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<nettime> the dominion of nettime
bc on Fri, 22 Mar 2002 02:22:32 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> the dominion of nettime



  some write with blood. some with their tears. some use both.

  this post regards the ancient past of the internetwork and a few
  various subjects, interspersed, about recent posts. a directed
  text may likely follow, on a specific attribute of net.sabotage.

  one of the first questions pondered when encountering the depth
  and turbulence (and as a United Statesian), a whole reality apart
  from anything that had ever been encountered outside but brief
  mentions of vastly different perspectives, outside monocularist
  view pointing, well, i always wondered what a 'war on nettime'
  would be like. not an outside war, but one inside nettime. maybe
  there have been such things. seems possible, as with most lists.
  but it has always been opaque, 'the network' behind nettime, as
  with many lists, things are handed on, and held onto, and some
  of those tensions are for better and worse, silent and also deadly.

  regarding the cryptic posts of late, which it is curious how many
  are able to decipher the texts, the background, the stories and
  interconnections, the deep network so-to-say of nettime as a
  place online, over the years, and the interpersonal connections
  built up, and cultivated, harvested, and uprooted through years
  of online interactions, well, something seems off-kilter enough
  so that it is palpable, at least to one subscribe. the only words
  that can describe it from this point of view is that it is like one
  of the earliest questions about the international/global aspects
  of nettime, and its audience/participants. with so many ways of
  viewing things, if there is a diversity of views that will be dis-
  cussed, then it seems that during times of cultural conflict, these
  would come out in the text, in the relations between people. and
  to my great surprise, nettime has always been a place that has
  had a tranquil scholarly atmosphere. or that is how it felt to one
  person. versus more rough and tumble, unsophisticated takes on
  ideas, a certain latitude to certain writings, formal texts, and
  a great education which no school could ever replicated under any
  of the same conditions, in such a wide and open range of inquiry.

  yet that issue of war always sat in the last seat of the theater.
  or is it an opera paradigm these days. well, whatever it is, the
  curtain seems to have fallen down in the darkness, and the light-
  strips on the ground seem to be like guidance lights for people to
  choose their landing strips on the stage. well, just one way to
  demonstrate how one tries to rationalize posts that are so, well,
  inside, or like a 2nd-network, in the nettime domain. so it gets
  one to question what is going on. at least a few. maybe none, tho.

  with enough tranquility the pain can go away, the eyes shut, and
  one can sleep through it all. yes. but to try to understand what is
  now underway is quite difficult. it is hard to trust much of any-
  thing, anybody, any goals, ideas, ideals, people themselves. as
  years of conflict seems to have led to a private, behind-the-scenes
  resolution, but for some, they remain outside, even though that is
  such a passť concept. yet, if one could be allowed to architecturalize:

  - the nettime subscriber list -

  it was amazing to see the domains subscribed to nettime, not be-
  cause it listed who was on the list, but who was not. to a strange
  degree of absence. spookily so. somethin about it just does not add
  up, with all the issues talked about, from ICANN to Open Source to
  Globalisation, Anti-Globalisation, protests, war, ideas, all of it.

  long long time ago was going to write about regular visitors to a
  site that i assumed the visitors were coming from nettime posts,
  as that is where related ideas were posted. and they, in variety,
  always reinforced the gravity of writing oline about ideas; what
  you say online can and will be used against you in a court of law.

  the lawyers, big-city types of law firms, thousands of lawyers,
  global lawyer nets. then, strange types of media accounting firms
  which profile content, via trademark, copyright, and the like. and
  its infringement. also, any company that is mentioned in a post is
  likely to trot on by and take a look-see at where their good name is.
  so, lawyers, media accountants, and enforcers, and the clients of
  these. the media content bots are voracious. they come and sift
  through all keyword content for whatever Fortune 500 might be
  on the list, or an e-mail, which is linked-through to a user's site.
  and, as always, politics plays a role, as bad PR and bad press is
  just bad business, nothing to explain. and, so, any bad talk about
  a bad company will likely have guns-money-and-lawyers nearby.

  that was to be expected, probably so. sometimes post-Y2K there
  seemed to be an increased in monitoring, this type of content look-
  seeing, accounting, spreadsheeting of the image of an entity. not as
  a person, but as as machine. taking account of where things are at.
  booming business that. then, here came the surveillance companies,
  who are somewhere in the middle of the content and crime divisions
  of investigators of website content production and distribution. it is
  something like the DMCA or whatever the latest rulemaker legislates
  that so too, comes these commercial, for profit, enterpreneurs, so
  as to provide a valuable service for the company and its public image.

