T H E  N E T W O R K  O B S E R V E R

  VOLUME 2, NUMBER 10                                 OCTOBER 1995


     "You have to organize, organize, organize, and build and
      build, and train and train, so that there is a permanent,
      vibrant structure of which people can be part."

          -- Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition


  This month: Getting foundations on the net
              The ethics of headers
              Descartes and masculinity
              The Web and cooperative writing
              Those computer ads


  Welcome to TNO 2(10).

  This month Sam Sternberg explains why the records of charitable
  foundations' giving should be online.  Computer networking has
  some potential to decentralize the world of nonprofit social
  service agencies, but (just as with everything else) this is not
  inevitable.  A good first step would be to get the facts on the
  net so that smaller organizations can level the playing field
  with their more professionalized peers in the endless hustle for

  Also this month I continue my personal crusade against misleading
  e-mail headers.  The point is not that anybody is bad or stupid
  or breaking the rules; the point is simply that the unruly world
  of hard-to-understand mail headers and incompatible mail reading
  and delivering systems is causing a lot of unnecessary hassle and
  conflict.  Many things cannot be fixed.  Unix is probably one of
  them.  But Internet mail headers probably can be fixed, and ought
  to be.  Tighter standards would help, as would public humiliation
  for systems that fail to comply with the existing standards.

  I have once again marked out my commentary on Ralph Reed's
  quote as a separate article.  Another short article offers a
  simple contribution toward a social semiotics of computer ads.
  As Langdon Winner pointed out last month, technology is not
  just a set of tools for jobs -- it is also an occasion for people
  to define who they are.  Did the proliferation of television
  sets into everyone's bedroom constitute progress for your family?
  How about the proliferation of personal computers into everyone's
  bedroom?  Does it help if you can send e-mail back and forth?
  This month's recommendations pick up related themes at greater
  length in relation to some fascinating texts.

  A footnote.  Gordon Cook has pointed me to the new epicenter of
  corporate issue management on global information infrastructure
  issues, the "Global Information Infrastructure Commission" whose
  Web pages can be found at http://www.eds.com/giic/   Many of the
  promised links do not seem to exist at the moment, but perhaps
  this is a transient condition.  Does the word "commission" tend
  to suggest to you something established by a government or an
  intergovernmental organization?  Those sovereign states, the
  Principality of Toshiba, the Kingdom of Siemens, the Democratic
  Republic of Oracle, the Grand Duchy of Harvard, and the Sultanate
  of Sprint, have established a nonpartisan commission, with its
  Secretariat in Washington, to hold hearings on the issues that
  affect them all.  I admire them: this is world-class networking,
  no doubt about it.  Perhaps it is the next major step in the
  globalization of lobbying, in which the lobbyists turn around and
  constitute themselves as a government.


  Listening to pain.

  Ralph Reed identifies the three activities -- organizing,
  building, and training -- and I want to focus on the first of
  these.  He is talking about an activity that sounds archaic in
  the current climate, namely building a political organization.
  The verb "to organize" sounds so paternalistic, or coercive, or
  something like that.  But the United States has a whole series of
  valuable popular traditions of organizing, and in my opinion they
  capture the true spirit of democracy much better than the elite
  discourses, conservative or liberal or whatever they are, that
  are conducted on the chat shows and in the press.

  These traditions hold that organizing, on any scale for any
  purpose, starts with listening.  When you go to organizing
  school, they teach you to knock on people's doors and listen
  to them.  Politicians do this when the cameras are rolling, and
  politicians do exist who do it when the cameras are not rolling
  as well.  Sales people are trained to listen too.  But organizers
  have a different and better purpose in mind.  They want people to
  learn the skills that are involved in bringing people together to
  take control over their own lives, and this process begins with
  an understanding of how people see their lives.  Are they talking
  about their lives from a standpoint of active agency -- in terms
  of choices and potentials, with an assumption that real people
  could make things and change things -- or from a standpoint
  of defeat -- in terms of things that are inevitable, that just
  happen, that have to be accepted, that are just the way they are?

