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FW: <nettime> Hackers: the political heroes of cyberspace + URL t arget
T.R.Jordan on 13 Mar 2001 15:41:42 -0000


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FW: <nettime> Hackers: the political heroes of cyberspace + URL t arget for NeTstrike


Just some quick responses. The article Armin Medosch refers to wasn't
written by 'us', somehow I don't think we can be held responsible for not
presenting a seminar as a Guardian journalist thought it might be.

> It only showed what happens when you let loose English University 
> lecturers/Professors of sociology with a left leaning mind on issues 
> such as hacktivism. It also should be noted that these academics, 
> one Paul Taylor and a Tim Jordan, his mate, have a possibly (more 
> or less) lucrative book deal in the pocket, for a book on, guess 
> what, Hacktivism. 

Sadly our book is unlikely to make us much money, though it might gain us
kudos on academia. Sorry you didn't bother to read the publicity we
concocted as it noted we were sociologists. Would you have preferred we
didn't tell you we are writing a book about hacktivism? 

> Moreover, with the exception of Caroline Basset, who gave a 
> reasonably serious talk about hacking and gender and was the 
> only panelist showing a fair degree of intellectual honesty, 
> panelists, 

I agree about Caroline giving a good talk but on what basis were the rest of
us dishonest? This is just old-fashioned flaming, no content, no basis just
abuse. 

including "electrohippie" Paul Mobbs, seemed to have 
> agreed on the idea, that "old style hackers" were closet 
> technophiliacs with no interest at all besides showing off 
> their skills 
> in manipulating unix-based operating systems, whereas Hacktivists 
> were the brand new hip and politizised global counter cultural 
> avantgarde. This was underlined by Mr.Taylor quoting Naomi Klein 
> at least 10 times (in a declarative way) and repeated onslaughts on 
> the apolitical "old hackers".

Hmmm, quoting Naomi Klein means an argument is wrong? I agree that there are
problems with her work but quoting her doesn't mean someone is wrong. I'm a
bit puzzled about how you got this opposition of old hackers and
hacktivists. I took Paul Mobbs to be saying there is little distinction
between the two (You can see his occasional paper on this at
http://www.gn.apc.org/pmhp/ehippies/archive/papers/occasional-03-ica-h.html)
I said several times that there are strong links between the two, but unless
you are denying that hacktivism began in the mid-1990s with strong roots
back earlier, then I can't work out what you mean.

> So all in all, we are faced with a new threat, much worse than 
> net.art, Hacktivism becoming the latest media item of affection and 
> people like THEM becoming known as leading protagonists in this 
> oh so very exciting field where technology, art and politics merge...

Gosh, you've only just noticed the media interest in hacktivism? As for 'us'
becoming the experts, do you mean only the actual activists have anything to
say? But surely you mean only people who agree with you have anything to say
as Paul Mobbs is an activist? Somehow I think hacktivism will survive our
interest.

Have a nice day,
Tim

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