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  •                                  NETFUTURE
    
                        Technology and Human Responsibility
    
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    Issue #114     A Publication of The Nature Institute     November 30, 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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    Quotes and Provocations
       The Nasdaq as Santa Claus?
       Technology, Animals, and People
    
    The Pigs of Iowa (Lowell Monke)
       Industrialization of the hog
    
    DEPARTMENTS
    
    Correspondence
       I Don't Ask `Why?' Often Enough (Anna Gabutero)
       Rapid Advance in School Isn't the Key to Success (Mary VanBuskirk)
       An Experiment in Delayed Math Teaching (Sanjoy Mahajan)
       When It Was Time to Read, I Just Read (Robert Solomon)
       When a Child's Precociousness Blinds Teachers (Paul Munday)
       Can Children Be Spared Automation? (Frank Thomas Smith)
    
    About this newsletter
    
    
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                             QUOTES AND PROVOCATIONS
    
    
    The Nasdaq as Santa Claus?
    --------------------------
    
    Where have all the daytraders gone?
    
    And what has become of the mantra that was so relentlessly drilled into
    our consciousness as recently as a year ago:  "The wise investor buys on
    the dips and stays the course"?
    
    That's reasonable advice in a bull market, but insanity in a bear market.
    Did those investment counselors really believe we had moved beyond bear
    markets into an endless succession of guaranteed, double-digit-earning
    years?  And, if so, did they not realize that this belief, once
    transferred to a large enough populace, guarantees an investment bubble?
    They were, in fact, running a kind of Ponzi scheme, and instead of owning
    up to it now, they intone with unctuous paternalism:  "The market
    correction is a good thing, since it is teaching the naive American
    investor that markets can go down as well as up".
    
    Clearly a lot of people did believe that today's high-tech-driven economy
    had transcended all sorts of out-dated and stodgy behavior.  For example,
    it was (and still is, of course) widely believed that the new economy is
    all about creating new needs rather than meeting real and current ones.
    There's a faint whiff of the old socialist planner in this notion:  the
    attempt at arbitrary creation of needs has a rather flippant arrogance to
    it -- as if real needs could be dreamed up by a committee in a product
    planning meeting.
    
    Of course, the market will winnow the nonsense over time -- and may do so
    in an orderly manner when only a few enterprises are following the new
    logic.  But when entrepreneurs begin to believe en masse that artificial
    need-creation is what the whole game is about, then we should hardly be
    surprised to find