  Ways of talking often vary with the particular issue at hand.
  Not just, "what issues do they care about and what hot buttons
  do they have?" (this is the question for the marketing-oriented
  campaign pollster) but "what issues do they care about and have
  the makings of a stance of empowerment towards?".  Technology
  issues are tough from this point of view -- technology is
  just about the last thing that most people feel any sense of
  empowerment towards.  I have met countless people who ordinarily
  project a sense of competence about their lives suddenly cast
  into the darkest cellar of disempowerment by the very presence of
  a computer.  We really must understand this effect if we expect
  technology to contribute to a revival of democratic culture -- or
  if we expect technology itself to become in any way an object of
  genuine democratic processes.

  What is this disempowerment made of?  Is it really just a matter
  of ergonomics and user friendliness?  What are people's formative
  experiences of disempowerment around technology?  There's a lot
  of pain out there around technology, and I think it's important
  for us to listen to that pain.  Pain is grounded in very concrete
  circumstances and it often speaks in monosyllables.  But it is
  also a kind of knowledge in its own right of many things that
  most technologists have forgotten: the things that were hard
  once, or that were not obvious once, or that somebody else
  helped them with once.  Above all, pain speaks of isolation.  All
  the "Dummies" books in the world, their virtues notwithstanding,
  are no substitute for the social organizing that provides the
  framework that everyone needs for mutual assistance, reality
  checking, story sharing, identity forming, and the means to put
  values into practice -- in other words, "a permanent, vibrant
  structure of which people can be part."


  Those computer ads.

  Look closely at computer advertisements, especially the ones
  for the home market.  Who are these people?  What else goes
  on in their lives?  What do the marketing people think they are
  thinking about?  One common image involves a parent and child (or
  at least that's who we infer they are); the parent is sitting at
  the computer and the child is distracting the parent's attention
  from it.  The parent is usually Daddy but not always; the child
  is usually a girl of about ten but not always; the people are
  usually white but not always.

  What is going on in such pictures?  Is Jenny asking Daddy
  when he's going to be done with the computer so she can use it?
  Is Jenny trying to get Daddy to stop playing with the computer
  and start playing with her instead?  They both look too happy
  for this.  Sometimes Jenny openly says that she wants to use the
  machine, or Daddy remarks downstairs that Jenny uses the machine
  more than he does, but it's always a nice little shared joke with
  no real sense of conflict.

  Why so many of these pairs, the Jennies and Daddies?  Marketers
  imagine people to associate home with family, and it would not be
  good to show Daddy locked away in his den while neglected Jenny
  experiments with marijuana at her friend's house.  Nor should
  we be given any space to imagine glassy-eyed Jenny staring at
  that computer as her brain is consumed by video games or heaven
  knows what on Usenet.  So there's a tension here, with the result
  that the pictures show us a happy father-daughter interaction
  taking place in juxtaposition to the computer.  Yet the physical
  arrangement of this interaction, with Daddy craning his neck
  backward or Jenny climbing over his shoulders, speaks volumes
  about the nature of the machine itself: it seems not to function
  in way that provides an occasion for joint activity between Daddy
  and Jenny.

  But that's not right either, given that people engage in joint
  activity in front of computers all the time, for example in
  preparing spreadsheets and the like at work.  As Bonnie Nardi
  and Jim Miller have shown in a brilliant paper (cited in TNO
  1(11)), these joint activities are actually excellent occasions
  for impromptu apprenticeship in both the use of the machine
  and in the purpose for which the machine is being used.  The
  problem is subtler: the imagination of the industry is focused
  on the machine and not on the lives of the people using it, and
  certainly not on the concrete activities within which the machine
  is to be used.  These activities are hard to explain in a simple
  image, and they are each too specific for a mass market.

  Yet the question remains, what *can* Daddy and Jenny do together
  with the computer?  They can go over her papers for school.
  That, unfortunately, would not make a picture with smiling faces.
  What else?  It's worth thinking about.  And it's also worth
  holding open the possibility that Daddy and Jenny should just
  shut off the machine, go outside, sit under a tree, and talk.


  The ethics of headers.

