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  • Acknowledgments



    This is from The Future Does Not Compute: Transcending the Machines in Our Midst, by Stephen L. Talbott. Copyright 1995 O'Reilly & Associates. All rights reserved. You may freely redistribute this chapter in its entirety for noncommercial purposes. For information about the author's online newsletter, NETFUTURE: Technology and Human Responsibility, see http://www.netfuture.org/.

    The most difficult thing to acknowledge is all the authors I ought to have read but have not. In my extraordinarily slow and plodding program of study, I have yet to catch up with many works forming the "standard background" for the discussion I have attempted here. A good example of this bibliographic gap is Theodore Roszak's classic, The Cult of Information (re-issued with a lengthy new introduction in 1994). I have indeed read this book -- but only during the last checking of page proofs before going to press. Where I would surely have adverted to Roszak many times in these pages, I have in fact only managed a last-minute footnote. Other worthy scholars must remain altogether unnoted.

    Of those who read various versions of the manuscript, in whole or in part, and gave me valuable comments (not always heeded), I mention especially David Flanagan, Rob Kling, Lowell Monke, Andy Oram, Gerald Phillips, Christian Sweningsen, Tom Talbott, Stuart Weeks, Frank Willison, and Jeff Wright.

    David Sewell reviewed the entire manuscript, offering numerous helpful stylistic suggestions. His careful eye taught me how much I have still to learn about editing.

    Among my extraordinary colleagues at O'Reilly & Associates, Edie Freedman designed the cover; Nancy Priest handled the interior design; Lenny Muellner, constrained by a shortened schedule, implemented the design in software; Seth Maislin offered great, last-minute advice on the principles of indexing; and Clairemarie Fisher O'Leary and Kismet McDonough-Chan, with their ever discerning eyes, assisted in the final production of the book. Sheryl Avruch managed the whole process, and the entire crew put out the kind of dedicated effort and long hours that cannot be required of anyone.

    Special thanks are owing to Tim O'Reilly, president of O'Reilly & Associates, who is not only my publisher and editor, but also my employer. Tim read through the manuscript several times, offering incisive commentary and helping me find my way -- often hollering and clawing at the keyboard -- toward a proper balance. Despite the fact that my views are not his views, he devoted far more of his resources toward enabling me to write this book than he has any reasonable hope of recovering. He believed the book is important. That stance of conviction symbolizes a good part of the reason why I work for O'Reilly & Associates.

    I am indebted above all to a man whom I have met only through his published writings: Owen Barfield. It was no small part of my hope in producing this book that it might introduce a few people to Barfield's work who might otherwise never encounter it. The risk is that such a brief exposure as I can give here not only may fail to lay bare