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  •                                  NETFUTURE
                        Technology and Human Responsibility
    Issue #129                                                  March 12, 2002
                     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.
    Can we take responsibility for technology, or must we sleepwalk
    in submission to its inevitabilities?  NetFuture is a voice for
    responsibility.  It depends on the generosity of those who support
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    Editor's Note
    Quotes and Provocations
       Nature's Defective Xerox Machine
       Non-intuitive Computers Make for a Vigorous Economy (Ralph Barhydt)
    Announcements and Resources
       Confident Children in Complex Times
       Valdemar Setzer's Papers: Correction
    About this newsletter
                                  EDITOR'S NOTE
    This, I believe, is the shortest issue of NetFuture ever published.
    Actually, it's the result of an issue that just got too long; the main
    part of that issue — the continuation of my dialog with Wired magazine
    founding editor, Kevin Kelly — will come out in a week or two.
    Goto table of contents
                             QUOTES AND PROVOCATIONS
    I was raised a traditionalist conservative, and one of the rock-solid
    virtues of that mindset was a vivid awareness that the line between good
    and evil runs through every individual heart.  This, of course, was why
    one distrusted all schemes for salvation-by-government and favored the
    notion of checks and balances.  No excess of power should be vested in any
    one place, because no group of people can claim fully to have healed their
    own hearts of that fundamental schism.
    When we begin to believe that we've fingered the true locus of evil "over
    there" rather than "in here" — when the battle between "us" and
    "them" is equated with the battle between good and evil — then we
    have placed ourselves above all evil.  This is to make gods of ourselves.
    Yes, we must resist evil in the world — resist it for all we are
    worth.  We must strive to represent the good against the evil.  This
    endless, internal striving — never wholly successful, never finished
    once for all — is, in fact, the decisive thing.  But when the evil
    turns out, after all, to be over there, the striving is no longer
    necessary.  It becomes nothing but a matter of dialing in the
    coordinates and calling down the bombs.
    This is how disastrous moral reversal occurs.  To focus on the evil over
    there is to forget its strategic alliance with the evil in oneself, and to
    forget the ev