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Re: <nettime> the architecture of survival
Jon Ippolito on Sat, 6 Oct 2001 05:23:31 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> the architecture of survival


To avoid the 'you are right and i am wrong' deadlock you foretold, let me focus my claim: I think that specific technologies can advance the cause of people worldwide in a way that's fairly independent of the details of their repression. There are plenty of decisions that require the "astute political and historical analysis and a clear sense of distinction" that you call for; whether to supply rebel leaders with stinger missiles is one of them. In an increasingly wired world, however, it's hard to be selective with who gets software; either it's openly distributed on the Internet or it's not. My personal opinion is that netcasting encryption software will do more good than harm.

And it's something that netizens in New York and Amsterdam can *do* something about. I'm incredibly grateful to street protestors and radio broadcasters brave enough to challenge repressive regimes--but my letter to Bush or $50 to Amnesty International isn't going to put a stinger missile in the hands of the guy standing up to a tank in Tiananmen Square. Brave people also tend to get themselves killed, a scenario that I'm reminded of every time I pass the firehouse on my New York street.

So I'm heartened by guys like Patrick Ball of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, who's out there in the trenches asking for a little PGP or PERL script to make a dent in repression from El Salvador to Sri Lanka:


(Thanks to Steve Dietz for the reference.) Is it naive to think a SQL statement can change the world? I hope not--it's one of the reasons I'm in this business.



>>> Andreas Broeckmann <abroeck {AT} transmediale.de> 10/5/01 4:47:13 AM >>>
<...> the kinds of conflicts
and struggles that jon is pointing to are, i would maintain, not won
through encrypted messages, but on market squares, blaring bill-boards,
radios and TV screens <...>

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