  all fine and good, sure. along with it, as always but more transparent,
  was the military surveillance of things deemed a bit off for a naive
  group of people to be discussing, less writing papers about, in any
  type of public forum, as it was unprecedented. the early internet,
  and its public nature, soon constricted enough so that such a piece
  of writing drew suspician, just for being written and distributed.
  or so it may seem. it may be the risk and reward of democracies
  freedom. one has to take a chance, and stand behind their decision,
  as it is of principle, etc etc. okay, sure. the veins fill with cool heat,
  as the liquid goes up the arm, hitting the brain like an ocean of peace.

  this too is a background network. something going on behind the scenes
  of the internetwork. if it could be posited there may be a background
  to nettime networks, so too, it might be posited, well, it is true in any
  case, that there is one to the internet, if one starts looking at logfiles
  of websites. those without websites will have to search for others logs
  that are kept public, so as to see how an IP address (your ISP most of
  the time) is shown in logs of websites that you visited. and likewise,
  for all of the actors and actresses above, so too, you can see how the
  most strange of visitors may show up. it is a type of signaling system.

  - signals intelligence -

  it is quite difficult to 'tell' anyone you are being surveiled, as it is a
  deeply encoded and tricky bit of psycho-logic. not many would believe
  unless, 1, they understood how you can tell, 2, they believe things that
  they may not want to believe, 3, there is ample evidence of correlation.
  and probably more than this, and more precise. in any case, if one has
  ever been surveilled, on the phone, say, and finds spam-that-is-not-spam
  in your mailbox hours later with the word emboldened in the e-mail, it
  can be a bit weird. weirder yet, when most everytime you are on the
  telephone, or outside, or writing e-mail, or using a search-engine, and
  some type of active feedback, a type of private communicae arrives that
  is out of the ordinary, yet directly related to a choice, do i stay 
or do i go.
  games. you know, politics. economics. the dirty nasty stuff of war and
  geopolitics. you know, when you write about such things and you get in
  a bit of a mixup, and this stuff beings happening, no one believes it, it is
  unprecedented, impossible. right? right, of course, certainly. no chance.
  ego. that's it. just someone, a competitor, needing attention, what a deficit.

  yet, there is something found in sending signals this way that is truly an
  illuminating thing. it is done in online forums through poetry, a type of
  chaotic abstraction, or just plain complex reasoning, that one really has
  to invest to understand. a lot of noise for very little signal though. in its
  opposite function, it is only the signal that matters. the keyword. the clue.
  the hint. it is a type of secretism. a way of saying 'i see you', or 'i know',
  or even: you will be killed. it can be a bit odd. if one would ever 
believe it.
  but luckily, nobody has too. it is opaque. and it is really not the 
point, that
  is all a waste, it is in larger fields, big picture planes, multiperspectival.

  yes. but then one day, a really strange thing happens. that background of
  the 'dark network', if one can temporarily use that as a descriptor, is also
  realized in nettime's dominion, in its own postings. and the readings seem
  to be sent for a private audience, a few dozen or hundred of the 2,500 who
  are subscribed to the list. it is like taking one's brain and 
turning it inside out.

  - dead end domain -

  a transformation seems to have occured in the surreality of the network, or
  so it is posited but not necessary to prove, just to state, here. 
and that is that
  what is to be assumed, trusted, known based on prior experience, is getting to
  be more and more difficult as the outside war gets crazier in pitch 
and tonality.

  a funny thing about logs. about lists. about e-mails. and ICANNism and WHOIS,
  how one looks up where and to who a domain (or internet address, like .com)
  is 'owned and managed' by. well, in that commercial and governmental dark.
  net, most often it is stated "we are a content surveillance and enforcement"
  network, etc. so you know what you are dealing with. the price of writing,
  so to say. that is, are you prepared to go to trial, face a judge, 
multimillion
  dollar lawyers, and jailtime should things not go your way. a choice to make.
  and so people post things. some may not think twice. others may, and post.
  others may not post, but read. and everyone waiting, watching and seeing.

