Communities on the 'Net

New communities are being built today. You cannot see them, except on a computer screen. You cannot visit them, except through your keyboard. Their highways are wires and optical fibers; their language a series of ones and zeroes.

Yet these communities of cyberspace are as real and vibrant as any you could find on a globe or in an atlas. Those are real people on the other sides of those monitors. And freed from physical limitations, these people are developing new types of cohesive and effective communities - ones which are defined more by common interest and purpose than by an accident of geography, ones on which what really counts is what you say and think and feel, not how you look or talk or how old you are.

The oldest of these communities is that of the scientists, which actually predates computers. Scientists have long seen themselves as an international community, where ideas were more important than national origin. It is not surprising that the scientists were the first to adopt the new electronic media as their principal means of day-to-day communication.

I look forward to a day in which everybody, not just scientists, can enjoy similar benefits of a global community.

By Mitchell Kapor <>

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