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  •                                  NETFUTURE
    
                        Technology and Human Responsibility
    
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    Issue #142                                               February 25, 2003
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                     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
    its goals.  To make a contribution, click here.
    
    
    CONTENTS
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    Editor's Note
    
    Does the Future Compute? (Stephen L. Talbott)
       Where we have come to, and where we may be headed
    
    DEPARTMENTS
    
    About this newsletter
    
    
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                                  EDITOR'S NOTE
    
    Readers have occasionally asked me to tell a little more about myself --
    how I write the newsletter, what I read, things I like or dislike, and so
    on.  Somehow I've never quite gotten around to this (beyond what I did
    several years ago in NF #47), partly because it never seemed to me very
    interesting.  But now, with a couple of major NetFuture projects still a
    month or two off, I figured it was a good time to try to satisfy these
    requests.
    
    Fortunately or unfortunately, as the case may be, my original idea of
    writing down some personal recollections relating to NetFuture's history
    quickly became a rather more impersonal review of the "Internet society".
    The most I can claim, on the personal side, is to have ventured some
    judgments about the correctness of my published opinions dating back to
    when the Internet suddenly breeched the surface of the public's
    consciousness.
    
    On another note:  the Fall, 2002 issue of The Nature Institute's In
    Context newsletter is now online at
    http://natureinstitute.org/pub/ic/ic8.  You'll find two articles of mine
    there:
    
    ** "Do Organisms Merely Survive?"  Here I ask whether the organism is
       adequately explained by random variation and the survival of the
       fittest.
    
    ** "Love and Detachment: How We Can Reconnect with Nature".  What does it
       mean to be part of nature, but also to stand over against it -- a dual
       stance we cannot avoid today?
    
    You'll also find in that issue an article by Craig Holdrege dealing with
    the rather shameful case of the peppered moth, an insect whose long-time
    reign as "Exhibit A" for conventional evolutionary theory has now come to
    an end.
    
    SLT
    
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                             DOES THE FUTURE COMPUTE?
    
                                Stephen L. Talbott
                              (stevet@netfuture.org)
    
    Being in a mood for retrospection, I've been looking back to the 1995
    publication of both The Futu