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<nettime> Lachlan Brown [4x]
nettime's digestive system on Wed, 30 Jan 2002 04:08:23 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Lachlan Brown [4x]

Table of Contents:

   tumble weed idles down the mainstreet of Nettime towards the chicken ranch at th
     "Lachlan Brown" <lachlan {AT} london.com>                                            

   Re: Tragedy of the Commons/Tragedy of Capital, some notes                       
     "Lachlan Brown" <lachlan {AT} london.com>                                            

   Bring me my Bow.                                                                
     "Lachlan Brown" <lachlan {AT} london.com>                                            

   The Tragedy of Capital                                                          
     "Lachlan Brown" <lachlan {AT} london.com>                                            


Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 12:20:38 -0500
From: "Lachlan Brown" <lachlan {AT} london.com>
Subject: tumble weed idles down the mainstreet of Nettime towards the chicken ranch at the end of town...


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Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 17:53:37 -0500
From: "Lachlan Brown" <lachlan {AT} london.com>
Subject: Re: Tragedy of the Commons/Tragedy of Capital, some notes

Re the Commons

Its important to make a distinction between 
American models for 'the commons' and British/Commonwealth takes on 'the commons'. 
The 'commons' in the American imaginary 
seems to be equated with 'the frontier-
middle landscape' transistion in Turner's Frontier Thesis. 

The notion of 'the commons' in Britain inflects, among other things a tradition of public service altrusim (and of course Internet can be understood only in terms of the translations of this British and Commonwealth public service altrusim in several different contexts.) 

If Internet governance is to employ 'the commons' as a metaphor in the management of 
change in Internet, then the several genealogies of 'the commons' as well as contemporary articulations of 'the commons' 
need to be known; to help inform one or two insightful, and one would hope foresightful, re-articulations of an idea of 'the commons' that might be cited in a combined social/natural contract.


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Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 16:34:53 -0500
From: "Lachlan Brown" <lachlan {AT} london.com>
Subject: Bring me my Bow.

I got a message to say that Hunsinger, Jones and Cubitt were involved in 'burning the evidence' over at AoIR. See Archives 24th -26th January, 2002  

Jones appears to be involved in "The Archive"
at The Library of Congress. Some of you may
recall the erasure of 

Of course, the whole point of my research 
publication was to tease out reaction. May
we now 'mark' the grave of History? 


- -----Original Message-----
From: "Lachlan Brown" <lachlan {AT} london.com>
Sent: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 16:24:19 -0500
To: air-l {AT} aoir.org
Subject: Bring me my Bow.

>was Re: my email archives

>>One day no doubt the world will mourn the >loss of my juvenilia. <cubitt>

>I doubt the world will mourn, Sean, the loss >of your ‘juvenilia’, as long as it did not 
>and does not impact the rights of others.

Turn yourself in Cubitt and stop babbling.
You are distracting, but then this is your
ideological function in the field of new 
media and digital culture, the purpose of 
my intervention in AoIR.

1. The Primary producer has a right to the fruits of his or her labour. We cite sources in scholarship for a range of reasons that I am sure scholars of AoIR would like to list.

2 Yes, erasure is an art of power. However the
trace of erasure leaves an impression that has permanance. My research has teased out instances far more remarkable than any you 
may presently have in mind. So, shut up
and let things unfold.

3. Contemporary Culture is a wee bit less
ephemeral than you might like it to be, matey. There are memories, there are histories and as I am sure you will dimly recall, there is foresight.

I shall introduce myself to the scholars of
AoIR. Shut up and sit at the back.

Lachlan Brown

>Hey Lachlan

>Yes but

1. there  are engines for the storage of our missives that we wot but
little of (I'm constantly ego-surfed by students checking my credentials
who then ingratiate themselves by quoting 'publ,ications' I never knew I
had, a common enough thing, and) as Cap'n Beefheart once said I'd like to
give my music away for free, it didn't cost anything where I got it from.
The internet is a self-archiving entity by nature, so why privatise memory
when it can be socialised?

