T H E N E T W O R K O B S E R V E R
VOLUME 2, NUMBER 2 FEBRUARY 1995
This month: The industrial organization of public debate
How can we make Free-Nets free?
Democratic politics in a networked society
Welcome to TNO 2(2).
This issue includes two articles by guest authors. Peter Harter
of the National Public Telecomputing Network explains how NPTN
thinks about the future of Free-Nets, given that computers and
the skills to maintain them are not free. No single answer
suffices, but it's important to map out the whole range of
options so that the people who really need free access can
get it, and so that the whole community can benefit from the
beneficial effects of free electronic information services, just
as they benefit now from libraries.
Also in this issue, Joe Costello calls for political progressives
to abandon the doomed bureaucracies of Washington and rediscover
the original spirit of democracy in movements for decentralized
self-governance. Information technology, Joe argues, makes such
changes both necessary and possible. Joe is best known for the
famous 800 number in Jerry Brown's 1992 presidential campaign,
and he has a lot to say about the role technology can play in
restoring the health of our political system.
Opening the issue is an article of my own, the first installment
in a planned series of reflections on what I greatly enjoy
calling "the industrial organization of public debate". Talk
radio hosts don't just come up with those arguments off the tops
of their heads. No way -- they have a whole elaborate industry
backing them up. This industry isn't a conspiracy any more than
the auto industry is -- it produces things that paying customers
want, it obeys the laws of supply and demand, it is fiercely
competitive, and it is undergoing rapid changes that are partly
technological and partly not. Once we see political arguments as
industrial artifacts -- even the ones your friends use at parties
-- the whole world looks different.
Notes on the industrial organization of public debate.
One day in the mid 1980's I was passing through a shop, the Tech
Coop at MIT to be precise, when I heard two shop clerks debating
one of the major issues of the day, nuclear weapons. One had a
liberal perspective and the other had a conservative perspective.
What struck me was that none of their arguments was original.
All of them were, seemingly word-for-word, arguments that I
had heard in other settings -- in the newspaper, on the radio,
in protest meetings, debates among other people, and so forth.
This is not to deprecate these clerks. To the contrary, it
struck me that most political debate is like this. Since we
are all finite creatures, we usually cannot come up with good
arguments off the tops of our heads. If we wish to debate
the issues of our day, we need a source of arguments. And it
seemed to me that the success of a political movement depends
to some extent on its ability to produce a steady stream of
arguments and distribute them to its followers. When highly
developed in the context of a market economy, the production and
distribution of arguments becomes an industry that we can analyze
like any other.
This article begins a series of sociological meditations on
the industrial organization of public debate. The relevance of
this topic to The Network Observer is that, as I will get around
to arguing at some point, new technologies are playing a role
in ongoing changes in the conduct of public debate. At the
same time, though, industrially organized public debate has an
underlying grammar that new technology does remarkably little to
One of the reasons I noticed the debate about nuclear weapons in
the Tech Coop was that, during that same period, I was the holder
of a fellowship from the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation. John
Hertz became wealthy through Hertz Rent-a-Car, and being a strong
anti-communist he left his fortune to the support of military
research. In practice the fellowships are administered by a
group of scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories
working with Edward Teller. These are the people who have pushed
the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, or "Star Wars", recently
renamed to something innocuous and no doubt to be renamed again
under the terms of the new Republican congressional agenda).
You'll surely recall that SDI was the subject of a prominent
public controversy during this period.
The Hertz Fellowships paid well and had few strings attached, and
I don't feel particularly bad about taking the money. One of the
strings, though, was an invitation to attend an annual lunch with
the people from the Foundation. I vividly recall one such lunch,
at which Edward Teller spoke. The substance of his remarks was a
defense of SDI against various common criticisms. Now the people
in the room were largely supportive of SDI, and in fact many of
them actually worked on it, so they did not need to be convinced.
And they were not stupid people by any means. Yet I was struck
by how much credence the audience gave the arguments, given how
little sense they made when considered logically. I realize that
it's easier to see the fallacies in arguments you disagree with.
