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Chapter 1
When in Cyberspace...

The word "etiquette" means "the forms required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be required in social or official life." Etymologically, it comes from the French word for "ticket." If you know the etiquette for a particular group or society, you have a ticket for entry into it.

To get along in any given society, we're told, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." But what do you do when Rome is both invisible and divided into dozens of different ethnic neighborhoods, each with its own customs? This Rome, of course, is cyberspace -- the mass consensual hallucination in which humans all over the planet meet, converse, and exchange information. (Endnote #1)

When you send email to your boss, you're in cyberspace. You're in cyberspace when you log into CompuServe or Prodigy, or when you post an article to USENET news. You're in cyberspace when you download a nifty utility or an addictive game from a public server or bulletin board.

In some ways, "cyberspace" is a bad term, because it sounds so mysterious. You're probably not hallucinating when you send an email note


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