government by the people, rests on the fundamental idea that
people as citizens, are able to act rationally in their own
interests. This is most particularly true when citizens vote
for their representatives. As James David Barber points out,
however, the necessity for rationality in a democracy extends
far beyond the voting booth to permeate a democratic society:
"In practical terms, the requirements for rule by reason
in a democracy are elections and parliamentary debate. But those
requirements depend upon the workings of reason in the citizenry,
which can be either developed or eroded by education, journalism,
and entertainment." (2)
of mind that we associate with reason and rational thought include
study,analysis, reflection, contemplation, and deliberation.
Yet, in our day-to-day life, these habits of mind receive little
support or reinforcement.
best teaching that occurs in our schools, colleges, and universities
aims to produce these habits of mind, many critics fault much
of the educational system for falling short of its goals. After
formal education has ended, most people depend on the media
for their information, education, and entertainment.
last 40 years, television has been the dominant communications
medium. Newton Minow's words of 1961 are still apt:
you to sit down in front of your television set .... I can
assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland. You will
see a procession of game shows, violence, audience participation
shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families,
blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western
badmen, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence
and cartoons. And, endlessly, commercials--many screaming,
cajoling and offending. And most of all, boredom. (3)
in Minow's criticism of the television industry is that, with
rare exceptions, he found little to stimulate rational thought,
study, analysis, contemplation, reflection, and deliberation.
In a recent
book, Jeffrey Abramson analyzes the jury system as one of the
fundamental structures of democracy in our society, and how
changes in the jury system mirror other ongoing societal changes.
Commenting upon the decline of deliberation, Abramson contends:
"Deliberation is a lost virtue in modern democracies; only
the jury still regularly calls upon ordinary citizens to engage
each other in a face-to-face process of debate. Although the
deliberative model of democracy survives in the jury, even there
it is in serious decline." (4)
of democracy would echo Abramson's comments as they examine
the ability of citizens to act rationally in an increasingly
complex and fast-paced world. All the habits of mind that are
associated with reason seem to be in decline. Sometimes the
blame is put on the educational system, and no doubt the critics
of education have some merit in their arguments.
falls upon our political system with media and ad-driven campaigns,
and the imperative of winning at all costs. Citizens themselves
are blamed for their self-involvement and lack of concern for
the polity. While these and other explanations may have some
validity, I believe that we must also look to the nature and
characteristics of our system of communications to find out
what has been happening to us.
and Habits of Mind
There is a
forceful interplay between society and its technologies. Society
creates technology, but society is also created by technology.
As Daniel Bell points out, Marx said in Capital that "in
changing the technical world, Man changes his own nature."
nature is partially the result of a society's technologies,
it becomes crucial to examine technology both to ascertain the
effects of technological history and to attempt to infer the
consequences of technological decisions on the future development
no question but that the dominant communications technologies
of the twentieth century have been the printing press, radio,
television, and the telephone. All of us have been shaped by
these technologies and by our use of them. One does not need
fully to accept Marshall McLuhan's aphorism that "the medium
is the message" to agree that both technology and its content
have human consequences.
newspapers, radio programs, and television shows differ among
themselves, but all involve the transmission of information
and knowledge from a central source to many people. It is these
economies of scale that make them so cost effective. An hour
of prime time television programming may cost more than $1 million
to produce, but when the cost is amortized over millions of
people, the cost per person is minuscule.
rights to a book may cost millions of dollars, but the title
can be sold for $25 a copy. With a book, newspaper, television
show, or radio program, we receive the communication via a one-way
street. Although it may stimulate our thoughts, arouse our emotions,
or cause us to act, we are described as "readers,"
"listeners," or "viewers."
listening, and viewing all can involve thought and learning,
because no conscious thought, response, or action may be required,
they can also be highly passive activities. All of us have had
the experience of reading a page and not being able to remember
what was being discussed, or even a single word. On one level,
our eyes process the words, but our minds are elsewhere. The
stereotypic "couch potato" sits gazing mindlessly
at the television set, thinking hardly at all. Nevertheless,
certain techniques can greatly increase the likelihood of thought.
questions can be introduced with the audience or reader invited
to think of answers; anomalies can be created that invite resolution;
moral dilemmas can be introduced with no immediate solution.
