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  •                                  NETFUTURE
                        Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #103     A Publication of The Nature Institute     February 29, 2000
              Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (stevet@netfuture.org)
                      On the Web: http://www.netfuture.org/
         You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes.
    NetFuture is a reader-supported publication.
    Editor's Note
    Tech Knowledge Revue (Langdon Winner)
       Enthusiasm and Concern: Results of a New Technology Poll
       We Need More Than Shocked Indignation (Miles Nordin)
       I'm Not Sure I'm Ready to Trade in My `Defective' Body (Russell Lear)
       Recognizing the Limits of Our Understanding (Joshua Yeidel)
    About this newsletter
                                  EDITOR'S NOTE
    NetFuture is not exactly known for its preoccupation with late-breaking
    news.  After all, only an infinitesimal percentage of the news that needs
    attending to is today's news.  The current issue of NetFuture, however, is
    an exception.  There's a major survey being announced today, sponsored by
    National Public Radio, The Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Kennedy
    School of Government at Harvard.  The survey was released in advance to
    NetFuture columnist Langdon Winner so that he could offer commentary for
    National Public Radio.
    Check out NPR's "Talk of the Nation" today, where Langdon will be the
    special guest for an hour.  He's also provided a few verbal nuggets for
    "All Things Considered" later in the day.  And, taking advantage of the
    occasion, he offers us below a full report on the survey results, along
    with some of his own trenchant observations.
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                                  Langdon Winner
                                                          TECH KNOWLEDGE REVUE
                                                       2.1   February 29, 2000
    Everywhere one looks these days there's giddy excitement about technology,
    a sentiment so common it often verges on mass ecstasy.  In the media as
    well as in conversations of everyday folks, "technology" is praised as the
    fount of everything that is new and promising in the world, a cornucopia
    of fabulous jobs, higher incomes, better health, longer lives, and more
    satisfying ways of living.  Improvements that people once attributed to
    modern civilization or perhaps to science, are now widely believed to flow
    from "technology," especially the realm of digital electronics and
    computer networks.
    But does the insistent buzz of news stories and personal anecdotes reflect
    what the great majority of people are actually thinking?  Is the ardor