But it seemed to me at the time that the purpose of the arguments
was not to convince anybody in the room, or even to stand up
under logical scrutiny, but to be adequate weapons on actual
occasions in which audience members might find themselves
defending SDI against critics. The arguments were, in common
parlance, rhetorical "ammo". The metaphor is apt: ammo doesn't
have to make sense; it just has to disable or kill.
I expect that many people, in reading this story, will regard me
as cynical, or as setting out to trash my patrons by denigrating
their motives for feeding me a free lunch. But this is not my
intention at all. I first began to formulate my ideas about
these phenomena in the context of military technology issues in
the 1980's because those were the issues that most affected my
life -- being someone who occasionally walked around the corner
from my military funded research lab to get risk arrest while
protesting on the front steps of the military funded research lab
next door. The irony here was never lost on me, and I spent a
great deal of time thinking about it.
Yet I do not imagine that the phenomena I'm describing are
limited to the military, or to the political right, or to
people I disagree with. To the contrary, I think that virtually
all political debate works this way. A speech at a reproductive
rights demonstration on the state capitol steps serves the
function of distributing debating points to the faithful, just
as Edward Teller's speech did at the Hyatt. These speeches serve
a variety of other functions, of course, but the distribution
of debating points is one of them, regardless of whether the
participants think of it in those terms. The larger question
is, how does the system of distribution of political arguments
work? How has it evolved? What determines its form and its
effectiveness? How does it interact with technology? And does
it have an inherent political bias?
One test of a good idea is, once you hear it you start to see
examples of it everywhere. And at first I did see many examples.
But it took real work before I came to see whole world as
pervaded by industrially organized public debate. Much of the
phenomenon is hidden by several effects. One such effect is that
people who believe in a point of view generally do not stop to
scrutinize sympathetic arguments as industrial artifacts; to the
contrary, they nod their agreement and then maybe reproduce the
argument themselves when the occasion arises later on. Another
factor tending to hide the phenomenon is that public relations,
one major component of the industry, frequently operates behind
the scenes, for example through articles that public relations
practitioners persuade reporters to write. Yet another factor
is that pundits and talk show hosts generally maintain an image
of themselves as wholly individual voices, when in fact they are
supplied by a considerable infrastructure of think tanks, wire
services, activists pushing particular stories, and so forth.
A final factor is that both liberals and conservatives invest
tremendous energy articulating the hundred reasons why the other
side has an unfair advantage in all things, so that it takes real
intellectual work to see them as participants in a logic that, I
would argue, is somewhat independent of the particular political
points of view being conveyed. Which side has the resources to
create a larger and more effective infrastructure, of course, is
another question. But once you know about such infrastructures,
the whole world looks different.
Consider, for example, the institutions known (at least in the
United States) as "think tanks". Think tanks are businesses.
They generally have nonprofit legal status, but they still have
to take in money to pay their staff, and their customers will
want something for that money. Think tanks thus compete for
customers, have an interest in knowing those customers' needs,
necessarily seek to innovate in their means of serving those
needs, face strategic questions such as vertical integration,
deal with organizational issues of centralization and
decentralization, and so forth -- like any business.
But what do the customers of think tanks get for their money?
They do get some physical objects, namely "studies" of certain
policy questions. But these studies are not ends in themselves.
Ultimately, the customers want to bring about certain material
effects in the world by arranging for certain groups of people to
hold certain beliefs. Customers who are private individuals most
often want to propagate their own beliefs. Corporate customers
want to propagate beliefs that will lead to actions that permit
them to strengthen their competitive positions. Foundations work
on agendas created through the social networks that govern them.
