Vital Signs

Infomercial: An Algorithm for the Web

News Item: "Al Gore helped lead the federal response to Y2K, hut that doesn't mean his own Internet operations went hug-free. The computer glitch took a tiny bite out of Gore's campaign Web site. The damage came inside his "virtual town hall," where a message from a supporter was dated January 3, 19100. . . . Gore's campaign . . . said it wasn't exactly a major glitch, even for the man who once claimed to have invented the Internet" (Associated Press, January 3).

The following "position paper" was also found on Vice President Gore's campaign website on January 3, 19100.

Americans have enjoyed the service economy (*Thank*You*Very*Much *TM) for some years, and now that we are all being served and serviced, it has been decided to fast-forward to the information economy.

Naturally, the *T*Y*V*M*TM economy demanded a large degree of inyerface with other people—serving, being served, servicing, providing services—while the information economy will not. But in this age of AIDS, perhaps that is not for the worse. Truth to tell, the *T*Y*V*M*TM was becoming somewhat strained. People had already begun "cocooning." "White flight" had evolved into "flight," period. From the service economy to a relationship with one's server, we now deserve the Internet.

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