These devices, however, depart from the normal conventions of
the media. The absence of thought may be due to the lack of
thought-provoking content, or possibly to hypnotic involvement
with no time taken for reflection. Whatever the cause, I think
it can be fairly argued that the technologies of broadcast communications
and the printing press, on balance, favor the passive reception
of information and entertainment.
am not arguing against the value of reading, listening, and
viewing. They are vital skills--skills that can open the doors
of culture and education. It is rather that the technologies
with which these skills are usually associated favor passive
reception over active thought. Among the skills of information
reception, reading has a special place. The proficient reader
has access to knowledge that is denied to the less-skilled reader.
The written word remains the storehouse of the world's wisdom
a special problem with television is that it has tended to displace
reading in many young people's lives. If there were no difference
in content between books and television, that displacement in
itself might not be very important. The problem is that reading
opens the door to symbolic thought, and without that skill the
citizen is severely handicapped. The corollary skill of writing
also has special cultural value: A means of ordering and communicating
thought, the discipline of writing is a powerful antidote to
certainly many exceptions to my generalization that, on balance,
the technologies of broadcast communications, including the
printing press, favor the passive reception of information and
entertainment. Many books stimulate thought and even demand
it; yet many others simply provide escape and diversion. Newspapers
can similarly stimulate thought, but often only provide diversion.
his classic study "What 'Missing the Newspaper' Means,"
Berelson acknowledged the "rational" uses of the newspaper
in providing news and information. At the same time, he noted
that reading the newspaper often becomes a ceremonial, ritualistic
or nearly compulsive act for many people. Individual television
and radio programs, such as Bill Moyer's Journal, Nightline,
Fred Friendly's Media and Society, and others, may cause
people to think, but few people would argue with Newton Minow
that these are exceptions and not the rule. Finally, it is significant
that we are called the "information society" -- not
the thinking society, not the deliberative society, not the
society of reason and rationality.
telephone is different. It is primarily a technology for conversation.
Except when listening to a recorded message, people most often
use the telephone to talk with each other. In this sense, the
technology of the telephone favors active participation rather
than the passive reception of information and entertainment.
The limitation of the telephone in stimulating thought and deliberation,
however, is that there is pressure for immediate response. In
a telephone conversation, you seldom hear someone say, "Give
me a few minutes to think about that." They may say, "I'll
call back soon with some thoughts," but during the conversation
itself, silence is likely to provoke the question, "What
are you doing?"
people using the telephone are conscious that time is money,
that when they use the telephone their bill is increasing; or
in the absence of visual cues about the other person's feelings,
people may simply feel uncomfortable with telephone silence.
Whatever the reason, the technology of the telephone, while
involving activity, favors immediacy of response over deliberative
for time for deliberative thought was brought home to me on
a visit to Japan. In the early 1970's, several of us went to
Japan to discuss the production of a Japanese version of Sesame
Street . With two colleagues from the United States, we
met with the management of a Japanese television network. None
of the Americans spoke a word of Japanese so naturally we had
translators at the meeting. We would discuss an issue in English,
and our comments would be translated into Japanese. Our Japanese
counterparts would reply in Japanese which would be translated
the meeting ended did we discover that all the Japanese present
spoke perfectly good English. Whatever else the translation
accomplished, it provided time for the Japanese to think over
their comments before making them. They had time to think and
deliberate--a distinct advantage in negotiation!
technologies that have permeated our lives--the printing press,
radio, television, and the telephone--have brought enormous benefits.
They have made information and entertainment available to the
masses at a very low cost per person. The telephone has made conversation
at a distance commonplace, and the costs of those conversations
are steadily decreasing. Being able to talk from New York to California
for 10¢ a minute or less, would have been unimaginable 50 years
all their advantages, these technologies have also exercised
a benevolent tyranny over us. They have favored passive reception
of information and entertainment over thoughtful reaction, and
the telephone has favored immediate response over considered
and deliberative response.
