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    • Whether the topic was D&D in the late 70s, or "hacking" in the early 70s or "end of the century" in the 1990s, it has been my observation that most of the news media fails to learn the inside story before they start reporting. Just as "hacking" became confused in the minds of the public with "cracking" due to the typical reporting and just as Y2K and "end of the century" were also misreported (Y2K began on January 1, 2000, the twentieth century ended on December 31, 2000) so it is also with this situation. Scientists often complain that after they release a scientific report that the news media completely botches the story and then the scientists have to explain that the report did not say what the media claimed that it said.

    • I'll just post a little old-fart rant about how people seem to forget that it was ignorance that killed the cat, and curiosity was framed. We live in a day when vast amounts of knowledge humanity has amassed is literally at our fingertips, almost instantly. And yet an average dictionary seems to be diminishing, and the very idea of looking something up seems baffling.

      Years back, I stumbled on a word "arcology" in one of Gibson's novels. None of dictionaries available to me helped (I think I might have tried an Altavista search, or this might be a false memory - if I did, it didn't yield anything). I couldn't find Mr. Gibson's email (apparently, he didn't have one then) so I emailed his comrade-in-arms, Mr. Sterling, at his W.E.L.L. address, and he politely and succinctly explained the word in a reply.

      English isn't my mother tongue, I just enjoy it and Gibson's prose as a great example of it, and was genuinely curious. Today, it would have taken me maybe 3 minutes tops to get the explanation. Where's the people curiosity gone to?