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  •                                  NETFUTURE
                        Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #121                                                   July 27, 2001
                     A Publication of The Nature Institute
                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
       Why I Have Disconnected from Email
    Tech Knowledge Revue (Langdon Winner)
       Whatever Happened to the Electronic Cottage?
       More on a Tripartite Society (Frank Thomas Smith)
    About this newsletter
                                  EDITOR'S NOTE
    Thank you for your patience during this long break between issues of
    NetFuture.  I needed the break — longer than originally planned — for a
    number of reasons, and at least one important decision came clear during
    this period of reflection:  I disconnected from email for the indefinite
    future.  More on that below.  First, a few pointers of interest:
    ** (The O'Reilly & Associates web server is suffering severe overload
       problems as of a day or so ago, so you may have erratic results
       accessing the NetFuture and Nature Institute sites, where the two
       online papers listed below are located.  The hope is that the problem
       will be cleared up within a couple of days.)
    ** The July/August issue of Sierra magazine contains a feature article,
       "Sowing Technology", by my Nature Institute colleague, Craig Holdrege,
       and me.  Part of a special issue on biotechnology, the piece deals
       with farming, especially in relation to genetic engineering.
    ** The text of a talk I gave at the conference on Technology and
       Globalization at Hunter College, New York City, February 24-25, is
       available at
       The talk is entitled "Why Not Globalization?" and argues that a
       worthwhile globalization can occur only through the strengthening of
       local communities.
    ** A second article is also available:  "Life Beyond Genes: Reflections on
       the Human Genome Project", by Holdrege and the molecular biologist,
       Johannes Wirz.  See
    ** I'll be delivering a plenary address at the Fourth International
       Conference on Cognitive Technology (CT2001) in Warwick, U.K, on
       Wednesday morning, August 8.  The conference, this year entitled
       "Instruments of Mind", runs from the 6th through the 9th.  I think the
       official title of my paper is "The History of Technology You've Never
       Heard", which is accurate enough, but my current preferred alternative
       is "The Deceiving Virtues of Technology" (where "virtues" and