  funny thing is, those dark networks sometimes are dead-enders. if one can
  use a covert analogy, it is like a domain name is a front-company, and one
  may go to a website that never loads, has no ICANN nor WHOIS or NSLOOKUP
  information on it. else, it may, but may be a ruse. like a stage set 
of making-
  believe, shaping perception. but in fact, it is a fake site. not 
unlike some of
  the posts that are on nettime lately. fake sites are being distributed. and it
  seems odd some may not know the 'parody', or great 'humor' involved. the
  irony is supposedly of brilliance, of this type of deception which is the same
  deception being used by its supposed equal and opposite force. both of power.

  for example, one e-mail address, a generic one that cannot be traced as it is
  never postede with, will be a dead-ender. pretty impossible unless you are
  on special terms with a company to find out who it is. the only way for the
  public to know is if you are a private person using that e-mail. and you tell
  a friend. and so the public may not know. but it is a safe bet to 
say that others
  do know you you are, dark networkers, so to say. thus, the word 'alias', as
  a pseudo-name or avatar, or persona, or listening device. whatnot. thing is,
  it is a ubiquitous technique. used mainly for surveillance, for 
better and worse.
  for example, in the deeply competitive and vicious academic world, it may be
  used as a way to find out what the open thinkers are doing, while 
plotting one's
  tactic and operations around what is perceived their weakness, giving their
  ideas away, sharing, being vulnerable, public, weak in way. easy to take down.

  but using the techniques of the surveillance companies, as trope, 
let's say, and
  doing art-investigations, and agitations, and sabotage and all the 
other dirty-
  tricks one might imagine the mysterious 'bad guys' to do, while the omnipotent
  artist, effete, fully engages without rules the reality they define 
before them,
  and find all the nooks and crannies of a domain, and make and break 
things as a
  way of learning, doing, teaching, and making a living. a lifestyle. 
a brand. idea.

  - domain as place -

  someone once challenged, rightly so, the validity of a website that is like a
  library as a community. i think in the end it is possible to agree, 
this can be
  so, if things develop a certain way. a list too. different types, by 
definition.
  a moderated list, say, its policies, versus an unmoderated list, 
with few rules.
  it is a type of applied philosophy. maybe even anarchism, aristocracies, olig-
  archies, plutocracies, democracies, communist, socialist, 
capitalist, and other
  forms of ownership variations are tested in all the experimentation of what
  way is best for the content being served. nettime seems to have one of the
  most contentious yet most engaging moderation scenarios i have seen. it is
  of a type of peer-review, it seems, and so has benefits that single moderation
  does not have. although, with such a list, it is a heavy load 
surely, for any who
  are involved to bear, as it is work to keep things, ideas, churning, 
active, here.

  not sure about the other 2,500 people, but list moderators are most times in
  a very difficult spot. that 'cannot please everyone all of the time' 
seems to apply,
  as complex, social, psychological, political, and etiquette 
questions come into play,
  and many more surely, in making a tough decision of what and how to 
post, or how
  to not post something. it takes time, energy, effort, and sometimes 
great backlash.
  yet, even if posts sometimes do not get through, oftentimes there is 
care to say
  why, and offer suggestions. the point being, there is a type of 
interaction between
  poster, moderators, and the list, the public. it can be looked at 
politically, solely,
  and become conspiritorial for some. but some posts are 
imponderables. things that
  are too difficult to figure out on the fly. and so it is rough work. 
having moderated
  lists for a while, it is easy to send things on that fit the domain, 
but others are a
  type of diplomacy, that is sometimes hard to address in an idea way. 
it takes effort.

  nettime has always seemed to have some aspect of feeling, or emotion. probably
  subdued. but maybe not a boarish fantastic andrenaline rushing spike 
viperous drool
  which makes everyone run around a fire in a circular line, chanting 
some secret
  chant to the methodological madness of a community in these very 
difficult times.
  look outside the computer window, as one does offline, and see and 
feel all of the
  pain, see the deaths, the anger, the naive policies, and 
strong-arming of destinies,
  the traps and ploys and long-term adjusting to future outcomes, like 
a chess game.

  so, never believing in any disconnect, yet never finding that harsh 
nettimism, that
  rough and tumble commuity, in the house of the internetwork, in this 
locale, in this
  cultivate region, in this place where one might dream of change and 
be able to dream
  and not be kicked off the list or told to stop their lunacy. no. 
yet, recently, madness,
  the world of war, seems to have invaded the dominion of nettime. 
maybe it was al-
  ways here. in those private posts from a few, snickering that it is 
best not to post
  anymore, that words are not needed. or in those who seem to have private info-
  rmation from your computer, as a type of 'dark nettime' in the 
background. in a
  type of older group, genesis myth, complete with origin story and 
legends and evil
  in the mix. awhh, probably conjecture. meaningless, hard not to 
agree. foo-fah.