What I am
describing as a "benevolent tyranny" would be judged
more harshly by others. Many observers of our political system
decry its dependence on television advertising and the techniques
of mass marketing. The presidential debates, arguably the only
political events that are somewhat designed to stimulate thought,
have not yet been institutionalized. In the 1992 campaign, it
is notable that Ross Perot's "Infomercials" drew large
audiences. Designed in part as teaching vehicles, they were
very different from the normal campaign advertisements. Other
critics are very concerned about a concentration of media ownership
which may consequently narrow the range of ideas to which the
public is exposed.
believe that we are fortunate indeed that the tyranny has been
benevolent and that, despite the decline of the habits of mind
that are associated with reason and rationality, we have remained
a constitutional democracy. Although demagogues such as Father
Coughlin and Joseph McCarthy saw the potential for power and
tyranny in our mass communications, they were not in a position
to dominate our institutions.
were very different in Nazi Germany: Adolph Hitler and Joseph
Goebbels saw that rationality was the enemy of National Socialism
and dictatorship, and that modern mass communications (radio
and newspapers) offered unlimited power to displace reason through
the use of propaganda. In Hitler's view: "What luck for
governments that people don't think. Thinking may be done only
when an order is given or executed. If this is different, human
society could not exist." (7)
who carried out a program of propaganda and the displacement
of reason, would "see that the press be so artfully organized
that it is so to speak like a piano in the hands of the government,
on which the government can play." (8)
beings, we are extremely adaptable to the conditions in which
we find ourselves. For those who live at sea level, the sudden
transition to life in the mountains at 8,000 feet usually brings
some discomfort, shortness of breath, and perhaps a headache.
But for almost everyone except those with respiratory incapacity,
adaptation is complete within a few weeks in the mountains.
Life on a farm with relatively few human contacts, living in
harmony with the rhythms of the days and seasons, seems normal
to the farmer. Yet most people who grow up on farms are able
to adapt to the frenetic life of the city.
And so we
have adapted to the benevolent tyranny of our communications
technology. Apart from a few holdouts, we have eagerly become
compulsive consumers of information, viewers of television,
and radio listeners. The decline of study, analysis, reflection,
contemplation, and deliberation--the mental habits of reason
and rationality--has largely gone unnoticed. We have adapted
to the conditions that we and our technologies have created.
the mid-1990's, the great story of communications technology
is the growth of computer communications. Headlines announce
the emergence of on-line services, the spread of the Internet,
and corporate changes and acquisitions that involve these services.
Underneath these headlines there is another, and perhaps more
important, story. While each commercial service tries to distinguish
itself from the others by developing proprietary content, the
most widespread use of on-line services including the Internet
is electronic mail, or "e-mail." Just as the printing
press, then radio, and finally television were technologies
of freedom in their times, computer communications and e-mail
can be a technology of freedom now.
purposes of this discussion, e-mail is the asynchronous electronic
interchange of information between persons, groups of persons,
or functional units of an organization together with mechanisms
that provide support for the creation, distribution, consumption,
processing, and storage of this information. (9)
In more popular language, e-mail is the sending and receiving
of information over computer networks and commonly involves
sending a message from one person to another, or from one person
to many, and includes bulletin boards and live chat.
regular e-mail message is analogous to sending a letter except
that you can specify a single recipient or send the message
to a complete mailing list. Bulletin boards are structured somewhat
differently on the various services, but they all involve the
public posting of messages with any reader able to send a reply.
Live chat usually occurs in "rooms" or "auditoriums"
and involves many simultaneous conversations or, alternately,
discussions moderated by a host.
this is written, the three leaders in providing consumer on-line
services are America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy. The Microsoft
Network has debuted, and shortly there will be a completely
revised Delphi under the sponsorship of News Corp. Accessed
through computer, modem, and telephone connection, all of these
services provide their own content.
At the same
time, all of them feature interconnection to the Internet and
use the Internet to send e-mail. While subscriptions to the
commercial services are increasing rapidly, the growth of the
Internet better illustrates the spread of the e-mail distribution
system. A recent survey of Internet host computers, which form
the basic building blocks of the system, showed that 6.6 million
Internet hosts existed in 106 countries worldwide. (10)
the growth rate of the last three years, there will be 101 million
computer hosts by the end of the decade. This growth in the
Internet as a distribution system helps us understand the astounding
increase in the volume of e-mail. In November 1992, approximately
279 million messages were sent over the Internet. In November
1994, the number was over 1 billion--a growth rate of more than
90 percent per year.
these figures considerably understate the use of e-mail because
they do not include e-mail sent over private networks in a business
or organization. A poll by Louis Harris and Associates found
that 83 percent of federal workers use e-mail as do 65 percent
of state government employees.
the 2,000 largest U.S. companies, 60 percent of employees use
e-mail. While some of this government and business traffic goes
over the Internet, most of it is obviously intra-organizational.
