McKenzie Wark on Tue, 13 Jun 2000 20:34:32 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> [talk given at tulipomania dotcom]

Oh come on Ted, even you don't believe some of the things you
write on Nettime. 

There has indeed been a 'democratisation' if education in one sense.
More people get to do it than was the case 100 years ago. I'm all
for that. And all for extending it.

But who really benefitted? Did the class that produces intellectual
work really benefit? Or did institutions such as the universities,
and the commercialisers of academic publishing? I think the latter.

So its a question of rethinking the relation between the providers
of intellectual labour and the owners of the infrastructure of its
distribution. The deal is probably pretty much the same at the end
of the day for those in the process of acquiring an education. 

Got back to the time of Abelard, and those who work in universities
are much more independent of it. Their deal with the institution was
one of splitting the income stream, based on the institution's control
of the plant and equipment, and the intellectual's possession of
the 'text', and the vector of its dissemination. 

How did we lose out? How did we become trapped in sacrificial labour?
It;s worth asking, Ted. Worth asking. But the mould you're trying to
force it into isn't helping. 

The paradox of your slighting of my 'economistic' thinking is that it'is
the monopolists who benefit from it. 

Just had a small 'win', while composing this. A publisher just offered
a revised contract that doesn't ask for an assignment of all rights. 
All i did was ignore the earlier version and they offered reasonable
terms. Like the song says: "remember, you're not a slave."

Most writers i know are a wake up to all this. Its academics and artists
we have to work on...


"We no longer have roots, we have aerials."
 -- McKenzie Wark 

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