G.H. HOVAGIMYAN on 15 Feb 2001 15:57:05 -0000

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RE: <nettime> Technology, the double-edged sword

Geert Lovink wrote:

The question for me would be why passions in the US about a potentially
dangerous future technology are so high whereas corporate-governmental
takeover of the Internet right now is drawing so few crowds. Can only the
future and past be full of horror, not the present?

GH replies:

The American mythos/ psyche has to do with the individual and
individuality. A different part of our collective psyche in America is
fundamentalist religion and Utopian communities. The USA was created
without kings. Business is as important as government here. What you see
as a corporate takeover of a collective social space we see as a form that
has matured and doesn't need government sponsorship.

The fear of nano tech on the other hand challenges our mythos of both the
individual and religious fundamentalism. It also speaks to the issue of
human suffrage over which we fought a brutal civil war.  Every school
child learns the preamble to the constitution of the US. It says," We hold
these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and they
are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights; among these are
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. " 

Somehow nano tech threatens that whole idea. The telephone system, of
which the internet is simply an agreed upon sequence of switching
protocols is controlled by governments throughout the world.  The issue in
the US is not government and corporate control of the internet. The
important issue is broadband and wireless and who controls those delivery
systems. The internet as we know it will continue to exist and may
actually serve as a haven for free communication and dissent while the
corporations build their broadband product delivery systems.

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