12.0088 moments; involvement

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Fri, 19 Jun 1998 21:13:01 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 88.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@mdah.state.ms.us> (21)
Subject: Re: 12.0085 defining moments

[2] From: Charles Ess <DRU001D@VMA.SMSU.EDU> (11)
Subject: Re: 12.0080 levels of involvement

Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 08:23:43 -0500
From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@mdah.state.ms.us>
Subject: Re: 12.0085 defining moments

The Internet hasn't suddenly taken on a life of its own; the polling
mechanisms of the whole store-and-forward Internet scheme have always
been ready to send things whenever one was open to receive it. What may
be new is that the ISDN connection is always active, and Explorer is
active too, without being invoked. But many people now set their PC
startup sequences to make their Internet connections and start up their
browsers to receive email all day, even setting them to give an audible
signal when it happens. They do the same to receive the "pushed" content
that you are receiving. The difference, it seems, is that "on" and
"receiving" has become the default with Explorer when an Internet
connection is present. You can probably turn it off? It's easy to see
what kind of commercial plans exist to exploit this possibility as more
people become unwittingly open to it, but the net itself as a medium has
always been capable of carrying such traffic, given a durable connection
and client software designed to look for incoming traffic in the

My defining moment was some fifteen years ago when I took an AT&T UNIX
system down for the first time and watched the software turn off the
hardware without my intervention. I was moved with wonder at that kind
of "decoupled agency."

Pat Galloway
MS Dept. of Archives and History

Date: Fri, 19 Jun 98 14:32:50 CDT
From: Charles Ess <DRU001D@VMA.SMSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: 12.0080 levels of involvement

Willard wrote:
While the Esther Dysons of the world are
making their fame by pronouncing on many matters we are better qualified to
know about, there is no one but us to do the research. This would suggest
that we should let those who would be media stars do their thing, not be
bothered by the utter fatuousness of so much of the performances and do what
we are best at doing.
Charles Ess
Drury College
Springfield, MO 65802 USA

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