At the Markle Foundation, a small organization with 12 employees,
we have had an e-mail facility since 1994. Already, despite
frequent face-to-meetings, e-mail has largely replaced paper
memos, telephone slips, and handwritten messages.
Minitel was started primarily to serve the telephone system
as an electronic telephone directory with electronic "yellow
pages." Because it was a system that allowed two-way messaging,
it quickly became popular for other uses, especially games and
sex. The Economist reports that this system, which
was started 12 years ago, now supports 6.5 million terminals
used by 14.4 million people, about one-third of France's adult
Use of the system for games and sex has declined from 22
percent to 14 percent, and the French now use the system mainly
for such things as banking and information. Minitel currently
offers 24,600 services provided by more than 10,000 companies.
we explain the rapid adoption of e-mail? First, of course, in
order to use e-mail you must both have a computer and be connected
to a network.
1993, 27 percent of American households had computers, and 11
percent of individuals reported using network services. (12)
Network access doubled in the four years from 1989 to 1993
and continues to expand rapidly.
the importance of network connections, manufacturers are now
shipping new computers with integral modems that make network
connection more convenient to use than those purchased separately.
One underlying answer to the question about the growth in volume
of e-mail is clear: computer usage and network access are growing
equipment for e-mail--a computer and network access--is available,
the cost of usage is vanishingly small. This is surely another
important reason for its popularity. The vast bulk of e-mail
goes over the Internet directly or is routed over the Internet
from a commercial provider. While there is an institutional
cost for Internet connection, it is ordinarily part of an overall
institutional budget or, in some cases, a research budget.
connection is available, the huge capacity of the Internet makes
the additional cost of an e-mail transmission almost nothing--and
it makes no difference in cost whether the message goes from
New York to Washington, D.C., or from New York to Prague.
commercial services charge for e-mail usage: For example, CompuServe
has in the past charged to receive e-mail messages above a generous
threshold of usage. The trend, however, is for commercial services
to include e-mail as part of basic service. For both the academic
user of e-mail over the Internet and the home subscriber to
America Online, Prodigy, CompuServe, or Delphi, e-mail seems
speed and reliability of e-mail are additional attractions that
help explain its growth. Whereas a letter mailed through the
post office may take several days for delivery, unless the sender
opts for the expense of overnight delivery, most e-mail is transmitted
almost instantaneously. At times of extremely high volume, there
may be delays in delivery, but delays of over an hour or two
services inform the sender if the delivery is successful so
that the sender can take remedial action if necessary. One handicap
is that e-mail addresses must be completely accurate. With the
postal system, an improperly addressed letter may still be delivered
correctly because the local postal personnel make a good interpretation.
Not so with e-mail. An incorrectly addressed message will either
not be delivered or will go to the wrong place. Smart software
may eventually mimic the forgiving character of the postal system,
but for now, accuracy in addressing is mandatory.
cost, speed, and reliability may be enough to explain the popularity
of e-mail with business, but these characteristics hardly explain
the growing social use of e-mail. If you have some special interest
or concern, you may wish to discuss your thoughts with a group
of knowledgeable or like-minded people. For example, you may
be concerned about Bosnia or have a special interest in nineteenth-century
poetry. Unless you belong to a relevant club or study group,
you will likely find considerable difficulty in identifying
appropriate discussants. Not so with e-mail. A recent census
suggested that there were more than 60,000 active bulletin boards
on the Internet. This afternoon I found five that were concerned
with Bosnia. You may well find one that exactly meets your interest.
If not, you can start a bulletin board of your own and see who
those with computers, e-mail is an extremely convenient way
of identifying other people with similar interests and carrying
on discussion and conversation. Many observers of the bulletin
board phenomenon have noted the personal value that comes from
finding that other people share your ideas and concerns. For
many people, it is highly satisfying to find that they are not
In a face-to-face
conversation, we all observe many social conventions, often
unconsciously. An older person speaks differently to a younger
person than to someone of his or her own age. Men typically
speak differently to women than to other men, and so too with
women. Differences in age, gender, ethnicity, color, and status
all influence conversation. The telephone reduces the impact
of some of these social conventions, but much of the time they
of e-mail can be quite different. Many participants in bulletin
boards or chat rooms use "screen names," perhaps a
set of initials or the name of a mythical or historical figure.
