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  •                                  NETFUTURE
                        Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #120     A Publication of The Nature Institute        April 24, 2001
                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
    Quotes and Provocations
       Branding the Branders: Turnabout Is Fair Play
    Beyond Elite Globalization (Stephen L. Talbott)
       The case for a tripartite society
    Announcements and Resources
       The Recovery of Meaning:  A Lecture and Workshop
    About this newsletter
                                  EDITOR'S NOTE
    I've gotten into that too-familiar state again where I'm hopelessly
    backlogged on email -- so much so that much of the time I haven't even had
    the heart to sift through my mail box to see what might demand attention.
    And I'll be taking off for a couple of weeks starting about May 8.
    So I'm afraid there are no short-term prospects for my catching up with
    the backlog.  If there's urgent business, try giving me a call at
    I worked for someone once who periodically managed to have an accident
    that wiped out all his email, following which he would send around a note
    saying, "if you sent something urgent to me, please re-send".  The system
    worked wonderfully well to keep things under control.  The problem for me
    is that NetFuture is an opinion publication, and it naturally leads --
    should lead -- to the urge for follow-up discussion, as well as to
    requests for interviews, articles, and all the rest.  That's part of what
    it's all about, and the benefit for me is at least as great as for others;
    it's hardly something I can gracefully complain about.  But I've just
    never figured out how to manage it all without slighting some people, and
    that doesn't come easy.  The stress can eventually take the joy out of the
    But there's always the thought:  If I can just get a little better
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                             QUOTES AND PROVOCATIONS
    Branding the Branders: Turnabout Is Fair Play
    Cyberspatial pundits have been telling us for some time that the world is
    dissolving into information ("from atoms to bits"), and entrepreneurs now
    echo this by dismissing mere products as passe.  "The world is filled with
    made-for-export factories filled with cheap labor.  Competing based on the
    value of your product is a loser's game, a sucker's game".
    The quotation is Naomi Klein's way of summarizing the conventional wisdom,
    a wisdom that leads directly to an emphasis upon branding.  "The goal of
    the successful