  Internet e-mail messages have headers: lines of text at the top
  that start with words and colons.  For example,

    Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 14:06:28 -0700
    From: Phil Agre <pagre@weber.ucsd.edu>
    To: neumann@chiron.csl.sri.com
    Subject: July Inside Risks column draft

  These headers were originally modeled on business memoranda, and
  they are specified by an RFC Internet standard.  In fact, most
  of the information used for actually routing a message is located
  in something called the "envelope", which users do not normally
  see.  For this and other reasons, headers are not as standardized
  as you might think, and many mail-handling programs do odd things
  with the headers.  Mostly this is not a problem, but some real
  problems are occurring nonetheless.  I'm already sketched some
  of these in my tirade about dysfunctional e-mail software in
  TNO 2(1), a revision of which appeared in the July 1995 "Inside
  Risks" column in Communications of the ACM.  Here I want to focus
  on a particular problem that routinely affects me.

  At least once a week, I will get a message that was not intended
  for me.  It will usually be from someone I have never had any
  connection with, and it will often say something like, "very
  interesting, thanks for forwarding this -- hello to Jeff and the
  kids".  Invariably what has happened is that somebody has taken
  a message I've sent to a mailing list and forwarded it to an
  acquaintance.  If they did this using the Eudora mail reader's
  "redirect" command then they will have generated a header that
  looks like (in part):

    From: Phil Agre <pagre@ucsd.edu> (by way of Jane Somebody <js

  (Note that the field seems to have gotten cut off.  This will be
  important later.)  The person receiving the message will often
  get the idea that, in replying to this message, they are sending
  a reply message to Jane.  Often they've gotten this idea because
  Jane has added a bit of text to the top of the forwarded message,
  on the order of "You might find this interesting -- J".  Similar
  things happen with other mail-readers, though they typically use
  the "Resent" mechanism, which generates headers that look like:

    From: Phil Agre <pagre@ucsd.edu>
    To: big-mailing-list@somewhere.edu
    Resent-From: Jane Somebody <js@eepco.com>
    Resent-To: Joe Schmoe <jshmoe@beavis.ac.uk>

  Of course, these four header lines will be mixed in with twenty
  or thirty other lines, and Joe's mail-reader will display some
  subset of them, which may or may not include the "Resent" lines.

  Now this might seem like a small irritant: a few Joes sending
  replies to the wrong people.  But it happens a lot.  And more
  important things happen as well.  If someone forwards a message
  from me to a mailing list, the listserv might reject the message
  (because I'm listed in the From: field even though I'm not on
  the list of authorized users of the list) and send me an error
  message, or it might accept the message and tell the whole list
  that I sent it.  Even worse, Jane (who really sent the message
  to the list) might have added her own text without it being clear
  whether the text was mine or hers.

  I think that this is a serious problem.  Terry Winograd pointed
  out to me the best way to understand what's wrong with these
  messages.  (See his book with Fernando Flores, "Understanding
  Computers and Cognition", for more of this.)  When I send a
  message to someone, I have performed a social action with a
  particular moral significance.  This action has several parts:
  *I* (and not some other person) sent *this* message (and not
  some different message) to *these* people (and not someone else)
  on *this* date at *this* time (and not some other date and time).
  The message, in other words, is an *action*, and it matters
  precisely *which* action it is.  This action can have all kinds
  of meanings and consequences, and these meanings and consequences
  might differ considerably from another action (someone else
  sending the message, or sending the message to someone else,
  and so forth).  So, for example, if I send a message to my own
  mailing list then that's quite a different action from sending
  the same message to another mailing list (for example, a private
  list, or a list on a different subject, or a list in which all
  messages are supposed to conform to a certain format).  People
  might be pleased to observe the first action and outraged to
  observe the second action.

  It is crucial, therefore, that the header a recipient receives
  be an accurate representation of the action that I took.  In
  this sense, I believe it would be immoral for a mail program
  to generate a message that claims to be from me, unless I have
  specifically authorized that particular message in all of its
  details -- its recipients, every last byte of its contents,
  and its date and time of sending.  Of course, the people who
  write these mail programs do not believe that they are forging
  messages.  The problem is that different programs, and different
  people, interpret the message headers in different ways.  If Joe
  receives a message in his mailbox that reads:

    From: Phil Agre <pagre@ucsd.edu> (by way of Jane Somebody <js

  then who is that message really "from"?  Who will a reply be
  addressed to?  Will Joe understand that I did not send a message
  to him?  What if Joe has never heard of Eudora or the "by way
  of" convention?  What if the "From:" field got truncated along
  the way (as often happens), so that Jane's name does not even
  appear?  I am assured that the message conforms to the standard.
  But compliance with standards may not be enough.  I think it's
  crucial that every message unambiguously convey who it is from,
  who it is to, and so on.  If large numbers of mail-reading
  programs do not correctly display the full range of possible
  header formats, or if large numbers of people reading mail on
  the Internet do not understand the semantics of the full range of
  obscure headers, then mail programs should not generate headers
  that can be easily misconstrued.  In my opinion, and I know that
  I will receive a lot of explanations of the virtues of other
  approaches to the question, there is precisely one correct way
  to forward my message to someone else, and that is to encapsulate
  it -- that is, to make the header of my message into part of the
  text of your message.

    Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 14:06:28 -0700    \
    From: Jane Somebody <js@eepco.com>         message header
    To: Joe Schmoe <jshmoe@beavis.ac.uk>     /

    Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 12:21:07 -0700    \
    From: Phil Agre <pagre@ucsd.edu>           beginning of the
    To: big-mailing-list@somewhere.edu         message body

  If Jane wants to add her own text, she can put it before my
  message header where it can't confuse anybody:

    Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 14:06:28 -0700    \
    From: Jane Somebody <js@eepco.com>         message header
    To: Joe Schmoe <jshmoe@beavis.ac.uk>     /

    Hey Joe, check out this bozo...          \
    Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 12:21:07 -0700      beginning of the
    From: Phil Agre <pagre@ucsd.edu>           message body
    To: big-mailing-list@somewhere.edu        /

  If Jane wishes to emphasize that comments on my message need to
  go to me and not her, she is free to point that out:

    Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 14:06:28 -0700    \
    From: Jane Somebody <js@eepco.com>         message header
    To: snort-action-list@snort.org          /
    Subject: big conference (forwarded)

    You all might find this useful.          \
    Please note that comments should          \
    be sent to Phil, not to me.                \
                                                beginning of the
    Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 12:21:07 -0700       message body
    From: Phil Agre <pagre@ucsd.edu>           /
    To: big-mailing-list@somewhere.edu        /
    Subject: big conference                  /

  Of course, mail programs will still make mistakes and users will
  still get confused.  But no mail reader will generate mistaken
  messages to me, and the level of confusion, while it will never
  reach zero, will be much reduced.  In fact, the risk of fallout
  from any confusion will now fall hardest where it belongs, on
  Jane.  People are more likely to assume that Jane originally
  wrote my message.  If I am strongly concerned about my authorship
  being preserved as messages are forwarded, then I will take the
  precaution of including my name in the message, perhaps in a
  signature at the end.  It is, alas, not wise to assume that your
  header will stay attached to your message anyway.


  Some references.

  I've mentioned a lot of people's names in the last few issues of
  TNO without providing citations to their work.  Here are some of
  the relevant citations:

  Mikhail Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays,
  University of Texas Press, 1981.

  Edward L. Bernays, ed, The Engineering of Consent, University of
  Oklahoma Press, 1955.

  Craig Calhoun, The infrastructure of modernity: Indirect social
  relationships, information technology, and social integration,
  in Hans Haferkamp and Neil J. Smelser, eds, Social Change and
  Modernity, University of California Press, 1992.

  Peter J. Denning, Designing new principles to sustain research
  in our universities, Communications of the ACM 36(7), 1993, pages

  Jonathan Grudin, Interface: An evolving concept, Communications
  of the ACM 35(4), 1993, pages 110-119.

  Friedrich A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, University of
  Chicago Press, 1960.

  Friedrich A. Hayek, The telecommunications system of the market,
  in 1980s Unemployment and the Unions: Essays on the Impotent
  Price Structure of Britain and Monopoly in the Labour Market,
  London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1980.

  Edwin Hutchins, Cognition in the Wild, MIT Press, 1995.

  Robert D. Putnam, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in
  Modern Italy, Princeton University Press, 1993.

  Ben Shneiderman, Designing the User Interface: Strategies for
  Effective Human-Computer Interaction, Addison-Wesley, 1987.

