I'm
    patenting is a special and truly innovative class of syllogism.  It runs
    like this (Hofstadterites and self-reference fans take note):
       All new informational structures are patentable.
       X is a new informational structure.
       Therefore X is patentable.
    You will note my cleverness, which lies in this:  from now on, anyone who
    seeks, based on sound logic, to patent a new informational structure will
    be making use of my informational structure, thereby violating my
    patent.  Of course, for a reasonable fee I will let you patent your good
    ideas.  (And if you come up with an information filter that can sift
    sincere truth