  in any case, in 'architecturalizing nettime' as a place, one might 
pick a city for the
  community herein. one might even pick a network of caves, with a 
electronic version
  of Tora Bora where the Nettime Moderators hang out, if that is the 
slant one has. or,
  the nettime background as a type of shadow nettime network, like the 
bunker that the
  US government sets up in times of war, in defense of the .US domain 
and subdomains.
  yeah, here come the grenades, lobbed at all americans (united 
statesians as one may
  be instructed to say, as it is unfair to everyone to say americans, 
the plain conceit).
  all amercans are bad, evil. that may be someone's position. so too, 
another might
  think a lot of net.artists are pip-squeeks - like a referenced 
architectural theorist
  who goes to all the same conferences, who may be at some of the same 
scenic events
  in the electronic networked landscape, wasteland that it is, all the 
while, in another
  domain, just like the net.artists share their work in public here, 
calls their work,
  with total guffaw: net.fart.  while one like myself did not laugh, 
wow, this person
  could not stop laughing, nor apprarently all of the 
net.architectural.theorists and
  net.architects who are close compatriots. haha. i guess. but it 
seems juvenile and
  cruel to talk about ideas like that in closed quarters, to ridicule, 
yet when in public,
  to only surveille, to not taken on the ideas, and challenge them, to 
learn and grow,
  and maybe find oneself wrong. but that has never happened online 
with traditional
  professions. the people willing to take the risks are doing so as 
they want change.
  they want to work on the mystery. they take the challenge. not just 
the rewards.
  but wow, there are so many medals, competitions, calls for papers, it is hard
  for one who is doing a-ok to not be in the internal guts of the 
backround network,
  or so it seems. yet, for some reason, it is hard for some. they just 
do not fit.
  sad saps. it is said, in whispers. they are stupid. 'not smart like 
us', those who
  hide their identies behind masks of power say, not being away that masks are
  not concealing their psyches. and sometimes these can go sour. or 
worse, rotten.

  - trust. friendship. loyalty. -

  as much as one may try, they may always be, well, ignorant. and they 
may know it.
  they are so imperfect they cannot even try, with all of their might, 
to look good, by
  design, visually. aesthetically, that is, to industrial educational 
training operations.

  what a weakness not-knowing is. it is the basis for knowledge. but 
also humility, at
  times, for some, for others, not. but it is a road of hard knocks. 
rough-and-tumble.
  hahah. look at pain and suffering, 'i cannot believe it' 'i choose 
not to believe as if i
  based everything on myself, it is not possible, all one has to do is 
choose to make it'.
  funny how people are. in competition. artists, architects, people in 
most fields but
  in the most chaotic of the forums, sociological fountainheads arise, 
in the sense of
  an overriding ethos, so one may wish, it may be just another network 
apparition.

  see, stupid people like myself, maybe it is an american thing (USA, 
that is), or maybe
  it is not. maybe it is just something of an ignorant person. they 
come and share their
  ideas, work with others, try to make common goals happen, and they 
do so based on
  a presumed trust. a type of honesty. friendship. collegiality. not a 
sports-metaphor
  (metaphor, hah, as if it only goes that far), as there are criminal 
owners, spies even.
  no. it is a basic type of destructive realisation of being, or, more 
accurately stated,
  of not-being, and while trying to become, to exist, that in that 
liminal stage, of which
  psychologists might relate to as transference, or, in terms of 
ideas, bringing critical
  ideals into the real, just as theory relates to alchemy, so too, 
philosophy to chemistry.

  but where does this leave one, who is more the chemist, with an 
understanding and
  even if need be said, an appreciation and respect for the limited 
validity of theory as
  a guide to investigations, if theory is the reigning 'paradigm', 
haha, another one of
  those keywords, so passe, it. wonder what the 'right' word would be 
on 03/21/2002.

  in any case, to share ideas, a certain level of trust needs to be 
there, loyalty, even.
  and hopefully respect and friendship. somethign some lists can have, 
even with a
  vicious disagreement over ideas, ugly as hell, but still, to mend 
the wounds, and
  appreciate the other for being not-the-same, but not completely 
different. paradox.
  well, this is somewhat like community. if one looks at it 
idealistically, one might
  be utopian in their vision, listening to the circuit-going 
net.architects weave tales
  about the deep background architectural network mysteries of the black art of
  architecture, a world unto itself, literally, but so sublime no one 
will notice the
  secreted eyeshake, over pixels burnt out from staying on the same 
screen too long.