In any case these "studies", then, are intermediate products in a
longer pipeline whose ultimate intended product is other people's
The public debate industry produces a wide variety of these
intermediate products. For example, take the lists of "talking
points" that each major political party faxes to a long list of
its followers each day. Or political action alerts distributed
on computer networks. Or the thumb-indexed handbooks that
trade associations often distribute to their members, containing
facts and figures and quotes that can be used in assembling an
argument on a given topic. Or press packets. Or speeches at
conventions. Or scripted spiels delivered through telemarketing
with the goal of generating phone calls to Congress. Or many
varieties of books and other print publications like newsletters
for special audiences. In each case, we have a some kind of
preaching to the converted, providing ammo for arguments aimed at
persuading others down the line. When the preaching is organized
professionally, through paid research staff and public relations
people, we are clearly justified in calling it an "industry".
But even when it's done by amateurs on their own time, it still
has an economics and a social organization that have consequences
and that deserve to be understood.
Future issues of TNO will have more to say about the industrial
organization of public debate. We need to know a lot more
about the logic of this industry before we can start to reason
about the role of technology, much less the likely "effects" of
technologies such as the Internet. As I keep saying, we cannot
understand what role a technology will play in the world until
we have enough good concepts to enable us to see the complicated
interactions in enters into with everything else.
In defense of progress(ives).
"Accelerated change invokes the gyroscopic or principles
of rigidity. Also, to high-speed change no adjustment
is possible. We become spectators only, and must escape
into understanding. This may be why the conservative
has an advantage in such an age of speedy change and
is frequently more radical in his suggestions and
insights than the progressive who is trying to adjust.
The practical progressive trying to make realistic
adjustments to change exhausts himself in minor matters
and has no energy to contemplate the overall."
Marshall McLuhan, 1960
The Congress was the last bastion of liberal strength for an
increasingly weak and fractured American progressive movement.
The New Deal coalition captured and held Washington D.C. for over
half a century. Forged in the economic crisis of the 1930's, the
American progressive movement worked to create a society more
politically, socially, and economically democratic. Over the past
two decades, the foundation of this coalition has decayed. Cut
off from its body, the head of the progressive movement floated
in the giant glass jar of Washington. Clinging to increasingly
archaic ideas of a fast-fading industrial era, the progressive
community tried to push the central control levers of a factory
that no longer functioned. In the last quarter century, the
progressive community became a victim of its own inertia.
In this century, the progressive movement has been closely allied
with the Democratic Party. It would do well for all progressives
to go back and study the thoughts of Thomas Jefferson, founder of
the Democratic Party. Jefferson was one of the finest offspring
of the Enlightenment. He implicitly understood the implications
of the continuing growth of human knowledge, and that human
society would have to evolve to metabolize the growth of human
experience. As Jefferson wrote:
"I know also that the laws and institutions must
go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.
As that becomes more developed and enlightened as new
discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners
and opinions change with the change of circumstances,
institutions must advance and keep pace with the times."
This remains a radical view of the structure of human society.
For millennia, human institutions gained a great measure of
their authority through the simple feat of longevity, of passing
on the past. Jefferson lived in an age of great discovery
and innovation. He saw and participated in the deposing of
institutions and thought that were grounded in millennia of
tradition. Jefferson understood that the "progress of the human
mind" was continuous.
Though the twentieth century has seen an unprecedented rate of
transformation in human society, it is simply a branch in the
tree of human history, which has roots deeper than the existence
of the species. One of the greatest consequences of the
industrial era was the ubiquity of centralization. The mechanical
nature of industry fostered centralization in all aspects of
society. As the industrial barons created their empires, the
means to counter balance this power increasingly fell on the
As in the other ages a philosophy or theology was established
to justify the power structure. The theology of economics has
penetrated all aspects of society and has become the determinant
of most of our actions both public and private. As John Kenneth
Galbraith wrote in Economic Perspectives:
"The continuing survival of classical (economic) beliefs
protects business autonomy and its income and serve
to obscure the economic power exercised as a matter of
course by the modern enterprise by declaring that all
power rests, in fact, with the market."