The address associated with the name is the location of a computer,
not necessarily associated with Achilles or perhaps Cleopatra.
Whether these characters are actually men or women is revealed
only if they desire to shed their anonymity. The result is that
most of the normal social barriers to communication are stripped
away. A novice chess player can converse with a grand master
with only her expertise, or lack of it, to give her away.
can spring up between people who would not be likely to converse
in person. In fact, one repeated finding about computer communications
is that it tends to reduce social isolation. People are more
easily able to establish relationships than they are in day-to-day
same characteristics also allow people to flaunt social conventions
more easily and use profane, abusive, or inflammatory language.
Commercial services often reserve the right to eliminate offensive
language or cancel the membership of an offender. On the Internet,
this problem may be more difficult, but conventions are developing
that allow groups to censor unacceptable conduct.
of e-mail so far discussed--low cost, speed, reliability, convenience,
and anonymity to the extent desired--go far to explain the rapid
acceptance and growth in volume of e-mail. The argument of this
essay, however, is that e-mail is potentially so important that
society has a stake in making access to it universally available.
In our current
communications environment, computer-mediated communication
through e-mail, bulletin boards, and live chat is a new technology
of freedom. I consider it a technology of freedom because it
will counterbalance our traditional one-way media and help release
us from their benevolent tyranny. The widespread use of e-mail
will promote deliberative response over immediate response,
and active thought over passive reception.
Jefferson was a champion of reason and rationality, but he also
lived in a time when the communications system supported the
habits of mind associated with reason and rationality. The printing
press made books available as well as newspapers and, despite
Jefferson's well-known ambivalence about newspapers, he was
a strong exponent of a free press.
from printed matter, communications took place in face-to-face
conversations or through the exchange of letters. As anyone
who writes knows, the act of trying to put your thoughts on
paper enforces a certain discipline: Time is given to the choice
of words and phrases, and except under the duress of tight deadlines,
the writer has the luxury of being able to examine what has
been written to see if it really conveys his or her thoughts.
when you receive a letter, you may read it over several times
to be sure that you understand what is being said. In Jefferson's
time, the mails were slow and we may surmise that special care
had to be taken to say what you meant. Weeks or months might
pass before you had a chance to correct a misunderstanding.
of writing, and the slow mail system forced study, analysis,
reflection, contemplation, and deliberation. The clarity and
wisdom of the Constitution and Bill of Rights were undoubtedly
the product of powerful minds and rich experience. Of course,
the communications system of the time also favored the deliberations,
both face-to-face discussions and in writing and letters, that
made those documents possible.
for Universal E-mail
an e-mail system to be effective, people must be able to send
e-mail as well as receive it. This makes the basic underlying
requirement a two-way communications link. At present, the most
widely available links of this type are the telephone line and
cable television service. It is possible that electric power
lines could also be used as well as wireless communications,
but those applications are either experimental or not yet widespread.
user's point of view, the other requirement is a device to send
and receive e-mail over the communications link. Computers and
modems accomplish this function, and as has been noted, their
use is rapidly increasing. While one in four American households
in 1993 had computers, far fewer had modems. With the considerable
decrease in modem cost and the increasing number of new computers
being shipped with integral modems, we can expect the percentage
of households with access to networked computer services to
be expected, however, the distribution of computers is very
uneven across groups with different levels of income. In fact,
50 percent or more of upper-income households have access to
computers while there is little or no household penetration
at low-income levels. Since the computer is a relatively expensive
household appliance, costing $1,000 and up, this uneven distribution
is to be expected. As costs come down and usage grows, however,
there could be a pattern of penetration more closely approximating
the 90 percent of households with access to telephones or televisions.
current growth rates, that may still take many years. If we
regard e-mail not as simply another consumer good but as a necessity
for democracy in populous and technologically advanced countries,
wise social policy will try to find the means to more quickly
make e-mail service universal.
Negroponte suggests that utilitarian computers can now be produced
and sold for as little as $200. (13)
At that cost, less than that of a color television set,
most American households could afford computers, and if they
found enough value in the services offered, could be expected
to buy them.
it has not yet been carefully studied, there is reason to believe
that many governmental, public, and private services could be
delivered cost effectively over computer networks through e-mail.