  in an odd way, twisted really, there is someting about nettime as 
architecture, in
  the traditional sense, so much more alchemical, and non-sensical to 
the outside world
  of wars and realities and issues on how to constructively and 
peacefully address such
  issue of change, instead of ignore them in a closed circuited 
box-top e-mail insider
  crowd crunching, ego pumping, lost world despotism founding, black 
magic ritualism.

  what was that? (oh, yes, please quote this, the weakest link, you 
devil you, haha).

  a domain has a public and private aspect to it. and so too does 
nettime and most other
  lists it seems. people are in public contact with their posts, and 
in private contact
  via private-to-private communications. so there are a few networks, 
or multitudes
  if a catchy-keyword will add density to the idea. critique, dissent, 
more and more.

  yet, what if others do not know of the private domain, have a naive 
trust in basic
  human nature that it is not vindictive, greedy, mean spirited- one 
means by this that
  someone would not do something illegal, like that which they protest 
against so much
  so in public, i mean, surveil and all the rest, just to compete and 
win by blackmail,
  rather than by the ideas- well, what if someone trusted, and wrongly 
so. and found
  out that in the background threading of nettime, that another 
network lurks, that is
  parsing the same information, and making a type of judgement behind 
the scenes, not
  as individuals, but as groups. it may not matter, it may be totally 
natural. but what
  if one finds that the pettiest and most thin-skinned and 
least-scholarly qualities are
  associated with such a network: such that to publicly critique a 
text is to find one-
  self with a plethora of background nettime network enemies? that one never may
  know about until it is too late, that they share their work, opening 
up ideas to try
  to work togetgher, and yet it is judged via the apposite and 
opposite qualities and
  virtues expressed by the very same posters, or imposters, if one may call them
  that, should they be rightly described as such, given their actions. 
what if nettime
  is like the university system, only that it is different, yet 
replicates the same venal
  and inbred and power brokering and insider-trading and dubious merit 
and all of the
  rest which can happen with ideas when power precedes them in a 
structured place.

  okay, for an architectural analogy. maybe this will make a bit of 
sense. maybe not.
  but, being totally unsophisticated, why not, nothing to lose, right, 
as everyone has
  it the same. haha. what logic, what brilliance, surely, genius all 
around, so smart...

  nettime as city. digital city. done a million times. there is a 
marketplace, stores,
  houses, parks, all the rest, which is mediated through content, 
messages, signs.

  nettime as building. as a colliseum of sorts. sports stadia. soccer 
clubs, all the rest.
  competition. winners and losers. boxing ring-like. moderators as Don 
King-imperson-
  ators. or, Roman battleships mock warfares, or lions and gladiators, 
or plain old
  death matches between contestents.

  of the city and building analogies, one might say that nettime is 
like a city when it
  is public, neighborly in a way, and in private, at least from one 
person's vantage,
  it may turn a bit darker, meaner in intent, cruel even. inhumane. 
destructive. and
  more about power and prestige and playing around than about ideas 
and thinking.
  this is not a grand-explanation or assumption or statement, but 
partial. a partial
  guess at whatever the weirdness that is now happening, that seems to 
be seeping
  through the psychic cracks, maybe it is a type of corruption of 
conscience, where
  the world of wars is making people reevaluate their own power 
grabbing. and how
  they go about things. i know it does me. but i am not everyone, of 
course. but all
  may not think this way. you know, millions sometimes believe one 
represents all.
  like an avator, an alias, an artgroup behind the mask that is a 
falling curtain on fire.

  one puzzling thing, is that, from the architectural sector, it has 
been one of the most
  enjoyable and learning-filled experiences to read and think and 
discover and listen
  to all that other people, from other places and techniques and 
strategies and all the
  rest, seem to approach the problems we all face in some degree. yet, 
as our problems
  seem to get closer and closer, say for example, global war, that 
there is still not a
  shot in hell that the discursive methods will find a way out. there 
seems to be a trap.
  never understood it. yet it relates back to the idea of signals, 
secret nets, and the
  differences and similarities between art and architecture, oddly 
enough. here goes...

