11.0596 gleanings

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 19 Feb 1998 21:25:49 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 596.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 20:13:44 +0000
From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk>
Subject: gleanings

(1) Jack Schofield, "One small step for couch potatoes", on a new technology
for making display screens out of plastic -- hang them on the wall, roll
them up afterwards. The prototype fits in the palm of one's hand, but larger
versions are promised.

(2) John Graham-Cumming, "Return to ISP, address unknown", on the likelihood
that soon the 4 billion possible Internet IP numbers won't be sufficient.
"With the proliferation of PCs connected to the Internet, large numbers of
users are predicted to demand that other devices be connected also" -- such
as personal digital assistants. The author draws an analogy with the fax
machine, which apparently was responsible for the explosive growth in the
number of telephone lines. In London the STD code used to be 01, then it was
071/081, and now 0171/0181 -- marking in part the popularity of the fax machine.

(3) Dan Jellinek, "To blindly go...", reports on the warnings from Joe
Chester of the Institute of Technology in Ireland about our blind lust for
technological expansion without thought to its impact on the society at
large. Chester cites other technologies whose environmental impact was not
considered until various disasters hit (see the nuclear industry, oil
industry, rocket engineering, bioengineering). "There has been an implicit
assumption of benefit from new technologies through history, and governments
have blindly followed the will of technologists and listened only to the
economic arguments," he says. "Those who have advised caution, extensive
testing and controlled exploitation have been silenced.... What kind of
world will it be when, due to conditioning from an early age, most adults
spend a significant portion of their day immersed in a virtual world
indistinguishable from reality?" he says. "The idea of providing extensive
Internet access for every school child, which is the stated aim of many
governments, including the UK's, amounts to a massive social experiment."

(4) Jack Schofield, Netwatch, points to
(a) The Tate Gallery now online, at <http://www.tate.org.uk>. Looks very
good, though portions have yet to be put online. More than a declaration of
intention, less than a complete guide.
(b) Virtual Jerusalem, at <http://virtualjerusalem.com/saddam/>, offers the
Saddam-o-meter, which daily measures the mood of the Israeli public from
"complete calm" to "all out panic". Schofield also refers us to the site of
the Israeli Defense Forces, <http://www.idf.il>, for more serious information.

(5) Microfile, "Floating Points", which among gems points us to Viewlogy.
"Imagine being able to read a person^“s whole life story at their final place
of rest. View^’logy^Ŕ was developed to
provide a ^—visual eulogy^“ of your loved one. Now, for the first time, you
can electronically store and display a person^“s whole life story in words
and photographs for those who visit the grave site well into the future...a
lasting legacy." More at <http://www.leif.com/>.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dr. Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer, King's College London
voice: +44 (0)171 873 2784 fax: +44 (0)171 873 5801
e-mail: Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk

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