  Langdon Winner, Mythinformation, in The Whale and the Reactor:
  A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology, University of
  Chicago Press, 1986.


  Missing records.

  Sam Sternberg

  Today government funding for social and charitable work has been
  cut dramatically, and it will be cut further.  At the same time
  the value of the stock market in North America has been reaching
  unprecedented new heights.

  This means that the thousands of Charitable Foundations in the
  US whose assets are in the market have more money to donate than
  at any time in their history.  (Over 99% of all Foundations have
  their assets invested.)

  The cutbacks in government funding mean that the public needs
  those funds desperately.

  There is uncommitted money at all these foundations because their
  prior year giving is based (usually) on the amount the auditor
  found available a year earlier.  With the new income windfall,
  the extra money has to be granted.  And, this means opportunities
  for new grantees.

  There are several flies in this ointment.  First foundations
  sometimes don't give grants to organizations getting money
  from government sources.  Second, all the foundations combined
  couldn't begin to replace the cut funds from government.  And
  third, there is still competition and paper work, though its
  almost always less burdensome than the hoops government programs
  put an organization through.

  Nevertheless, there will be funds and they will be donated.

  Right now it is expensive or difficult to find information about
  those foundations and their activities.  But it shouldn't be.
  Every foundation in the US is required to report to the Federal
  Government in detail about its activities.  And, almost all of
  them report additional information to the state in which they are
  legally domiciled.  All of these records are "public".  But most
  are difficult to access -- and almost none are currently on line
  without charge.  (About a dozen charitable foundations have made
  their contribution records available on the Internet.  That is
  far less than one tenth of one percent!)

  The existing records can be obtained now by visiting the Regional
  offices of the IRS, for Federal records, or the appropriate state
  agency for those reports, but the process is expensive, slow, and
  a burden to everyone.

  It doesn't have to be like this.  The precedent for online
  availability has been set by the Security Exchange Commission
  (SEC).  It makes all corporate filings available on the net.

  There is no good reason why Foundation reports should not be
  available online too.  Each describes the total giving of the
  Foundation and lists the recipients and the amounts they were
  given.  From this simple set of facts, it's easy to see if
  (in the past -- and most foundations don't change their giving
  patterns very often) they gave to organizations or projects like
  the one seeking funds.  This means that the group soliciting
  funds doesn't waste its time send requests to inappropriate
  funders.  The funder benefits too: it gets fewer off-the-wall
  solicitations to deal with.

  All of them should be online and easily could be.

  The IRS, which receives the reports for the feds, already makes
  them available as a tape set.  To date the only major user of
  those tapes is the Foundation Center -- itself a charity, but
  one with a vested interest in keeping things as they are.

  Today everyone who wants electronic access to those records must
  buy it through the Center's online services.  It's time for that
  to change.  Some of the Foundations which fund the Center should
  either give it less funds and bring those records online for free
  access, or convince the Center to do it themselves.

  In addition to bringing the Federal records on line its also time
  to bring the State records on too.  California's records are also
  available as a tape set.  (I helped launch the lawsuit that lead
  to the public release of those tapes.)  Most other state records
  could easily be made available as well.

  There is another option: the various government levels with
  control over these records can simply be asked to make them
  available without charge.  After all this is a relatively simple
  way to help lessen the impact of the cuts they are now making.

  None of this will happen till the Internet community rouses
  itself to action and demands it from their federal and state
  legislatures.  It also wouldn't hurt to contact any foundation
  executives you know and ask them what they intend to do about

  Other Potential Information Resources

  While most large corporations give to charity, only those with
  foundations are required to publicly disclose their giving
  activities.  Still, some do so voluntarily and that information
  can be gleaned by searching the SEC database.

  In addition a few classes of business must report their giving
  because they are regulated monopolies.  Typically the power
  companies, telephone companies, insurance companies, and other
  regulated companies are telling their regulators about their
  giving -- but those records aren't public.  They easily could be.
  The charitable contribution information could separated from the
  proprietary information they accompany -- and be made publicly
  available too!

