+quot;The tool solves a problem, and then creates new and more thorny issues not dreamable
"The tool solves a problem, and then creates new and more thorny
issues not dreamable before. Technology, unlike science, does not
even claim to reveal larger truths about what exists, but hints
at more ways for humanity to change the world. Born of simple need
and want, it emerges as an agent of human evolution."
-- David Rothenberg
BBB III TTT SSS BBB Y Y TTT EEE SSS ONLINE EDITION:
B B I T S B B Y Y T E S =THE ELECTRONIC
BBB I T SSS AND BBB YYY T EEE SSS =NEWSLETTER FOR
B B I T S B B Y T E S =INFORMATION
BBB III T SSS BBB Y T EEE SSS =HUNTER-GATHERERS
Volume 2, Number 5 (July 24, 1994)
: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE =
PARITY BITS : =
================: THE ECONOMY OF IDEAS; HIVE MIND; =
: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS; (STILL) LOST IN CYBERSPACE =
NEWS BYTES : =
================: HOME PC UPDATE; HARDWARE NEWS ROUNDUP; =
: ONLINE NEWS ROUNDUP; =
ACCESS : =
================: SUMMERTIME SPORTS INFO ON THE INTERNET =
ON THE NEWSSTAND: =
================: WIRED; NEW PERSPECTIVES QUARTERLY; AXCESS; =
: BUSINESS WEEK; =
KULTCHER KORNER : =
================: SPACE JUNK; BRAVE NEW BURGER; VIDEO WEDDING; =
: BRITISH JURORS CONDUCT SEANCE =
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS (Kevin Kelly)
No one has been more wrong about computerization than George Orwell
in 1984. So far, nearly everything about the actual possibility-
space that computers have created indicates they are not the beginning
of authority but its end. In the process of connecting everything to
everything, computers elevate the power of the small player. They make
room for different, and they reward small innovations. Instead of
enforcing uniformity, they promote heterogeneity and autonomy. Instead
of sucking the soul from human bodies, turning computer users into an
army of dull clones, networked computers -- by reflecting the
networked nature of our own brains -- encourage the humanism of their
users. Because they have taken on the flexibility, adaptability, and
self-connecting governance of organic systems, we become more human,
not less so, when we use them.
(SOURCE: Harper's May 1994. The May 1994 issue of Harper's features a
debate on network sociology. This was the conclusion to Mr. Kelly's
article, "Embrace It". Thanks to Ken Laws for bringing this quote to
HOME PC UPDATE
If you're thinking of buying a home computer, here's some free advice:
wait until the fall. Prices are always dropping, but there are some
especially sweet price points ahead. 486-based PCs with CD-ROM drives
will be selling for around $1000 by year's end. In fact, Intel has
announced it will cut prices on its 486 and Pentium chips twice in the
third quarter. You can thank the competition from the new PowerPC
consortium and from a variety of Intel chip clone makers, including
one manufactured by IBM for Advanced Micro Devices.
PC sales have been slow lately, as savvy consumers wait out the
next round of price cuts. This puts even more pressure on
manufacturers to offer further incentives to buy. This has resulted in
some rather nice multimedia-ready systems from the major players,
with sound cards and CD-ROMS and bundled software. Interestingly
enough, the high-end systems are being bought by home users as opposed
to business users. They are the ones defining the market at present.
With all the buzz about multimedia, CD-ROMs are selling like hotcakes,
and there are so many titles out there that most stores can't stock
them all. On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal reports that many
who buy CD-ROM software are finding the offerings slow, boring, and
full of bugs. There *are* good CD-ROM titles out there, and CD-ROMS
are terrific as a method of software distribution (1 disk versus 16
diskettes for Borland's C/C++ compiler, for example). Just do a little
homework, and you can find out what the good stuff is. B&B will be
reviewing worthwhile CD-ROMS in future issues. If you don't own a
CD-ROM yet -- WAIT. Quadruple speed drive prices are due to come
*way* down ($400) by years end.
HIVE MIND (Kevin Kelly)
A hive mind is a distributed memory that both perceives and remembers.