Money has become the principal medium of communication and
command in all aspects of society. Monetary means of control and
distribution are extremely undemocratic. Economic theologians
can best be compared to Neoplatonists, spewing their elaborate
economic treatises and formulas about perfect economic forms
existing somewhere in the ether. In medieval times at the height
of the Church's power, the congregation sat facing the alter
while the priest stood with his back turned to them, chanting in
unintelligible Latin. Similarly today, the economic congregation
believes economics must have meaning because it has such a
powerful control on their lives. Luther wasn't necessary, he was
Humanity is rapidly approaching the end of the industrial era.
Economic philosophy is increasingly unable to find answers to
chronic problems and societal institutions are cracking at their
foundations. Human society is being affected by the advancement
of knowledge at a pace of unprecedented speed; human life is
being impacted on every level. As the industrial era brought in
new philosophies and tools of organization, so too will this new
The tools of this new era are being constructed from electronic
media. Simply, the ability to move information at the speed of
light. Electronic media are relatively new, but their impact upon
the institutions of American society has exploded with nuclear
force. The reformation which electronic media will bring has just
begun and the greater the implementation the more exponential the
rate of change.
"No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government
is not to trust it all to one but to divide it among the
many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions he
is competent to." Thomas Jefferson
The network structure, developing with electronic media, greatly
differs from the centralized, hierarchical systems which have
been the foundation of human organization for millennia. At
its core the network is participatory, allowing the individual
to play a direct role in community affairs. Individuals
converge into communities or nodes on the network. The network
is simply the linking of all the nodes, allowing communication
and interaction from any part of the network to any other part.
Hierarchical vertical systems are being replaced by a horizontal
network web, which allows for the greater utility of information.
Archaic centralized systems are increasingly straining under the
burden of an influx of information.
Electronic media allow for global democracy, paradoxically
creating a global community while at the same time strengthening
locality. The answer to globalization by the world has been to
instill centralized institutions on a global scale: the United
Nations, World Bank, etc. Creating these institutions on a global
scale will increasingly create less accountable, centralized,
highly bureaucratic and thus undemocratic systems.
What is a progressive philosophy faced with a global centralized
hierarchy? The answer is a global decentralized network, as
national boundaries become permeable and geographic constraints
dissolve at an ever increasing pace. The old hierarchical,
centralized institutions must evolve into decentralized,
horizontal networks. Representative republics evolve into a
In the last fifteen years, the political debate has been focused
on the inefficiencies of the Federal Government. A political
movement has sprouted to bring the control of the Federal
Government back into the hands of the citizenry. Progressives
have been caught in the indefensible position of vindicating
the centralized Federal structure. The popular movement to
decentralize has been exclusively focused at the government,
while the large corporate leviathans go unscathed. Global
corporations are striding unimpeded across a lilliputian
These great transnational corporations have become the first
true residents of the developing global village. In Adam Smith's
1776 work The Wealth of Nations, he devotes a significant portion
of his writing to the practice of mercantilism. Today, Smith's
mercantilism has been turned on its head. The transnational
corporations have little need for government protectors. They
are for the most part more powerful than national governments.
These transnationals play one national government against another
looking for the greatest profit. They increasingly are beyond
any democratic accountability.
The information era is increasingly threatening many of the
adhered-to economic faiths. The value of information and its
resulting societal structures will no more conform to the values
and structures of the industrial era than the mores of agrarian
society fitted into the industrial age. Those who say we are
replacing a manufacturing economy with a service economy would
best be advised against this fallacy by the admonition of Adam
Smith in The Wealth of Nations:
"Thus the labor of a manufacturer adds, generally, to
the value of the materials which he works upon, that
of his own maintenance, and of his master's profit.
The labor of a menial servant, on the contrary, adds to
the value of nothing. A man grows rich by employing a
multitude of manufacturers; he grows poor by maintaining
a multitude of menial servants."
One of the great deficiency of economic thinking is the simple
division of production and consumption. In the next era, there
will be no clear demarcation between these two acts. Careering
has become more important than living. An individual's
identification with society has been their job. But today,
the concept of a job is blurring and for many disappearing.