  - morals and ethics -

  art, from someone who has worked in many mediums, and does not find any label
  worthy of an idea that is beyond labels (as some do with their 
religious deity(s)),
  it is a word that is not spoken. it is done. and for others to 
judge. there is a jury,
  of peers, who may and likely do, disagree. maybe this whole thing 
has been missed
  by this observer, but the label seems to be defined and contested, 
via net.art. which
  in a sense, seems odd, but in another sense, understandable, in that 
art can explore
  such a wide range of strategies. still, it seems their success is 
still judged based on
  their incorporation into traditional models, while having net.speak, 
a different lingo,
  or, as in the USA, if one can be blunt, a type of POMO-jingoism, 
which becomes noise.
  the work is the work. and art, it seems, can explore morality in 
ways that other
  professions or working-strategies cannot, in such a pure way. it is 
like an interface
  upon which one builds an idea, or reveals a way of understanding, 
visually, concept-
  ually, everyone here probably has an entire range of possible 
talents in which to
  communicate, and signal, their intent. and the success could be if 
this is received,
  that is, if the message makes it to its destination. signals 
intelligence, like .mil.

  so an artist, say, like on the West/Left (US) Coast years ago, puts 
a fake bomb in
  a streak, it seemed to be. and in a tranquilized world, the fear was 
localized. and
  the moral testing of the limits of experience and the input and 
knowledge gained
  from this exercise might be evaluated in certain terminologies and 
whatnot. okay.
  but, there could also be a line in the sand, so to speak, doing this 
interfacing with
  all that is, and with an ill-defined public and private zone on the 
internet, it could
  indeed be that internet.artists might cross the line into 
illegality, pushing limits,
  to do their work, to walk that crazy line, where one does  not 
necessarily know
  the outcome. exciting. dangerous even. chance. risk. change. some 
may say: guts.

  well, what if, in the process of an internet.artist doing such a 
work does it in the
  Janus, or two sided, network of nettime, publicly viewed and 
privately, so only
  some know what is going on in the back parlour room, where the bets are being
  made. say, an alias for a group of people, who may actually break-in 
to another
  person's computer and instead of publicly engage in ideas, shut the competitor
  (why not cooperator, a naive believer in basic human goodness is to wonder)
  down? what if they ruined their life. a person had to quit working. was in the
  hospital 2x for massive pain caused by stress. and what if people who were
  artists were doing this intentionally, and without any feeling of remorse, of
  apology, and in fact, openly, that is, in public, 'signaling' that 
such has indeed
  happened, it is publicly archived and may be deciphered in SIGINT and those
  who are aware of the issues of morality involved, that is, right from wrong,
  can apologize without giving excuses (it is retribution for questioning our
  private network, you bastard, take it or leave it, i'm sorry, okay, yes.).

  whereas, in architecture, because of the physics in the meta-, or 
the chemistry
  needed in the alchemical potentions, due to pragmatic, don't hurt 
your occupants,
  your human inhabitants of the domain you build, make it strong, protect them,
  the community, be civil but vital, but respect nonetheless that in 
all of the past
  of architecture there has been some aspect of public ethics involved, in which
  to due harm is to be liable for the harm done, legally. meaning, 
something that
  happens is the architects problem. thus, as petty and small as it may seem, if
  taking the offline value of a human life in a catastrophic 
situation, a building like
  that of a famous architect in Japan which made a staircase not to 
regular code,
  but 'experimented' with it, so it was difficult to walk down, and 
the architect
  shared with glee how funny it was that the clients tripped on the steps. well,
  ask someone trying to get out of a burning building, or into a 
burning building
  and back out, how funny it is to burn to death because of that 
aesthetic conceit.
  that is, basic safety and human value, versus, architect as god complex, well
  documented by Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand, in the book, the fountainhead.

  so art has morals, architect ethics. but another thing architecture 
has is public
  and private space. well, it doesn't really. it is said to not exist 
anymore. not
  even online. nope. forget about even considering it. but the concept 
is not going
  to disappear just because disciples of D&G know it is, by way of a direct-line
  to immanent connections to the truth by way of despotic delusions of grandeur.

  architecture has this god complex thing pretty heavy, it is a central theme in
  its story. goddess, if you like. the architect as designer. and because of the
  practical everyday ethics invovled, there is some weight to the responsibity
  to deal with reality, real people, and not go off into fiction land, 
unless one
  is of an elite, untouchable, blackmagic crowd of theory-alchemists, gone bad.

  so too with art, it seems, if there is a private network, and this artist-as-
  god/dess issue is not central, if ethics are not discussed, and morality is
  a guilt-trip, then what is to stop someone from going too far, and others a-
  long with them, into something so unsavory it may invert the sides of which
  one professes their work to be exploring. people may hate a philosopher for
  belonging to a horrific political party, but it may not be their 
philosophy which
  guides it, but the one that precedes it, setting the stage for the 
language, the
  illogical rationalism, authoritarian power structures, and 
heliotropic identities.