It is true that a human mind may be chiefly distributed, yet, it is in
artificial minds where distributed mind will certainly prevail. The
more computer scientists thought about distributing computer problems
into a hive mind, the more reasonable it seemed. They figured that
most personal computers are not in actual use most of the time they
are turned on! While composing a letter on a computer you may
interrupt the computer's rest with a short burst of key pounding and
then let it return to idleness as you compose the next sentence. Taken
as a whole, the turned on computers in the office are idle a large
percentage of the day. The managers of information systems in large
corporations look at the millions of dollars in personal computer
sitting idle on worker's desks at night and wonder if all that
computing power might be harnessed. All they would need is a way to
coordinate work and memory in a very distributed system.
[SOURCE: Kevin Kelly's excellent new book "Out of Control: The Rise
of Neo-Biological Civilization". Addison-Wesley, 1994. 522 pp. $28.
Mr. Kelley is currently executive editor of WIRED, but the ideas
presented here have been incubating for far longer than that. This
book is chock full of challenging ideas, and is essential reading for
anyine interested in the shape of the future. There's a whole lot of
paradigm shaking going on! Check it out at your bookstore or library.]
HARDWARE NEWS ROUNDUP
<>Silicon Graphics and Toshiba are shipping a microprocessor touted
as the world's fastest for technical computing. The two-chip R8000 is
rated at 310 in measurement of floating point calculations, beating
the prior record of 279 held by IBM. Suddenly my new Pentium seems
very pokey indeed. <>Elsewhere, Convex's new C-4 supercomputer is
claimed to be the fastest single processor air-cooled system, able
to process more than a billion floating point operations a second
(1 Gflops). It uses gallium arsenide rather than silicon technology.
<>Motorola's Micro-TAC Elite cellular telephone weighs 3.9 ounces,
less than a D-cell battery. It can be equipped with a chip that acts
as a digital answering machine capable of storing up to 75 seconds of
messages. <>Silent Systems of Burlington, Mass. has developed a
noiseless alternative to the average PC that operates at an average of
44 decibels -- almost as loud as a normal conversation. Their FE4
model is absolutely silent. Is that a pin I hear dropping? <>Packard
Bell plans to offer PCs that can double as radios, TVs, telephones and
fax machines. Priced at $1000-3000, the systems will use Intel 486 and
Pentium microprocessors and will come with stereo speakers; Most will
have a CD-ROM drive and include 27 software titles. <>IBM would like
to sell you a mainframe -- by mail. They mailed out 40,000 copies of
their new mainframe catalogue, Mainframe Direct. Customers can order
anything from an ES/9000 supercomputer to spare parts for old systems.
If you need a mainframe for your home or office, call them at:
800/xxx-xxxx. <> Intel and CNN have teamed up to test "LAN TV," a
system that turns a regular broadcast TV signal into a compressed
digital data stream, capable of being received on regular 486-type
desktop PCs. While Intel tests the technology, CNN will concentrate on
determining what it is people want to watch on their computers, in
order to develop a special corporate news service.
PALACES OF MEMORY I (Chancellor von Mueller)
After the concert we had supper with the Egloffsteins at Goethe's, who
was in a most agreeable humor. When among other toasts one was made to
Memory, he broke out suddenly with these words:
"I admit no memory in your sense of the word, which is only a clumsy
way of expressing it. Whatever we come on that is great, beautiful,
significant, cannot be recollected. It must from the first be evolved
from within us, be made and become part of us, developed into a new and
better self, and so, continuously created in us, live and operate as
part of us. There is no Past that we can bring back to us by the longing
for it, there is only an eternally new Now that builds and creates
itself out of the elements of the Past as the Past withdraws. The true
desire to bring the Past back to us must always be productive and
create something new and something better."
(from The Practical Cogitator: The Thinker's Anthology, 3rd Edition.
Houghton Mifflin, 1962)
ONLINE NEWS ROUNDUP
A quick look at the world of online services and email: <>There's a
population boom in cyberspace -- by the end of this year, nearly four
million U.S. households will have signed on with one of the Big Three
online services -- America Online, CompuServe and Prodigy. <>A survey
of 301 companies by Macworld Magazine showed that 78.4% of the firms
do not spy on employee e-mail or search their electronic files. Sen.
