Boom Box Technology & Sociology10/3/2000; 10:09:26 AM 'On any time line that describes this phase of capitalism, you would have to include (in addition to Nov. 9, 1989) April 4, 1994 (birthday of Netscape), Nov. 10, 1994 (birthday of Amazon.com), May 5, 1996 (birthday of eBay) -- and Aug. 4, 1997. Aug. 4, 1997, was the beginning of the end of another socialistic force in American life: the mass market. Forty years from now when you have your grandson on your knee and he asks you, "Grandma, how did 50 million Americans ever let themselves be talked into buying the same mouthwash?" you will say, "Well, you have to know how things were before Aug. 4, 1997."'Granted, this isn't exactly about the Internet, but it's strongly related to the same basic trends.