"When I'm online, I'm alone in a room, tapping on a keyboard, staring at a cathode-ray tube. I'm ignoring anyone else in the room. The nature of being online is that I can't be with someone else. Rather than bringing me closer to others, the time that I spend online isolates me from the most important people in my life, my family, my friends, my neighborhood, my community."
CLIFF STOLL is an astrophysicist and the author of Silicon Snake Oil (1995) and The Cuckoo's Egg (1989).
There's certainly a need, as people get caught up in the excitement of all this stuff, to have someone who can take the opposing viewpoint and point out, in some cases, correctly, how, 'hey, it's still all fairly hard to use and still fairly expensive. Let's not use sight of what was good about the previous ways of doing things.' There's definitely a role there and I think he's done very well positioning himself for that devil's advocate-type role. Sometimes I think he underestimates how, over the next few years, the industry will do a very good job getting rid of some of the limitations he criticizes. His book, Cuckoo's Egg, was my favorite of his two books.