Automation is replacing the worker. The great migration of
industrial jobs to cheaper labor markets will be short-lived,
for automation will soon become less expensive than the cheapest
of human labor. The industrial era made humanity a cog in the
machine; the information era removes us.
Humanity still establishes our civilizations as though they are
controlled by outside forces. We have established an economic
philosophy and the faults of the system can be blamed on the
"natural forces of the market". Yet the economy is entirely
of our making. In fact, in this new era, being involved in the
designing of life will be where we receive meaning. For we are
now past the age of technology for technology's sake, and we must
understand that how the future is designed is in our hands, which
necessitates that it be in all hands.
The road ahead lies filled with difficulties. To bring order to
the globe is an unprecedented act. In the past, the rules between
civilizations have always differed from the internal order of
civilizations. For the most part, the rule between civilizations
has simply been the rule of might. The next several decades will
be a time of great turbulence as central order is besieged.
The new era must begin with a democratic renaissance. Democracy
thrives on diversity. It is through democracy that the most can
be gained from the individual. It is through democracy that each
community will be empowered. It is through democracy that society
can progress. So, progressives, reclaim your mantle. We can
do nothing about the past or the present. In this time of great
change the only means which exist are in creating the future.
Universal access and Free-Nets.
Peter F. Harter
Executive Director & General Counsel
The National Public Telecomputing Network
The National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN) believes
that improving and increasing access to computer mediated
communications is integral to economic and societal progress.
NPTN is the founding and parent organization of Free-Net(R)
community computing systems of which there are 47 online
Affiliates and 120 in various stages of organization. Generally,
a community computing system enables individuals to access
local and global information by dialing in from their computer
and modem, or public kiosk, to a centrally located multi-user
computer, within which is contained databases and special
interest groups, and telecommunications capabilities allowing
users to access the Internet.
NPTN received a 1994 NTIA-TIIAP Award to construct 30 Free-Nets
in rural America as part of NPTN's Rural Information Network
Program. Through its work to provide the every day citizen
with some means of access to electronic information and to
participation in the creation and distribution of electronic
information, NPTN supports individuals and institutions to
realize the importance of furthering the growth of this medium.
However, as demand for access continues to grow, the resources
available for supplying the necessary infrastructure become
constrained. One of the difficult questions confronting
Free-Nets and other community computer systems is how their
growth should be paid for so that their good work may continue
In spite of the name of NPTN's brand of community computing,
"Free-Net", the medium and the messages it carries are not free
of costs. Typically, a Free-Net is built and operated by in-kind
gifts, substantial volunteer time and resources, and grants.
Only a few Free-Net systems charge users any kind of fee, and
when they do, they provide free access for those who cannot
afford the fee by waiving the fee. Free-Nets know, perhaps
more than others, that there are definite and substantial costs
that must be financed in order to operate a basic community
information and communications service. Such costs are rising
as the demand for Free-Nets increases both in terms of the
number of users on existing systems and in terms of the number
of online Free-Net Affiliates: In January of 1994, NPTN had fewer
than 20 systems online; to date, NPTN has 47; by the end of 1995,
NPTN estimates that we will have at least 100, and possibly 150
Demand will continue to intensify as more people come to know and
understand the power of this medium. This power can be explained
by examining the many dimensions of the name Free-Net: freedom of
assembly in an electronic space; freedom to create information;
freedom to access information; freedom to speak in an electronic
town hall; freedom to contact others easily and readily via
Internet e-mail; freedom of expression; freedom of association
via the creation and use of the special interest group areas that
are endemic to this medium.
Walter Wriston, former Citicorp chairman, said that power
used to relate to money; today, however, power lies in the
information about money. From banking in New York City to bumper
crops in Nebraska, access to electronic information resources
represents power. For the farmer in rural Nebraska, access to
U.S. Department of Agriculture information may help him produce
a bumper crop; access to weather information already available on
the Internet could do the same. For the inner city youth, access
to special interest groups and electronic libraries can mean a
new path to pursue, an option from gangs, and a means to improve
one's own life through self-determination and the information
resources that are needed to fuel the growth of knowledge.
