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Editor's Corner

We live in interesting times. As I write these words, there are major challenges to the integrity of our field from a number of fronts: social sciences at the National Science Foundation--including archaeology and anthropology--have been deemed to be of no value and have been labelled as "politically correct" by a now-powerful and influential congressman; the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation has been slated for elimination; and significant reductions in funding for historic preservation activities have been recommended for the National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other federal agencies. By the time you read this, many of these recommendations will have been resolved for good or ill, and I can only hope that you feel you have done everything in your power to influence your legislators to minimize the effects of these actions. I know SAA has long sought to educate elected representatives and the public about the value of archaeology and historic preservation. But given the portents from Washington, I feel much like Steve Lekson, who asks elsewhere in these pages why knowledge of our past has been so curiously diminished and undervalued by our fellow citizens and further speculates how we can rebuild for the public that sense of excitement and wonder that archaeology has for many of us. As archaeologists know perhaps better than anyone, while nothing lasts forever, there is yet intrinsic intellectual and cultural value in what we do. Perhaps one of the lessons to be learned from these times is that each of us must find our own place, our own niche, from which we can validate our service and scholarship to those who seek to cripple, through either ignorance or ideology, our ability to learn about the past.

We now have the SAA Bulletin on World Wide Web (WWW). While I would like to take credit for this, the hard work to get it online must be credited to John Kantner and Doug Kennett, graduate students in anthropology at UCSB, who got tired of my complaint that the Bulletin was not yet up on the Web and decided to remedy it. To read it, you must have true Internet access, a SLIP or PPP-type account, and a Web client like Mosaic or Netscape (for graphical-interface users) or Lynx (for text-based users). To access the SAA Bulletin with one of these Web clients, you must know its address (or url, universal resource locator):

http://www.sscf.ucsb.edu/SAA Bulletin/

Type it exactly as you see it. Once there, you may save the url as a bookmark, and return to the Bulletin with ease. The WWW version of the Bulletin doesn't quite match the printed version yet. Well be experimenting over the next few issues with a number of products to produce an exact copy in electronic form. We will also continue to support the gopher version of the Bulletin for readers without access to the Web. As always, I appreciate your comments. Good reading!


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