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A neo-luddite on the internet

Gertrude Himmelfarb is grateful for computers and CD-Roms, but fears the impact of the cyberspace revolution on the life of the mind. This is an edited extract

The chronicle of higher education

1st November 1996

On the subject of our latest technological revolution, cyberspace, I am a neo-Luddite. Not a true Luddite; my Luddism is qualified, compromised. I revel in the word-processor; I am grateful for computerised library catalogues; I appreciate the convenience of CD-Roms; and I concede the usefulness of the internet for retrieving information and conducting research. But I am disturbed by some aspects of the new technology-not merely by the much-discussed moral problems raised by cybersex, but also by the new technology’s impact on learning and scholarship.

Revolutions come fast and furious these…

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