At its heart, a Free-Net enables one to gain the literacy
skills (i.e., traditional reading and writing literacy, computer
literacy, and network literacy) necessary to be a productive
citizen in the "Information Age". Happily, the end result of
a Free-Net is that the user is empowered. Once empowered, the
typical user sees the value of such a service and is willing to
give their time and or money to see that the service grows so
that others may benefit from it.
The recent U.S. Department of Commerce Request for Comments on
Universal Service asked whether services that benefit private
businesses should be charged a higher rate to reduce the cost
of services provided to ordinary citizens. NPTN is not in favor
of simply placing the entire cost of access onto one sector
of the economy. Private businesses have a vested interest in
seeing more citizens become computer and network literate: more
users implies more potential consumers. Private businesses may
participate via a voluntary rate charge and or in the form of
development and or planning fund support of access projects in
their own communities. NPTN does not favor electronic welfare
if such is defined to mean complete subsidization of individual
NPTN is of the belief that funding for access should come from
a variety of sources and means that are subject to change so
that economic models may compete against one another. In such a
paradigm one community can compare its model to that of another
and see what lessons may be learned. In this way, individuals
can have a role in forming how their electronic community is
run as they will have some stake in how it is funded, be it
through a surcharge on local telephone or cable service (i.e.,
similar to funding for 911 service), through user fees, through
municipalities, through commercial services rates, or some other
Citizens should be encouraged to pay their fair share and should
be provided with access and services that they feel they receive
value by using and thus obligated to pay something for what they
receive. However, they should also have a say in how the access
and services are provided if they are to pay either directly and
or indirectly. This may be best achieved by not arriving at one,
singular, uniform cost and funding structure for access. If a
stable economic model is achieved, provisions for subsidizing
access for those who cannot afford it can be made readily and
Access and its costs are critical issues for discussion and
decision during the continuing construction of the world's
information superhighways. Cliches aside, the interest in
building information networks has been intense in recent times;
hopefully, the interest will not wane as the difficult matters
of access and costs are dealt with in Washington and at the
local level. Importantly, the most significant decisions
are being made by those individuals and institutions building
networks; those who are building and running Free-Net systems
are dedicated to providing access at little or no cost to the
end user. 1995 may prove to be a watershed year for Free-Nets as
access increases and NPTN contends with how it may be supported
(Free-Net is a service mark of The National Public Telecomputing
Network (NPTN), registered in the U.S. and other countries.)
This month's recommendations.
PR Watch. The public relations industry has been around since
the turn of the century, but it has been growing and changing
rapidly since American industry began to respond to the surge
of progressive political movements in the 1970's. While much
PR work is mundane and unexceptionable, many feel that the more
aggressive and ambitious types of PR have gone too far. John
Stauber is one such person, and he started PR Watch in late
1993 to inform the public, and especially journalists, about a
wide range of PR practices, for example intelligence-gathering
on grassroots groups. Quarterly -- $200 a year for businesses,
$60 a year for individuals and nonprofit organizations, and $35
a year for working journalists and people with limited incomes.
The address is 3318 Gregory Street, Madison WI 53711, phone (608)
233-3346, fax (608) 238-2236.
Response was generally positive to my article on the conservative
movement in TNO 2(1), which seems to have been clipped out of the
TNO issue and forwarded to half the planet. One reader, however,
pointed that it was unfair to describe a prospective recurrence
of the social chaos of the laissez-faire 1880's, even jokingly,
as a "leftist's dream" (the idea being that chaos is a good
opportunity for a revolution) in that only a tiny fringe of the
left would be so perverse as to embrace such circumstances, given
the suffering they would entail. A number of other readers took
me to be arguing that the whole American population has converted
to conservatism, which is not my view. I was simply arguing that
the conservative electoral coalition, consisting of those people
who vote for conservatives and the institutions that organize
them and that intend to reorganize the government and much of the
rest of society along conservative lines, is in for the long haul.
