geert lovink on Thu, 19 Jul 2001 11:56:29 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> End of "Digital Nation" column

from: "Gary Chapman" <>
sent: Thursday, July 19, 2001 11:13 AM
subject: End of "Digital Nation" column

Dearest friends,

I'm sorry and sad to report that my syndicated Los Angeles Times 
column, "Digital Nation," has been permanently cut by the L.A. Times, 
as of today. This is not a surprise to me. The newspaper has been 
undergoing difficult financial constraints, and has cut back on its 
freelance budget first. The technology reporting generally has been 
severely constrained because of the downturn in that particular 
sector of the economy. Every publication in the U.S. has been 
experiencing the same thing.

I've been proud and honored to be part not only of a major U.S. 
newspaper, but also of an amazing community of people represented on 
this listserv. I started this listserv because I got tired of typing 
in all the addresses of people who wanted a copy of my column, but 
the thing grew and grew and grew to thousands and thousands of 
subscribers all over the world. I've been touched and moved by the 
messages I've received from subscribers who have invited me to their 
homes, who have arranged for speaking engagements, who have sent me 
valuable and fascinating feedback. For a few columns I received 
literally hundreds and hundreds of replies and commentary via e-mail; 
the column I wrote about replacing school textbooks with laptop 
computers generated over 800 e-mail responses.

I have asked the Times to supply me with ASCII text copies of all my 
columns since the first one in 1995. I will attempt to make these 
available online with a searchable index. My friend Willis Ware of 
RAND has also suggested I make the columns available on CD-ROM, and I 
will investigate that as well. (Thank you, Willis, for your gift of 
confidence.) I am also considering writing a book that will take on 
many of the themes of the "Digital Nation" column over the past six 
years. I need to balance that with other commitments I have in 
Austin, but it's a strong contender.

I cannot thank you enough, my subscribers, for all that you've given 
me over the past six years -- not just e-mail and feedback and 
invitations to spare bedrooms and so on, but mostly hope. For a 
variety of reasons, hope is in short supply in the world, and one 
takes a scrap of it wherever one can find it. You guys have given me 
more than any other person could hope to see in a lifetime. For that 
I am eternally and deeply grateful, as I send my heartfelt thanks out 
to Mexico, India, Italy, Croatia, Russia, France, Denmark, Sweden, 
Hong Kong, Korea, Africa, South America, Canada, Australia, and, of 
course, my countrymen and women in the United States.

Keep the faith, signing off for now,

-- Gary

Gary Chapman
LBJ School of Public Affairs
University of Texas
Austin, TX USA

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