1 Cornell was the man who really built the national information superhighway, once he figured out how to put glass insulators atop wooden poles for his client Samuel F.B. Morse; 24 May 1994 was the 150th anniversary of the media stunt ("What Hath God Wrought?") with which they trumpeted their project. For the tale, prophetic and familiar all at once, of the rush to built that superhighway, see Carleton Mabee, The American Leonardo (New York 1943).

2 See I. Hadot, Arts libèraux et philosophie dans la pensèe antique (Paris 1984).

3 Compare for example the first and second editions of Mortimer Adler's How to Read a Book in this regard: between 1940 and 1972 the eloquent pages (which I devotedly cribbed for a high school salutatory address a quarter century ago) on the Great Books and good citizenship were diluted into an unmemorable suggestion that through the Great Books lay the path to personal fulfillment.

4 One transient advantage of the traditional codex book comes into relief in this situation: I like to use them because I have a lot of other information stored in the same way, and there is efficiency in familiarity. For now, no such standard form helps you navigate electronic information and so each new product like this still requires acquisition of new skills and leaves you feeling a less than fully competent reader.

5 Here Lanham's argument dovetails with a book he does not cite, G.G. Harpham, The Ascetic Imperative in Culture and Criticism ([Chicago 1987), which is excellent on the persistence of forms of late antique ideology in the most unlikely modernist and postmodernist places. The trope returns, with no citation of Harpham anywhere that I can see, in William E. Rogers, Interpreting Interpretation: Textual Hermeneutics as an Ascetic Discipline (University Park, Pa. 1994).

6 This is no organized claque, but the apologetic program is clear, from the deliberately jarring book- titles of Kenneth Burke and Wayne Booth -- there is a similar provocation in Lanham's repeated analysis of rhetoric as "the economics of attention" -- to Brian Vickers' In Defense of Rhetoric (Oxford 1988); lightest-hearted on such studies, but still very serious, is Donald McCloskey's Rhetoric of Economics (Madison, Wisc., 1985), a devastatingly funny and insightful examination of the way metaphorics and even narratology can help interpret the most forbiddingly pseudo- mathematical of economists' screeds.

7 That case can be made philosophically, as by Richard Popkin in his History of Skepticism from Erasmus to Spinoza (Berkeley 1979) and more recently in his The Third Force in Seventeenth-Century Thought (Leiden 1992), where he pursues a long investigation into the ways rationalism and irrationalism alike were seventeenth-century reactions to the frightening prospect of the revival of ancient academic skepticism and the failure of organized religion to hold the bulwarks against a nihilist alternative. The same argument against the rationalist pretensions of modernity has also now been made with rollicking polemical verve by John Ralston Saul, Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West (New York 1992).

8 See now Joseph Levine, The Battle of the Books (Ithaca 1991), for an impressive reading of that conflict with a good sense of the relevance of our own contemporary concerns.

9 Peter Brown's most recent book, Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity (Madison, Wisc., 1992), makes good reading when we try to consider that past and its possibilities, inasmuch as he takes a distinctively post-modern, post-Marrou approach to the realities of education and power.

10 So we regularly refer to it, but the sign over the door is more venturesome: Annenberg School of Communications Arts and Sciences.

11 In an article on "Classics" in the Encyclopedia of the American Left (New York, 1990, one of the endless series of encyclopedias -- Penn owns 53 so far and more are in preparation -- with which Garland Publishers achieves the capitalist dream); I know the article from its reprinting in the spring 1994 newsletter of the Women's Classical Caucus.

12 The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (Minneapolis 1984), xxiv. It is worth remembering that this early (to the keyword "postmodern?" the Penn library OPAC proposes 637 matches in reverse chronological order, of which Lyotard's book in the original edition is item number 628) brief for the postmodern stance was written as a commissioned government report by the Conseil des Universitès of the government of Quebec.