2. the privilege of the personal archive reduces to one thing only: the
right to erase. Exercise of this right reveals only a hankering for a
pre-modern Enlightenment privacy. Unless of coursxe you are an Enron
executive, member of the unelected government of the USA, recovering
alcoholic in charge of genocide against the Palestinians or otherwise
disgraced person, in which case you have forfeited the right to be treated
with the usual ethical obligations reserved for mammals

3. The contemporary culture is intensely ephemeral. Those dull Derrideans
who wrte endless preambles to the foreward before the preface believe they
are writing in the sprit and style of the events they understand to be
a-foundational. Perhaps we shd on principle delete everything in the intray
on the principle that because it is in the intray it is obviously
out-of-date (incidentally a phrase which first appeared in popular
journalism circa 1896 . . . )

Now keep out of trouble, and delete this message


Sean Cubitt
Screen and Media Studies
Akoranga Whakaata P=FCrongo
The University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
New Zealand
T (direct) +64 (0)7 856 2889 extension 8604
T/F (department) +64 (0)7 838 4543
seanc {AT} waikato.ac.nz

Digital Aesthetics
The Dundee Seminars

was Re: my email archives

> I'm not quite sure what you mean by "archiving." <warschauer>

>anyone else archived all their incoming and outgoing emails, <hunsinger>

>How do we keep it secure (both in the 
sense of "private" and in the sense of "safe")? How do we think about it, if at all, right now? 
That is, I suspect we all have this sense of the "stuff" that we have 
on our disks and hard drives, but how does that intersect and 
interplay with how we feel about the box of letters we keep in the 
closet? Will we encrypt stuff, or keep it open? Will we erase some? <jones>

>One day no doubt the world will mourn the loss of my juvenilia. <cubitt>

I doubt the world will mourn, Sean, the loss of your ‘juvenilia’, as long as it did not 
and does not impact the rights of others.

Forgive me for crashing in, but a little 
bird told me I should take time out of my 
intervention in Nettime (I think I have pitched things about right over there), to
check to see what AoIR was doing under the
duress of contemporary cultural ‘events’ and
the impact of ‘emergency’ legislation.

 I sense unease.

This ‘e-mail archive’ thread reads a little 
like an annual general meeting of the ‘Intellect and Imagination Temperance Society’ and I would remind 
you four of your duties and responsibilities not merely as scholars, but 
as members of an international intellectual community. 

After seven or eight years in which questions of archival, catalogue, 
identity, access and availability of information and knowledge,
gender, ethnicity, uneven distributions of information, uneven 
accumulations of knowledge, new relations of distribution of 
media and communications and new relations of 
mediation in a tremendous cultural contest that 
cast new perspectives on the nature of governance, 
institution, scholarship, democracy, not to mention an economy 
led like a pig with a ring in its nose by the mere ‘idea of Internet’, 
you’d think we’d have got a little further along 
in an understanding of technology in contemporary 

What, one wonders, have you all been doing?

Yes, I kept all of my files and email communications 
1993-present. Saved, time-locked, stored, periodically. 
I thought this was a simple matter of research scholarship, 
quite in line with the Social Sciences Methods and 
Approaches course I took at Goldsmiths College as 
a requirement in undertaking PhD work. Given the 
intense contests already apparent in 1993-94 – 
perhaps rather more apparent then than they are now 
- -- around the meanings and governance of the technology, 
I would have been remiss in my scholarship to not do so. 

>>>It was easy to imagine a scenario in which, say, The National Security 
State employed archives to influence government, 
commerce and public opinion to help render compliance to the agenda 
of the National Security State, alternatively imagine a situation in which 
commercial or alternative interests employed these archives to the same 
end. Or rather, easy to anticipate the nature of a contest between these 
interests (it’s called “the pretzel debate” apparently’) and you, pretty much,
have something closely resembling contemporary culture…>>>


Lachlan Brown
Thirdnet Ltd

Cultural Studies
Goldsmiths College
University of London
Toronto: M.(416) 826 6937
         VM: (416) 822 1123
         lachlan {AT} london.com



Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 17:17:19 -0500
From: "Lachlan Brown" <lachlan {AT} london.com>
Subject: The Tragedy of Capital

There is no 'tragedy of the Commons'. 
On the contrary ‘the tragedy’ is not with 
'the commons', it is with the power 
relations and investments which 
throughout history have put the onus 
of 'the tragedy of capital' upon ‘the commons’.
 Familiar positionality, familiar enclosure, 
familiar hegemonic foreclosure. 
The commons are usually expected to pay 
for the tragedy of Capital. 
This 'tragedy of Capital' is presently 
being played out at a number of levels;
after all Western Capital has fucked the 
earth. The West is in knowing denial of this
fact. Islam is supposed to pay the bill?
It is carried out in Nettime around what 
is, essentially, a question on the nature 
of Property, intellectual or otherwise, the 
relationship of 'shareware + open source or 
let's simply call it ‘public service altruism’ 
often but not always supported by 
public service institutions  to ‘the market’. 
It is not a matter of  'public commonalty 
vs private property', it is a matter of finding
ways to make their interrelation make sense
taking into account the social and the natural 
contract to ensure a future for our earth and 
for ourselves.

This is the character of the present 
engagement or War between The National Security State and its Others. 

Lachlan Brown



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