Outline: What Your Children are Doing on the Information Highway

  1. Who the Hell is Jerry Stratton?
  2. Introduction
  3. FAQ
  1. Can’t get there from here
    Information Backroads
    The information highway is still far from paved.
    The New Literacy
    In the 1700s, thousands of people learned to read solely to get at Thomas Paine’s radical writing. What does today’s Internet have in store for the mass of people trying to get on-line just for the dirty pictures?
    Internet World
    The May, 1994, San Francisco Internet World convention. What does the Internet and the future look like to convention-goers?
    The History of the Information Highway
    How did a bunch of swinging apes go from the trees to the information highway?
    The History of the World Wide Web
    And why do politicians hate the web as much as slaveholders hated writing?
    Living in a World of Text
    Despite all the hype about full-motion video and sound, the Internet remains a text-only communications medium, lacking even italics and multiple typefaces. How do we communicate in such an impoverished environment?
    Is There Anybody Out There?
    Some people on the net use it as one big party line, ringing people at random at three in the morning.
    Go West, Young Men!
    Building an Internet business.
    A New Language
    How does the language of the net affect what gets done on the net?
    Worms, Bugs, and Viruses: Lime Disease on the Information Sidewalk
    Look both ways before crossing this highway.
    On the Internet, no one knows who you are except by what you type. Some people even lie about their gender. How do you tell the good guys from the bad guys when you can’t see their hats?
    I Need Drugs!
    Searching for drugs on the infobahn.
    Rebel Without a Modem
    How does America’s love of rebels affect the cyberspace cowboy?
  2. The Kinder Gap
    Boys in the Virtual Attic
    During Aerosmith’s World Tour of Cyberspace, I managed one of the auditoriums. The auditorium fell to dust twice during the event. It took me far less than three days to rebuild it.
    English Addicts and Saudi Gamers
    The electronic frontier expands our circle of contacts far beyond our physical world.
    The Joy of Publishing
    Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one. A computer is a press, and the Internet is a delivery truck going straight to twenty million doors, and, in the future, every door.
    Brave New Word
    It’s not print that’s dead. It’s printers.
    Exercising Control Through Anarchy
    There is no central control on the net. The only control we have is that which we exercise ourselves.
    Natural Law
    Some truths really are self-evident, and one of those is that people will talk when they want to talk. But what happens when they say it in Texas, live in Canada, and someone in Iran doesn’t like it?
    Culture Shock
    What effects can a global Internet have on an individual’s sense of culture, and what can societies do about it?
    Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
    Cryptography is the assault weapon of the Internet.
    Faceless on the Net
    They’re called ‘anonymous remailers’, and they allow people to write letters and post articles without revealing their identity. Or at least, that’s the idea. The general consensus is that they aren’t very secure, but they say a lot about the culture of the Highway.
    The Underground Highway
    The Internet is not the only international decentralized computer network.
    Cerebus the Gopher
    Cerebus the Gopher is my personal Internet site, dedicated to comic books, role-playing games, and information about drug prohibition, as well as a bit of information on gun control and other politics of personal freedom.
    Usenet is the AM radio of the information highway. When people talk about the discussion groups on the net, they’re usually talking about Usenet.
    What About Alt.Sex?
    Happiness is a warm puppy.
    As uncontrolled as Usenet is, the ‘alt’ discussion groups take anarchy to new heights—or lows.
    The City of God
    Will the infobahn bring people together in peace, or in war? Will the global village be utopia, or Bosnia?
    Say You Want a Revolution?
    What is all this talk about revolution on the net?
    There are those who claim that we are very close to throwing out paper money entirely. How does electronic cash fit into the information highway?
    You’re Paying For It, Sucker
    Just what does this ‘highway’ metaphor mean, anyway?
    The Generation Gap
    As technological change speeds up, the generation gap deepens into a full-blown cultural war.
