R. A. Hettinga on 24 Jan 2001 06:26:53 -0000

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Re: <nettime> The End of an Era: the Internet Hits Ground

[This post has spawned a discussion on another list to which it was
forwarded. The posts, forwarded back to nettime, have been digested here.]

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Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 08:21:36 -0800
From: Somebody
To: "R. A. Hettinga" <rah@shipwright.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> The End of an Era: the Internet Hits Ground

I would add to <Other Somebody's :-)> cogent thoughts that
a) I do not think the author has a shred of evidence for this
    claim, and there is substantial counter evidence.
b) The Madison Avenue nature of the dotcom mania was
    simply not conducive to a complex innovation such as
    anonymous emoney.  What's the brand image?  What
    are the demographics of the customer base?  And what's
    the tag line? ("The new way to launder your kiddie porn,
    drug dealing and terrorist money!  Safe for cybercriminals
    in any jurisdiction!".)  It just didn't fit the zeitgeist.

<le Snippage...>
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Message-Id: <p0501044bb6936241f853@[]>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 11:37:51 -0500
To: Digital Bearer Settlement List <dbs@philodox.com>, dcsb@ai.mit.edu,
        cryptography@c2.net, nettime-l@bbs.thing.net
From: "R. A. Hettinga" <rah@shipwright.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> The End of an Era: the Internet Hits Ground

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Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 23:54:33 -0800
From: Somebody
To: "R. A. Hettinga" <rah@shipwright.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> The End of an Era: the Internet Hits Ground

What a crock.

The "dotcom madness" was a Madison Avenue phenom. It was using graphic
arts and kewl scripts to make websites "sticky", then renting ad space on
those sites, then developing banner blipverts, counting clickthroughs,
producing multimillion dollar superbowl TV ad campaigns, breathlessly
promoting companies and feeding the hype to the "news" media, dealing the
investment bankers in to monetize the whole thing.  It was a truly amazing
engine to see -- more like a tornado or a tropical storm which kinda sucks
energy out of the environment and builds in strength.  Everything was
working together, and I've got to believe a bunch of advertising
executives have beautiful new yachts on Long Island Sound.  Then the music

As part of the Madison Avenue circus, it was necessary to repeal a few
basic laws of economics -- or should I say engage in a willing suspension
of disbelief.  But when the houselights came back up, it was clear that
the sets were painted flats, not Camelot.  Revenue, cashflow,
margins...all came back into focus.

But let us not throw out the revolution with the broken down dotcom ad
campaign.  Toysrus, Barnes&Noble, Schwab, and WalMart may be showing that
clicks and mortar is effective, but it is likewise in- conceivable that
they could ignore eToys, Amazon, Etrade or Buy.com. The ecommerce
revolution is in full swing.  And don't mistake all the stupid internet
laws (ban gambling site access, DMCA, the Hague Convention, kiddie
filters) for a resurgence of the Nation State.  It is simply the
incoherent babbling of increasingly irrelevant legislative and executive

The internet is still different.  The scent of upheaval is still in the
air. You can hear Yankee Doodle playing somewhere close to hand.

<Snip of Death...>
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R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah@ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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