Paul Simon (D-Ill.) has drafted legislation requiring that companies
tell their workers that their e-mail might be monitored. <>CEOs and
other VIPs are suffering from e-mail overload, and some are requesting
to be contacted by more conventional methods, because they no longer
attempt to handle their e-mail backlog. "E-mail is a powerful tool to
promote communication and flatten hierarchies. But what nobody wants
to admit is that people in an organization have different amounts of
power and status. And that those who are better off want to restore a
degree of isolation," says Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Langdon
Winner. And it's not just the top dogs that are overwhelmed -- the
chairman of Computer Associates shuts down the company's e-mail system
five hours a day so that everyone can get their real work done. <>Voice
mail isn't much better: the Eastern Management Group has calculated that
11,900,000,000 messages were left on voice mailboxes last year. <>With
all this electronic communication going on, you'd think maybe we're
getting closer to the paperless office. Keep dreaming. Figures from
the American Forest & Paper Association indicate that the tonnage,
since 1983, of annual shipments of U.S. office paper, has gone up 51%.
LOST IN CYBERSPACE IV (Dan Kennedy)
... But even though the people who take part in these online
discussions are sometimes called a "virtual community," cyberspace can
be a lonely place. Embark on an electronic cruise, and you find a lot
of alienated people sitting at home in darkened rooms before glowing
screens, pouring out their frustrations and their prejudices without
ever having to face the victims of their wrath.
(Originally published in The Boston Phoenix (May 7, 1993), this
portion was extracted from the Utne Reader, Jan/Feb 1994 issue,
AN OBSERVATION ON GENDER (Anne Gregor)
A bird's Eye view of a trade show I attended recently said it all.
Hordes of men were crowded into one aisle in the rear of the hall.
Were they engrossed in a preview of a new Microsoft title? Or a new
CD-ROM on baseball. Are you kidding? It was girls.
Women, in all forms of undress, and performing all manner of sexual
acts on the computer screen. Here we had the electronic version of the
action on Times Square. Only the barkers weren't promising live
performances. Instead they were touting interactivity, a chance to
click on a menu and take digital command of any number of women.
Taking offense is a waste of time. It's still look-but-don't-touch,
just presented in a different format with a little more control. The
words pathetic and adolescent spring to mind. More disconcerting are
the implications for future male-female relations. ...
... It's all rather silly, and somewhat sad. We just got rid of the
girly calendars on office walls and now they've gone high-tech.
... Judging by the crowd and the sales figures, there seems no doubt
that many men seem to live in their pants. My prediction: a left-
handed mouse for right-handed people will be a hot seller.
(SOURCE: from a sidebar on page 50 of an article entitled "Sex on CD-
ROM" in the June/July issue of CD-ROM Today magazine.)
1 cup strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups COLD water (sparkling mineral water is nice)
Puree strawberries in blender. Mix the sugar into the lemon juice.
Add the sparkling water and the puree. Stir and pour into ice-filled
glass. Chill. You, not the drink. (SOURCE: "Good Old Fashioned
Lemonade is Coming Back" by Suzzanne Hamlin, NYT 7/13/94, p. C4)
<<>> SUMMERTIME GUIDE TO SPORTS INFO ON THE INTERNET
It's springtime, when there's a special glow in the air: the birds,
(see camping) the bees (ftp sunsite.unc.edu in /pub/academic/
agriculture/sustainable-agriculture/beekeeping/*) and somehow a
young man's mind turns to thoughts of... Baseball! Go figure. How
about that local sports team?
The Internet Baseball Archive contains softball simulations software,
which sounds interesting, major/minor league schedules/stats, and of
course ticket info.
=FTP address: eucalyptus.cc.swarthmore.edu in /baseball
=Mailing lists: (subscription is by request, drop the listowner an
email and explain why you are worthy of being an XXYZ fan)
Boston Red Sox: email@example.com
Minnesota Twins: firstname.lastname@example.org
New York Mets: email@example.com
Oakland Athletics: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pittsburg Pirates: email@example.com
San Francisco Giants: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toronto Blue Jays: email@example.com
Minor League Baseball: firstname.lastname@example.org
=Usenet Newsgroup(s): rec.sport.baseball, rec.sport.baseball.college,
=telnet culine.colorado.edu 862 / 22.214.171.124 862 (schedules)
=finger email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (scores, standings)
=finger email@example.com (scores, standings)
=====> Hiking, Camping, and the Great Outdoors
Articles and guides about hiking and the great outdoors. See also
Boating and canoeing.
