My name is Thom Gillespie, and I am your maitre d'Igital for the Cafe TECHNOS. When I'm not serving up food for thought, I direct the MIME program in digital entertainment technologies in the Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University ( ).

For the past 20 years, my life has revolved around art, community, education, and technology, first slightly north of the Arctic Circle in the Inuit village of Kivalina in Alaska working for the University of Alaska's X-ceed program; then finishing a Ph.D . at the University of California Berkeley in Information Studies; on to working as an information scientist for the United Nations slightly south of the Equator in Central Java; and now teaching newMedia design at IU in Bloomington, Indiana. Always there has been a constant weave of art, community, education, and technology in every thing I've done.

Twenty years ago, the weave was less technology and art and more community and education. Ten years ago, the weave became more technology and art. Today it seems to have all come together in this multimedia smorgasbord we call the Net. Computers have comp letely morphed from typewriter-like instruments for word processing and spreadsheeting to communication portals where we keep in touch and learn at a bewildering rate. Some of us may have G3s and P2s the same way past generations had V8s and Turbocams - but it is the simple Web page that counts for who we are on the Net. The Web page is about looking good and attracting attention; the Web page is about art ... community, education, and technology.

In the mid-1960s, Marshall McLuhan said that the content of every new medium is an old medium, at least until the new medium figures out its uniqueness. So, the initial content of photography was painting; film was theater; and TV was film. Today we talk about bookmarks, Internet radio and webTV. We are, as McLuhan also said, "driving through the rear-view mirror" - which leads me to the purpose of CaféTECHNOS.

It is not about forecasting or predicting the future - I haven't clue how to do that. Café TECHNOS is about nowcasting, knowing what is happening now by looking at interesting folks combining art, community, education, and technology in interestin g ways. Café TECHNOS will be "in print" but more importantly, it will be online in an expanded version that will allow you to complete this fine dining experience by adding your point of view to the stew. One benefit of this new medium is that you will always have the last word, just as fast as you can boot up the email machine and send in a note. Please join us in the Café for this issue's Special du jour at