  Again only action with your state legislature will get results.
  This really is an issue that state associations of non-profits
  and national associations like the United Way should be taking

  Finally, there is another potentially invaluable source of data
  on charitable activities.  That's the successful non-profits
  themselves.  It would be fairly easy to set up a WAIS database
  which non-profit groups would contribute funding lists to.  Many
  non-profits actually make those contributors lists public in
  annual reports, but they don't have any simple way to share them
  on the Internet.  The value of doing that is that many companies
  which have no reporting requirements would now have their funding
  patterns made visible.  I used the system of gathering reports
  from non profit groups to create my database for "The National
  Directory of Corporate Charity".  That database now forms a
  portion of the records the Foundation Center uses for its
  corporate information services.

  By the way, don't feel sorry for the Center.  It will survive and
  thrive because it produces an invaluable selection of reports on
  charitable giving, by interest or category.  As more people learn
  about the public records, the number interested in paying the
  center for its prescreened products will increase.


  Wish list.

  This month's wish is something simple.  In "Networking on the
  Network" I wrote at length about the great importance that people
  in the research world attach to the practice of writing comments
  on draft papers.  Circulating a draft of your paper to others in
  your field is a sort of consensus-building process: the others
  may not agree with what you wrote, but at least you've eliminated
  the obviously wrong bits and had a chance to internalize a range
  of other reactions and responses.  I want technology to support
  this process as much as it can.  One obvious proposal is to give
  the WorldWide Web a simple facility whereby readers of a page
  can attach voice annotations to it.  The author of the page can
  then gain access to the complete set of annotations, either all
  at once (who had comments on this paragraph?) or reader-by-reader
  (I'll go through my advisor's comments before going through the
  comments from people I don't know, or perhaps I'll go through the
  comments by technical people in a separate pass from the comments
  by philosophers).  Mechanisms would be needed to restrict access
  to the draft, perhaps to predefined lists of people.  (I might
  show the first draft to my local research group, the second draft
  to my close friends, and the third draft to anyone who wants to
  look at it.)

  To make this really work, it would be great to have a screen big
  enough to display two pages side-by-side -- an editor window and
  a web browser -- because the version of the paper in the editor
  will change during the revisions but it's still necessary to see
  the precise text that the commentator was commenting on.  Also,
  a headphone jack in the terminal would be nice.

  Once these mechanisms are in place, they would have a variety
  of other uses, corresponding to different possible divisions
  of labor in the writing process.  Much of what I must write in
  a given year does not require enormous specialized knowledge or
  skill, and it would be nice to be able to employ a writer easily
  at a distance.  Perhaps I would simply talk into the computer
  for ten minutes, explaining what I had in mind and suggesting
  structure and phrases.  The writer and I would then iterate on
  drafts, using both the audio commenting facility and (presumably)
  the telephone.  I might actually employ two people, a writer and
  a transcriptionist.  I might dictate bits of a draft, have it
  transcribed, and then explain more discursively what more needs
  to be done.

  The market for such skills would be very interesting.  I expect
  that I would want to maintain a stable relationship with a small
  number of such people.  It would be nice to recruit people who
  have some relevant educational background and experience as well.

  What does *not* interest me is the development of tools that
  capture the whole cooperative writing process within some kind of
  grammar.  Many tools for capturing design processes, for example,
  are on the market or under development, and the basic model has
  also been applied to writing.  I prefer to think of computers
  as providing a medium -- a blank slate -- rather than capturing
  activities within a grammar that is inevitably constraining
  and thus covertly normative.  Others may have different tastes;
  my main concern is simply that we not confuse *supporting* an
  activity with *capturing* it.


  This month's recommendations.

  Stephen Gaukroger, Descartes: An Intellectual Biography,
  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995.  I have written some paragraphs
  about Descartes' place in intellectual history in my work, and
  I have always been frustrated by the surprisingly small amount
  and coverage of the secondary literature in English on him.
  Like most authors who mention Descartes' work, I have sometimes
  brought together ideas from different texts written over a
  long period, knowing that this is a risky move but lacking
  the resources to do any better.  Gaukroger's intellectual
  biography is a radical step forward.  He traces the development
  of Descartes' ideas in the context of his family background,
  current social and political developments, particular debates
  with contemporaries, the traditions of the school he attended,
  and a great deal else.  This analysis helps in understanding what
  Descartes was saying by allowing us to see what he was responding
  to -- what he regarded as new versus old, controversial versus
  commonplace, and so on.  It's not exactly beach reading in its
  complete bulk, but I recommend to everyone the first couple of
  chapters on Descartes' family, schooling, and early life.