  - but it is art, we're not responsible -

  in the age of surveillance, the artist and architect can contribute to the
  problems by ideological assumptions, that can never be tested in public
  as it is the entire basis for their power over interpretation of content.
  of ideas. and they, and their good books, have disciplines, and their
  sermons, and their regular readers, guruing around in the magic castle.

  but is it really so, it seems unlikely. it seems it could only be a worse case
  that the humanities, as the sciences, could be as corrupt as the political-
  economic captist, bureaudemocracy they perform their skills within. it
  seems so unfair to judge, but even harder to accept this is not the case
  in days like these, if there indeed is a backchannel nettime network which
  has turned rotten, and could be as or more dangerous than the outer world
  of wars, as this is in the league of the invincible, amoral, artists and those
  who do not have to question the premises upon which the whole foundation
  of their traditional interpretations are based. it is simply this: it is so.
  take it or leave it. be gone, would you. you're a pain. no go? we'll pain you!
  how dare you question us. how dare you challenge. how dare - freedom.

  closed systems refine themselves, an example being bureaucracies. take
  universities. while grant narratives may be passe, they are justification
  and legitimation for the long story, the substance of the traditional work.
  even if new, it needs to fit, puzzle piece like, with the rest of the bunch.
  which is fine and necessary. but also, its all about competition. it is all
  about doing the footwork, the sneaky-network, the gaming. oh, the game.

  yes. its all a game. war. that's not a game. but this is online. it is a game.
  ask those surveillance companies who are watching this one person's web-
  site, how funny is you are hacking into it in times of war, that they likely
  know exactly who you are, may be listening to your conversations, and
  reading everything you send online, where you go with your website, just
  as you do to everyone else, omnipotent, no one is, unless they believe it.
  the dot-com bubble burst, maybe the network-bubble-blowing will too. as
  when things get illegal, say, well, that's a hard one to pass off as art, as
  someone may be getting hurt, humiliated, and others, laugh in glee. but a
  joke is no longer funny if no one is laughing. and, even, to see that some
  may still be gloating behind their mask, how invisible, invicible are we,
  not knowing they are throroughy in the deepshit-network now, and are
  not going to have a nice future of it, unless they wake-up quicky, re-
  adjust their guidance systems, and apologize for illegal wrongdoings.
  and apologies can be accepted. it can be understood. but in limited time.
  and it is past that time, almost. by the second. so, now you're the target.
  black-to-white haute couture may be looking in your private collection
  of lifestyling decision making, and if they see and feel, and know that
  the line has been crossed, well, say goodbye to your professional life.
  maybe your computer will be hacked. maybe you will be physically put
  under surveillance. maybe your phone calls and e-mails will be parsed,
  maybe you will get signals saying things like: stop, or else. life insurance.

  nice funny, hilarious spam like that. you know, when you're on the edge
  of things. not posing and playing around. but in deep trouble for politics,
  yours, and the ones you put others into, as a result of your net.despotism.
  hacking and cracking code is mental as physical. it is about psychology too.
  and thus, the only reason it is worth writing this bile  and throwing it back
  at the background nettime network, whoever those 10-100 people are, is
  to let you know that without ethics, less morality, real evil can be manifest.

  you know the old morality tales, or, if living in europe, concentration camps,
  bad stuff, you know, someone taking something so literally that they loose
  their humanity and become the machine, and This Is A Good Thing supposedly.
  how sick. there is evil on the network that only comes with a dead heart, or
  one that never feels outside of its own private domain. maybe no one person
  is this fully bad, but a group of alchemical theorists of art and architecture
  are not to be underestimated for their dubious intentions to wield power at
  all costs, including the destruction of others' scholarship and censoring of
  their work, their loss of income, health, etc.  it need be said, at 
least to one
  very disturbed human being, that this person has never before faced some-
  thing so cleary and purely evil as that demonstrated in the background net-
  time network. something wicked lurks on the network, and it is not just a
  corporate government or military spyminds. it is the corruption of thought
  and its loss of agency to that of power. the direction things go in a closed
  system, where truth is secondary to career, prestige, money, and greed.

