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  •                                 NETFUTURE
    
                Technology and Human Responsibility for the Future
    
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    Issue #9       Copyright 1996 O'Reilly & Associates         March 11, 1996
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                Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (stevet@netfuture.org)
    
                         On the Web: http://netfuture.org
         You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes.
    
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    ####  Don't forget the $5000 SPIDER OR FLY? deadline: April 30, 1996  ####
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    CONTENTS:
    *** Editor's note
    *** Communes, the Net, and self-governance
          A minor reflection upon the Virtual Magistrate Project
    *** Flying or falling through cyberspace? (Mark Jost)
          By what standard do we judge online realities?
    *** Peter Quince's contradiction (Sean Shapira)
          The dangers of absolutism
    *** When face-to-face is the only way (Kevin Tucker)
          But I feel better anyway
    *** Mr. Quince, change happens (Kent Quirk)
          The soul is in the machine
    *** In (partial) defense of Peter Quince (Stephen L. Talbott)
          Let's have both freedom and realism
    *** Can the `End of Education' Be `Life on the Screen'? (Lowell Monke)
          Review of books by Turkle and Postman
    *** About this newsletter
    

    *** Editor's note

    In this issue Lowell Monke reviews new books by Sherry Turkle and Neil Postman. Lowell is in charge of a resource center associated with NETFUTURE, called Confronting Technology. Still young and modest in scale, it is intended to help those struggling with questions posed by computerized technology. If you know of content that might be worthy of the center--or would like to contribute something of your own--contact Lowell as lm7846s@acad.drake.edu.

    Peter Quince's handwritten letters provoked some impassioned response. You'll find that response below, along with your editor's defense of Quince's vow of computer celibacy.

    Our interview with Prof. Richard Sclove of the Loka Institute will resume next issue.

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    *** Communes, the Net, and self-governance

    A new "Virtual Magistrate Project" will provide conflict resolution services for disputes in cyberspace. There are some heavy-hitters involved: National Center for Automated Information Research, Villanova Center for Information Law and Policy, Coalition for Networked Information, American Arbitration Association, and Cyberspace Law Institute. For further information, see the Virtual Magistrate web page (http://vmag.law.vill.edu:8080/).

    The increasing use of voluntary arbitration in the society at large is healthy. It allows people in a variety of roles to work out disputes actively, locally, and creatively; we have an alternative to being marched passively through a sclerotic System. The Virtual Magistrate Project promises to be a constructive step in bringing responsible ord