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Esther is the smartest woman I know. She would rather have me say she is one of the five smartest humans I know, which I could also say. But I'll stick with calling her the smartest woman I know because there is something about the combination of that kind of intelligence and femininity which is still too rare in the computer field. There is a quality to her insight that is not masculine and is incredibly powerful as a result.

(John Perry Barlow)

Esther Dyson

The Pattern-Recognizer

"A new kind of community, not a culture, is coming. The difference between a culture and a community is that a culture is one-way - you can absorb it by reading it, by watching it - but you have to invest back in a community. Absent this return investment, it's not really a community. People will be investing in sharing content and sending messages to each other, in spending time together, and, in part, that's what builds these communities."

Unique Esther is, living without a telephone at home, refusing to drive a car, spending much of her life in transit, on airplanes, in hotels, and in swimming pools, carrying around her world in canvas tote bags. During the '80s I attended a number of conferences where Esther could be seen before sunrise in the pool, swimming back and forth, back and forth, hour after hour, still a daily regimen. Sometimes up early, I would sit and watch her swim, wondering to myself, What is she thinking about? What is she swimming toward, or away from?

ESTHER DYSON is president of EDventure Holdings and editor of Release 1.0. Her PC Forum conference is an annual industry event.