Tiffany Lee Brown on Sun, 13 May 2001 15:42:28 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Ruins of a new economy

steve -- this is a lovely piece and i agree with many of its 
sentiments. however...

>  One minute you've got zip-drive
>techies pulling all-nighters amid their look-at-me-I'm-wacky workstations,
>and the next moment -- poof -- it seems so stale.

and ... so what? the dot-conomy was a trend, and we desperately need 
to kill trends so that we can create newer ones to consume, and then 
recycle the dead retro bits of the ones we've already offed. because 
that's how we do things 'round these parts. keeps the wheels in 

of course the whole thing seems stale. i guess this article felt like 
a tease: a delightful bit of nostalgic musing, but a tease. is it a 
call to action -- do you *really* want funeral pyres, do you *really* 
think the New Economy was an "unsustainable enthusiasm" on the order 
of a DIY beer kit?

the DIY beer kit mentality of the Internet will continue unabated, 
and will perhaps come to resemble its own original state again soon. 
the New Economy was just a random, moneygrubbing freakout that got 
dumped on top of a cultural phenomenon. it's important to make a 
distiction between the New Economy and the entirety of Net culture, 
along with its related '90s zeitgeist-fest.

>People left respectable publications
>and Wall Street firms to work at Web outfits with names like Suck and
> They stocked up on all this gear. But then it didn't fulfill the
>dreams, which were sweet and noble if a little unrealistic.

what were those people's dreams? since when is making a ton of money 
off of short-sighted investors a "sweet and noble" dream?

>Now we're at one of those pivot moments, when one fascination pales and
>the next object of our entrancement and contempt hasn't come into view.
>Let's take this end-of-decade moment to celebrate the
>American ability to come up with an endless series of impossible dreams.

and maybe we should instead celebrate the sight of the greed-monsters 
are slinking out of the building. now the cultural idealists and 
online communication addicts and fun-lovin' open-sourcing geeks can 
get back to the more idealistic illusions and the more interesting 
impossible dreams. there will be enough economic activity to support 
our infrastructure. there will still be a backbone without TheStreet 

there will be dorks like me slaving away pointlessly at webzines, 
just because that's what we do. there will be political activists, 
media activists, art hackers finding each other, letting the world 
know they exist -- thanks to this medium. there will be slobbering 
sex chats and pirated files of every conceivable sort. there will be 
a continuing explosion of MP3s and open source projects.

there will be dorks like all of us, stroking our real or imaginary 
beards and contemplating the words of wisdom spread far and wee on 
the Nettime list.... and none of this activity sounds particularly 
like a yellow smiley face button that went missing behind the bureau 
five years before and no one thought to look for it.


  Tiffany Lee Brown * Editrix, Signum*

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