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Doubts About Expanded Telecommunication Networks

The article "US Poised for New Telecommunications Era," Dec. 19, echoes the century-old belief that fundamental problems can be solved through mechanical ingenuity.But has the quality of our lives been increased by the deluge of paper from our fax machines? Are we a better people because we can dial direct from an airline seat at 40,000 feet?

One source in the article asserts that the biggest impact of the networks would be "on education and training." Will our students be better readers, writers, and thinkers as a result of the electronic gear in modern libraries? Unfortunately, too often mechanical short-cuts result in students' having less exposure to ideas.

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The siren call of "information, information, information" should be replaced with the more mature plea for "ideas, ideas, ideas." James Newbill, Yakima, Wash.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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