If so, there might not only be widespread demand for the services,
but the providers might subsidize delivery. Even with low-cost
home computers, of course, there would still be segments of
the population that would not have access. In these cases, government
could play an important role by making network access devices
available in public spaces such as libraries and post offices.
final financial element to be considered is the communications
cost for using e-mail. As has been discussed, people who are
now connected on the Internet or who have commercial on-line
services already pay the communications costs either indirectly
or as part of their service. A low interconnection cost as an
addition to a telephone or cable bill could provide many Americans
with the necessary communications links, although again that
would not take care of low-income groups.
least two companies are already experimenting with "free"
advertiser supported e-mail: Freemark Communications and a new
venture called Juno have announced their entry into the advertiser-supported
e-mail market. If these or other advertiser systems catch on,
the communications costs of e-mail will no longer be an issue
e-mail is to be implemented, there are many other policy and
technical concerns that need to be addressed: addressing (how
to give everyone a unique e-mail address), privacy, authentication
of documents, sorting of "junk mail" from mail you
wish to read, and security.
of these problems are already being studied in the Internet
environment, and while some are difficult, there is little doubt
that satisfactory solutions can be found. A more potent objection
to the proposal for universal e-mail is that in order to use
it people will need to know how to read and, if they wish to
send messages, type. In a few years, as voice recognition systems
become more practical, this objection will not be as powerful.
it is hard to imagine that, for a long time, people who cannot
read or type will not be disadvantaged in the e-mail world.
My answer is that this is exactly one of the benefits of universal
e-mail. It will give people a strong incentive to learn to read
and type and, if they have access to computers, the means to
teach themselves to do so. It is noteworthy that in May 1995
the fourth best seller in the list of Macintosh software titles
was "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" at a cost of $25.
of a rational society, a society of reason, is an ideal that
will never be fully realized. Yet, through the development and
wise use of technology, we provide ourselves with better means
of reaching that goal. The printing press and broadcast technologies
opened new vistas of learning and knowledge about the world
around us. At the same time, they tipped the balance of our
habits of mind away from analysis, study, contemplation, reflection,
a newer technology, computer communications and e-mail, may
help right the imbalance created by the older technologies.
It is a new technology of freedom. Potentially, e-mail allows
individuals to be their own publishers and reach as many people
as their creations merit. As a form of two-way communications,
e-mail favors active thought over passive reception. Because
e-mail does not require immediate response, it can allow time
for study, analysis, contemplation, and deliberation. And because
e-mail involves reading and writing, it gives a strong incentive
to acquire these vital cultural skills. The technologies of
freedom will be greatly strengthened as computer communications
and e-mail join the more established communications technologies
and become universally available.
This title is borrowed, in part, from Ithiel de Sola Pool, Technologies
of Freedom? (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983).
James David Barber, The Book of Democracy (New York:
Prentice Hall, 1995), 291.
Newton N. Minow, "The Vast Wasteland" (address presented
to the National Association of Broadcasters, Washington, D.C.,
Jeffrey Abramson, We, the Jury (New York: Basic Books,
Daniel Bell, "Social Science: An Imperfect Art," The
Tocqueville Review 16, no. 1 (1995), 13.
Bernard Berelson, "What 'Missing the Newspaper' Means,"
in Communications Research, ed. P.F. Lazerfield and F.
Stanton (New York: Harper, 1948-49), 111-129.
Richard Abraham, Alexander Kerensky: The First Love of the
Revolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1987),
22, 25, quoted in Barber, Book of Democracy, 312.
Alexander F. Kerensky, The Crucifixion of Liberty (New
York: John Day, 1934), 104, 119, quoted in Barber, Book of
Democracy , 321.
This definition is drawn from a RAND study: Anderson, Shapiro,
Bikson, and Kantar, "The Design of the MH Mail System"
(N-3017-IRIS, RAND, December 1989).
This work was conducted by Mark Lottor of Network Wizards in
Menlo Park, California, and John Quarterman of Texas Internet
Consulting in Austin, Texas.
The Economist (August 19, 1995), 62.
I am indebted to a RAND study for much of the information that
is cited in this essay: Anderson, Bikson, Law, and Mitchell,
"Universal Access to E-mail: Feasibility and Societal Implications"
(MR-650-MF, RAND, October 1995).
Nicolas Negroponte, "Affordable Computing," Wired
Magazine (July 1995), 192.
All Rights Reserved.