  not a religious person (because it is in the private domain, do not discuss
  it with anyone much, only in person) and yet meeting this dark network
  has shaken me to the core, for i never believed evil could be so close to
  the present, in human beings, with all that is known, lessons learned, and
  awareness raised. and less so, in the realm of thinkers, and more, those
  of the activist crowd- artists and architects. it has been the most power-
  fully disturbing even of one person's life. enough so that they consider to
  consult with a theologin and priest about the direct, hands-on practice of
  people who meet suffering and how do their understand badness, and evil.
  the force of it. why would people turn so bad and ugly and unconscienable.

  - networks and evil -

  it is necessary, as a person, to make such interactions known, as it is in
  the best interest of those 2,500 people to know that this place is not immune
  from the vaguaries of warfare, and in being so, can also be part of the very
  problem that is publicly stated as being unquestionably off-the-table as an
  analysis of art as it is defined by paradigms constructed by judges 
themselves.

  once, had the pleasure of having a well known person read a thesis on the
  role of electricity in the world. and got into a short exhange about why the
  role of god/God was not mentioned in the text. having given reasons, next
  thing is to find out that this person happens to be the one who puts up the
  names of abortionists, and is conntected with an army of like-minded people,
  and the work reviewed was to the person that of the devil, for not mentioning
  or believing or stating in public how belielfs about such. to the 
point of, being
  raised in a christian religion, it was very threatening. people standing out-
  side of apartment. phonecalls hanging up constantly, no body on the other
  line. needing to get a tracer on the phone, etc. this person was a warrior
  for their beliefs. which, i happened to disagree ,with, and tried to kindly
  ask to be left alone. eventually, this happened. and it is over. and positions
  remain basically the same. the point being, while of different views, there
  was still, no mattter how gray it may seem to a participant, some respect
  for the others point of view, not agreement, but awareness of what is going
  on, responsibility and willingness to fight over an idea, whatever the cost.
  some people have got a bullet in the head who are on this person's website.

  now, back to net.artists and net.architects and net.theorists who are using
  tools that may be illegal, and someone may not know about it, and a war
  is going on, and everyone is being surveilled, and if someone is found to be
  screwing around with someone's system, and this is sent in e-mail, some-
  one else (the authorities, likely) will know about it through the 
broad sweeping
  of personal rights of privacy, or, exploits that can be holes to explore, it
  matters how one perceives it. yet, it is not a one way thing. as, if a person
  is under rather serious surveillance. such that, they walk outside and some-
  one signals that they see them. or they write an e-mail and get a signal, not
  from a net.place person, but let's say, the background net of the internet,
  all the while these sophisiticated aesthetes are playing around, joking about
  how someone is pathetic in their life while they are strong, etc. and it is at
  that time that theory games are no longer games. as it is about survival.

  - a warning and an offer of peace -

  whoever has been manipulating data and reading private data in the nettime
  or other art and theory and architecture networks, it may be wise to stop,
  and let others know where you stand. and if need be, acknowledge and also
  apologize. as anything that goes beyond this is a battle that will 
not end until
  the unconscienable network.despots are unmasked, and have to deal with the
  realit of the world they may not be prepared to handle. beyond their 
profession.
  that is. world stuff. like, getting in trouble. hopefully peace will 
make these
  truly sad people stop and see that the party is over. and then knowledge can
  again be at the forefront of the mind, not power plays and dungeon games.

  if one wants to see a movie that replicates the background network, and its
  dynamic, and as a model of the network itself, there is a film called Beowulf
  (1999) which is relatively short and to the point, about the nature of evil.

  an outdated, uncouth, unsophisticated word. overdone, oh yes. so too with
  spyplanes, what kind of psycho-ego is imparted in such descriptions, one
  can only guess. it is pure pathos that is at work, or idling, destroying work.
  and it is hoped, but it is in no way assumed, nor trusted, this situation will
  change for the better unless the majority of people invovled dismantle the
  network, leaving the shrivelling scoundrals who are infested with this bug
  to get some help and find a way to get their humanity back.  it will come to
  an end one way or another. currently, people have a choice. but not forever.
  as it will be destroyed, the fascist network in academic is going to crumble.

  please decide. it is the future. please unmask. good luck.

  for those who decide not to be responsible- be ready.




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