NY Times and The Internet

Una Smith una at yale.edu
Wed May 19 10:09:08 EST 1993


There have been regular mentions of the Internet in the Business
Section of the NYTimes for months now, particularly with respect
to plans by the telephone companies (and cable operators) to get a 
piece of the action.  And every week in the Science Times section
there is an ad for a free initial account from an Internet access
provider.

But the most striking publicity has been AT&T's new ad campaign with
Tom Selleck doing the voice over, and images of busy people:  popping
cards containing their complete medical records from their wallets into
slots and having X-ray images and text appear on a computer screen; 
holding real-time video telephone calls;  attending a conference via
computer while lounging in a beach house in a remote tropical place. 
At the end Tom says something like: "you can have all these things,
and AT&T will give them to you." 

The Internet is like the proverbial elephant, surrounded by blind men: 
each one, wishing to possess it, declares what it *is* and assumes that
possession will follow from understanding.  But, just as the proverb
tells about the elephant, the Internet is more complex than any of us
realize (or want to admit), and has a life of its own.


      Una Smith      Biology Department       smith-una at yale.edu
                     Yale University
                     New Haven, CT  06511



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