=FTP Address: ftp.spies.com in /Library/Article/Outdoors/*
path=Wiretap Online Library/Articles/Backcountry and Outdoors
=Usenet Newsgroup(s): alt.archery
listserver: email firstname.lastname@example.org,
message body: SUB BIRDCNTR (Central US)
SUB BIRDEAST (Eastern US)
SUB BIRDWEST (Western US)
Usenet Newsgroups(s): rec.boats, rec.boats.paddle, rec.sport.rowing
==> Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting info.
River ratings, safety guides, contact addresses and more.
=FTP Address: rtfm.mit.edu in /pub/usenet/news.answers/paddling-faq
=Usenet Newsgroups(s): rec.boats.paddle, rec.sport.rowing
=Mailing list. Serious inquiries only. Email me (email@example.com)
for the particulars.
==> Climbing, Mountaineering
=mailing list: email firstname.lastname@example.org,
message body: SUB MOUNT-L (for mountaineers)
=Usenet newsgroup: rec.climbing (discuss climbs, techniques,
The Global Cycling Network is an electronic information desk for
cyclists. Information is made available by way of five basic
mechanisms: gopher, CSO phone lookup, mailing lists, anonymous ftp
and ftpmail. It is hoped that this service will be used locally,
nationally and internationally to build a database of cycling-
related information accessible to anyone with a modem and a
computer. This gopher was launched in April, and they are looking
for cycling-related information that you'd like to share with your
region and the rest of the world. Please send a message to:
=gopher cycling.org, Port=70, Type=1
Bicycling FAQs, bike guides, racing schedules, technical hints and
tips, and generally interesting information can be found at the
following anonymous FTP sites...
=FTP Address: draco.acs.uci.edu in /pub/rec.bicycles/*
=FTP Address: rtfm.mit.edu in /pub/usenet/news.answers/bicycles-faq/*
=FTP Address: ugle.unit.no in /local/biking/*
=FTP Address: biome.bio.dfo.ca in /pub/cycling/* (Canadian info)
=Usenet newsgroup(s): rec.bicycles.racing, rec.bicycles.marketplace,
rec.bicycles.misc, rec.bicycles.rides, rec.bicycles.soc (laws, soc),
rec.bicycles.tech (engineering, construction, repair)
=Usenet newsgroup(s): rec.outdoors.fishing
FAQs, archives, rules for Disc Golf, Ultimate, and other disc games.
=FTP Address: ftp.cs.wisc.edu in /pub/ultimate
==> Horseback Riding
=Listserver: email email@example.com,
message body: SUBSCRIBE EQUINE-L
=Listserver: email firstname.lastname@example.org, post them a
note requesting to join the list.
=Usenet newsgroup(s): rec.equestrian (same as 2nd listserver item)
==> Scuba Diving
Equipment guides, huge archives on underwater activities
=FTP address: ames.arc.nasa.gov in pub/SCUBA/*
=FTP address: rtfm.mit.edu in /pub/usenet/rec.answers/scuba-faq
=Listserver: email email@example.com,
message body: SUB SCUBA-L
=Usenet newsgroup(s): rec.scuba
Rollerskating/rollerblading Equipment guides, instructions, and
maintenance advice for all levels
=FTP address: rtfm.mit.edu in /pub/usenet/news.answers/rec-skate-faq/*
=Usenet newsgroup(s): rec.skate
===> Sports Schedules
NBA:telnet culine.colorado.edu 859 / 126.96.36.199 859
NHL: telnet culine.colorado.edu 860 / 188.8.131.52 860
NFL: telnet culine.colorado.edu 863 / 184.108.40.206 863
finger firstname.lastname@example.org for sports schedules
offers: Sports schedules on-line. help for help,
return for today's games.
===> Sports Scores/Standings
finger email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (Football)
finger email@example.com (NFL Line Spreads)
offers: Football scores, standings, and next weeks schedule.
===> Olympics (Summer and Winter)
There is a gopher collection on the Olympics at the U of Utah.
=gopher: gopher.cc.utah.edu, Type=1+, Name=Olympics,
Path=1/News And Calendars/Olympics, Port=70.