  Mauro F. Guillen, Models of Management: Work, Authority, and
  Organization in a Comparative Perspective, Chicago: University
  of Chicago Press, 1994.  Contrary to the economic determinism of
  both left and right, market economies evolved in significantly
  different ways in different countries.  This useful book is
  a comparative study of the reception of both Taylorism and
  the later, more corporatist ideas about management in several
  countries.  It identifies a short list of variables for each
  country, recounts the histories, and then assesses which
  variables predict which element in the country-to-country
  variation in the reception and application of the ideas.  This
  is not a terribly sophisticated procedure on a theoretical level,
  but it produces strong and useful results that burst many myths.
  One surprising result is the great importance of the religious
  views about work and human dignity held by the managerial classes
  in each country.  These views influenced both which ideas were
  adopted and how those ideas were interpreted.  Taylorism, for
  example, which was associated with sharp workplace conflict in
  the United States, was regarded quite differently by everyone
  involved in some other countries, for example in Germany.

  Strategic Investments.  I probably got on this company's mailing
  list because I subscribe to the Heritage Foundation's theoretical
  journal, Policy Review.  It's an investment service for wealthy
  individuals; it calls itself the "investors' CIA" (the same CIA
  that kept promoting Aldrich Ames?).  Its marvelously hyperbolic
  shtick goes like this: the whole of global society is about to
  collapse; we know this because we have highly placed contacts
  throughout the world's elites; nothing can stop the collapse;
  but if you see it coming then you can profit exorbitantly from
  it and end up living in luxury while everyone else goes to hell.
  About once a year they mail out long tracts explaining at great
  length why various countries will go bankrupt, why enormous wars
  will break out, how the world will be overwhelmed by organized
  crime, and why the Information Age will bring social devastation
  by putting the vast majority of unskilled workers on the street.
  (The most recent one is headlined, "Invest Along with the World's
  Richest Gangsters".)  At first I found these tracts repellent,
  and I still don't find them particularly credible, but they do
  contain enough semblance of plausibility that lately I have found
  them a useful way to get my head out of the superficial analyses
  in the newspaper.  (They aren't nearly as useful in this regard
  as Noam Chomsky, but they're useful enough.)  See if you an
  get on their mailing list.  They're at 824 E. Baltimore Street,
  Baltimore MD 21202.



  In TNO 2(7)'s wish list, I asked for the concept of "deleting" a
  file to go away.  Several people responded with useful comments.
  Andrew Treloar <andrew.treloar@deakin.edu.au> informed me that
  what I want is referred to by the term Hierarchical Storage
  Management (HSM), which automatically migrate files up and
  down the storage hierarchy.  In response to my request for
  new metaphors, he also points out that OpenDoc calls everything
  a document and the Newton stores everything in "soups".  Also,
  Mark Smucker <smucker@cs.wisc.edu> pointed out that something
  like what I want is commonly used in development environments,
  where the metaphor is that programmers "check out" a file from
  a "repository", which maintains all back versions.  Finally, Tom
  Blinn <tpb@zk3.dec.com> also reminded me of some of the automatic
  backup and restore features of the late and lamented TOPS-20
  operating system.

  In TNO 2(8)'s wish list, I asked for a service on the net that
  automatically checks HTML style and standards compliance.  Both
  Ben Hyde <bhyde@gensym.com> and David Kulp <dkulp@cse.ucsc.edu>
  pointed out that such a thing can be found at

  Web picks:

  Some relatively high-quality conspiracy stuff, samples from a
  commercial newsletter, are to be found at

  The FCC's Common Carrier Bureau is at http://www.fcc.gov/ccb.html

  The virtuous (Los Angeles) Inner City Computer Society is at

  The Feminist Majority Foundation and the Christian Coalition
  both have excellent Web sites, at http://www.feminist.org/
  and http://www.cc.org/, respectively.  The Christian Coalition
  could use some more content, though, and the Feminist Majority
  Foundation could use less of the color pink.

  Phil Agre, editor                                pagre@ucla.edu
  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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