    The Pinball Wizard
    Game companies have more money than researchers. Children’s toys have always been on the cutting edge of computers, and remain on the cutting edge of the Internet.
  3. InfoShok
    Guerilla Semiotics
    A well-educated electorate, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arguments, shall not be infringed.
    Information Media
    Can the traditional news services adapt to the information age?
    The Internet Library Today
    The Internet is a library of information provided by people with an ax to grind. But it’s only useful if you know how to use it.
    Information has been called the third source of power, after violence and money. In the information age, does the power of the pen eclipse the power of sword and diamond?
    The Internet Board of Control
    The Internet and the New World Order.
    The Library of the Future
    As near as I can tell, the “net of the future” is a Santa Claus that’s supposed to give us whatever we want whenever we want it. But can it really be that simple?
    The Information Promise
    What was it Peter Parker said? “With great power comes great responsibility.”
    I Sing the School Electric
    There is no institution more devoted to distributing and creating information than compulsory and voluntary schooling. What happens to our once proud schools if the infobahn passes them by?
    Pushing the Envelope
    What can the infobahn of today give us now?
    Internetizens expect instant reactions. What kind of a voting and polling system await us on the infobahn?
    The InfoPoor
    What happens to people who don’t have an address on the information highway?
    MUSHing the Electronic Frontier
    What is the state of virtual reality on the text-based net?
    Murder in Cyberspace
    In which Balder raises his staff; a Guest sleeps in Valhalla; Viking learns to spit; IL stands for IsraeL; and a beginner is not a dunce.
    Do Not Bend, Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate
    Man serves computers as if they were gods, and defers to their judgment in all things. But the more advanced they get, the more mistakes they make.
    Alpha, Beta, Gamma
    When you buy software, and increasingly, even computers, you’re volunteering to help the software company fix any problems that occur while you’re using it. And problems are guaranteed to occur. It’s in your license.
    American Intifada
    Why does the Internet keep showing up in discussions of revolution and counter-revolution?
    Another Lost Soul on the Information Highway
    Sex on the net. It’s all here in black and white. Well, text. Just like a newspaper.
    Junk Mail
    The Internet is a junk mailer’s wet dream. What’s going to happen with junk mail when we get it delivered straight to our computer?
    It’s funny to say that television is addictive, but it isn’t really a joke. The Internet is at least as addictive as television.
    A Wake on the Internet
    The Internet is a world of communities as strong and as close as any community in the so-called “real” world.
    Good News: You don’t need to know this shit!
    You don’t need to know how to program computers in order to use them. You shouldn’t need to know anything more about computers than you know about your car.
  4. Why don’t we do it in the road?
    Timed Obsolescence
    Everything that I tell you in this section will be out of date by the time you read it.
    What You Need
    What do you need to have in order to drive onto the infobahn?
    What You Want
    What are you going to want once you get to the infobahn?
    Navigating the Net
    The Internet is a mess. There is no organization. How do you find what you need?
    Serving Up
    What do you need to know if you want to publish something on the Internet?
  5. Internet Death Imminent: Film at Eleven
    Federal Government: Exit, Stage Left
    The privatization of the American net has now been accomplished. The obituaries were premature.
    Pileups on the Infobahn
    What happens when you’re driving along the information highway and the power goes out?
    Torn Between Two Lovers
    The theme for the 1995 World Conference on Computers in Education was Liberating the Learner. But liberating from what? From the people at the conference: from the teacher, and from the school.
    Frontiers are for Children
    The infobahn is a completely new way of organizing our world. Our friends and acquaintances do not have to be the people who live near us. We find this an odd way of life, but our children will not.
    Internet Farm
    Science promised man power. But, as so often happens when people are seduced by promises of power, the price exacted in advance and all along the path, and the price actually paid, is servitude and impotence.—Joseph Weizenbaum
    The sole certainty is that tomorrow will surprise us all.—Alvin Toffler
  1. Who the Hell is Jerry Stratton?
  2. Introduction
  3. FAQ