On Sept. 28, cultural icons Tracey Ullman, Roger Ebert, Stan Lee, Mike Figgis, Brenda Laurel and Jerry Harrison appeared at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco to discuss the fusion of arts, entertainment and technology in a provocative modern-day salon, "From Degas to dot-com." The event, sponsored by Salon.com and Lexus, was emceed by Ben Stein, host of Comedy Central's "Win Ben Stein's Money."
In this first excerpt, attending artists and writers try to define what the Internet is and what it should be -- communication or commerce? Next, the panelists discuss whether porn peddlers are the driving force behind New Media. And lastly, the conversation moves to public and private influence on the Web -- does the Internet need a PBS?
Listen to "From Degas to dot-com," the second annual celebration of Salon's weekly profile series "Brilliant Careers."