This list is far from complete. Soccer is one glaring omission, I'm
sure you can find others. I'd appreciate knowing about any sites that
might have been overlooked.
There are three kinds of people in this world: those who can count and
those who can't. (Sent in by Richard Samborsky. Thanks Richard!)
ON THE NEWSSTAND
AXCESS (Music - Cyberculture - Art - Style) Volume 2, Number 3. The
latest in a line of MONDO 2000 inspired magazines. A more down-to-
earth take on cyberculture, with lots of music interviews (Ozric
Tentacles, the Residents, Trance Mission and King Missile), a B-movie
appreciation and guide to resources, and some pretty interesting tech
stuff: an article on Holy Flame Wars on USENET, SLIP access
providers, and CD-ROM erotica. Book, magazine, software, hardware and
music reviews and some fashion fluff round out the mix. A fun read,
this is a a popular-type magazine to keep your eyes on...
NPQ (New Perspectives Quarterly, Volume 11 #1, Winter 1994) A lengthy
section entitled "Life, Death, and the Boundaries of the Person"
contains articles on health care from womb to tomb ("Brave New
Biocracy" by Ivan Illich), the profit motive in genetic research,
as well as liberal, Islamic and Vatican views on the new meaning of
life in an age of genetic research, organ transplants, and cloning.
There are articles here by Octavio Paz, Betty Friedan, and Dr. Jack
Kevorkian. Much food for thought here.
BUSINESS WEEK, special 1994 bonus issue. "The Information Revolution:
How digital technology is changing the way we work and live".
Articles, charts and graphics on the information economy at home, and
in Europe, Japan and the emerging nations. Also featured: An interview
with Intel CEO Andy Groves, an article explaining 10 critical
technologies of tomorrow (optoelectronics, parallel programming, mass
storage, object programming, software agents and artificial life,
wireless, speech recognition and more). One section explores the
changing face of business in a digital world, other articles explore
social issues like privacy, information have-nots, and love via email.
A Personal Technology rounds out the issue, with tips and advice on
getting up to speed. A useful resource.
THE KULTCHUR KORNER
=> JURORS IN BRITAIN CONDUCT SEANCE. Britain's Appeal Court was
recently asked to review a murder trial because three jurors
allegedly used a Ouija board to contact one of the victims before
finding the defendant guilty. The alleged seance took place in the
juror's hotel room, where the ghost of one of the victims named the
accused, one Stephen Young, as the killer. A twelve member jury
went on to unanimously convict Young. The appeals court, asked to
decide whether it was entitled to inquire into the allegations
about the sceance, reserved judgement to a later date. (SOURCE:
From Reuter's News, appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer withing
the past month, sorry I don't have a date.)
=> WEDDING BY VIDEO CONFERENCE. The first wedding by video conference
took place last week at PC Expo in New York; the bride and
bridegroom were at the Expo, the judge was in California. (SOURCE:
New York Times 7/3/94 Sec.3, p.4, E/P)
=> SPACE JUNK. The New York Times reports that more than 7,000 pieces
of trackable space debris currently are threatening the performance
and integrity of approximately 300 satellites now circling the
globe, including 30 North American communications satellites. Plans
like Motorola's Iridium system, comprising 77 satellites, and the
McCaw-Gates Teledisc project, consisting of some 240 satellites,
will just exacerbate the problem. (SOURCE: Telecommunications
Policy Review 5/29/94 p.1, E/P)
=> BRAVE NEW BURGER. Federal health officials want at least some of
the nation's ground irradiated to kill off virulent new strains of
bacteria. The FDA has already approved irradiation of poultry and
some dairy products. Elsewhere it has been reported that common
bacteria are growing resistant to the antibiotics normally used to
treat them, posing a health hazard in some cases. Scientists are
hard at work trying to develope new antibiotics. In the meantime,
it looks like we've decided to try our hand at breeding radiation
resistant bacteria. Experts say irradiation is perfectly safe, but
I think this is one of those deals where we find out, ten or twenty
years down the line that zapping our food with nuclear waste wasn't
such a hot idea. Kind of like recent discoveries that prolonged
exposure to electrical fields may be responsible for greater
incidences of certain types of cancers. (SOURCE: Time 7/25/94, p.
14; various newspaper clippings, Science Times)
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