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  •                                  NETFUTURE
    
                        Technology and Human Responsibility
    
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    Issue #106     A Publication of The Nature Institute           May 9, 2000
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              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.
    
    
    CONTENTS
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    Editor's Note
    
    Quotes and Provocations
       Laughing Our Way to the Global Village
       Greed Is Greed Is Greed ... Is Good?
    
    The World Trade Organization: Economics as Technology (Stephen L. Talbott)
       There is no such thing as a commodity
    
    Who Owns Microsoft's Profits? (Stephen L. Talbott)
       Capitalism is about assigning value where value is due
    
    DEPARTMENTS
    
    Announcements and Resources
       The Child and the Machine
       User-specified Tools for Online Collaboration
    
    About this newsletter
    
    
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                                  EDITOR'S NOTE
    
    An issue devoted to economics and commerce -- and, in particular, various
    ramifications of this puzzle:
    
       If freeing the distributed power of diverse, individual initiative is
       crucial to capitalism, why is it that the particular nature of the
       individual's action, healthy or unhealthy, greedy or caring, isn't
       thought to matter much?  Or, if it does matter, why aren't more of
       capitalism's defenders, for the sake of their own hopes, out there
       vigorously promoting responsible individual action and combatting
       irresponsible action?
    
    The answer turns out to have a lot to do with the way our minds have been
    taken over by technological habits of thinking.
    
    I guarantee you I'll get some vitriolic responses on this one.  (Virginia
    Postrel, are you there?)
    
    SLT
    
    Goto table of contents
    
    
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                             QUOTES AND PROVOCATIONS
    
    
    Laughing Our Way to the Global Village
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    This came through via NewsScan Daily (April 18):
    
       Remember DotTV?  The Idealab-sponsored company cut a deal with the
       Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu to sell Internet domain names using its
       ".tv" suffix.  DotTV began taking registrations last week, and has
       already raked in half a million dollars in revenue and changed its
       business plan to auction off names to the highest bidder rather than
       sell them for a fixed price.  "We'd be disappointed if we don't see
       names going in excess of a million dollars in the next year," says
       DotTV CEO Lou Kerner.  So what's next?  Moldova is cashing in communism
       for e-capitalism, having made a pact with a Florida firm allowing it to
       register medical sites with a ".md" suffix, and South Pacific's Niue
       has signed on with .NU Domain Ltd.