Netscape stock (fwd)

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Mon, 11 Sep 1995 23:18:55 -0400

Recently, at two different conferences, I have heard two keynote speakers
warn that powerful economic forces are threatening our traditional role as
purveyors of information and midwives to the genesis of knowledge. Such
thinking begins with the raw popularity of the Internet. Take, for example,
the following remarkable bit of news about the success of NetScape:


Netscape Communications released its first offering of public stock last
week, but if you were planning to get in early you're already too late.
The initial plan to release 3.5 million shares at $11 was raised to 5
million shares at $28 but they all went to insiders. On opening day the
demand was as high as 100,000,000 according to one broker who called
Netscape the "rookie of the year." After 45 minutes on the market the
price was $74.75. By the end of trading on Friday 8/11 it had settled at
$52. All this before the company has earned a profit. A daily graph of
Netscape stock on the most recent trading day is available at:
For more information and some quotes see Webster at:

If we add to such popularity the possibility of comprehensive online
instruction, of which there are already some early examples, this threat
begins to seem quite real. The question is, how do we respond? How do we
begin to change our institutions in response so that what we most value
survives? What kind of a virtual world do we want to see?