My article in TNO 2(1) listing my ten least favorite electronic
mail phenomena elicited little comment until it was reprinted in
the Risks Digest, whereupon I received a great deal of response.
Most of it was supportive, including several lists of additional
e-mail pathologies provided by people who have greater technical
understanding of Internet mail than I do. Several readers also
pointed out, though, that my complaint #9, about the Errors-To:
field, was misguided. These folks, all ardent enemies of the
Unix sendmail program, argued that Errors-To: was invented by
Unix people who didn't understand e-mail error handling, and
that the e-mail standards do include a much better approach to
indicating where mailers should send bouncemail messages, based
on the message's envelope rather than on its header. I have to
admit that this is more technical information about electronic
mail than I really care to possess, or that I ought to have to
possess in order to run a large mailing list. One person told
me that the IETF is trying to standardize bouncemail, though I
haven't followed up on the comment. If it is true then I will
sprinkle rose petals at the feet of the IETF membership because
I regard the current situation as completely unacceptable.
The Benton Foundation has published a useful on-line report about
prospects for public-interest information infrastructure politics
in the new Congress, and especially on the state and local level.
The URL is http://cdinet.com/benton
For information about the earthquake in Kobe, Japan, look at:
I don't know if it was Newt Gingrich's idea originally, but he
supports it and it's real -- the Thomas legislative information
service on WWW. Check it out. The URL is http://thomas.loc.gov/
Right now it's not all that impressive, but it's a start anyway.
Next step -- figure out what features and documents it's missing,
make sure everyone on the net knows to want them, and make sure
everyone in Washington knows that everyone on the net wants them.
By the way, the House gopher is at gopher://gopher.house.gov/
An extensive guide called "Internet Resources for Not-for-Profits
in Housing and Human Services" is available through WWW at
Lindsay Marshall <Lindsay.Marshall@newcastle.ac.uk> has put the
complete Risks Digest on the web. He says that individual issues
look like http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/16.01.html where 16.01
is the volume and issue number, and the most recent issue is at
The proceedings of the 1994 Digital Libraries conference is on
the web at http://atg1.wustl.edu/DL94/ And information on the
1995 conference is at http://bush.cs.tamu.edu/dl95/README.html
The web pages for the Ninth Annual Symposium on Geographic
Information Systems for Natural Resources, Environment and Land
Information Management, 27-30 March 1995, Vancouver, British
Columbia are at http://www.wimsey.com:80/~jdcates/gis95/
One big file containing the whole Federalist Papers is available
through anonymous ftp to mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu. The files are
pub/etext/etext91/feder16.txt and pub/etext/etext91/feder16.zip
It's over 1MB in .txt form and something like .6MB in .zip form.
Ol' Newt is everywhere. Mother Jones printed some of the first
useful articles on the guy, and now they've put them on-line
on their web server http://www.mojones.com/ The first of these
articles, from 1984 -- and that's 1984, not 1994 -- tells us,
among many other things, "Gingrich told several intimates in 1974
that his goal was to be Speaker of the House". It can be found
What? You haven't had enough of Newt yet? The Newt Gingrich
WWW Fan Club is at http://www.clark.net/pub/jeffd/mr_newt.html
This page includes a pointer to the under-construction Progress
and Freedom Foundation home page, whose erstwhile nonexistence
I remarked upon in TNO 1(12).
You can even read the Heritage Foundation's theoretical journal,
Policy Review, on gopher. This is the best place to find out
where the highly organized forces of the conservative movement
are headed next. Required reading for all liberals. The URL is
And if that isn't enough, the National Rifle Association is on
the web at http://www.nra.org
Phil Agre, editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles +1 (310) 825-7154
Los Angeles, California 90095-1520 FAX 206-4460
Copyright 1995 by the editor. You may forward this issue of The
Network Observer electronically to anyone for any non-commercial
purpose. Comments and suggestions are always appreciated.
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