Josephine Bosma on Wed, 10 Sep 1997 21:00:48 +0200 (MET DST)

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Re: <nettime> Re: nettime@ars

dear nettimers at Ars :

>Possible Topics for Casual Conversation:
>Update on the moderation question,
>Software solutions for the future of Nettime
>Publication Strategies and the Bible Meeting@WorkSpace
>Future intensive meetings.

I am glad there is a meeting, and that this meeting is held outside
of Workspace, which has had too much influence over the last few months.
Unfortunetaly I cannot join you, but I am thinking with you about the
topics described above. Because of what happened recently, when the list
was shut down, I have been thinking about the development of nettime a
lot, and sadly I must say I think a lot of what happened the last few
months is a direct result of the unconsciously (?) overdone declaration
of the nettime 'board' (:lets say) that nettime was in trouble and needed
fierce reorganisation. This has been a selffullfilling profecy, as it was
not so, at least not to the majority of members at that time. I remember
Geert Lovink and Pit Schulz saying things like : You don't notice it, but
we do..., back then.
Many people came to Ljubljana, while the list was in trouble? I find
that hard to believe. If there would have been much discomfort, a lot less
people would have showed up. People were feeling like a community, and
others were curious to see what it would be like to see 'nettime' in
real life. We cannot describe exactly what it is nettime generates, it
is a process, a part of a process and the creation of a process at the
same time. The more we will try to purify it or struggle long and hard
amongst ourselves to create some kind of easy accessable straight goals,
the harder things will be.
I suggest to have a few nettime 'babies', a webforum/magazine like
something similar to lets say C-theory (please don't execute me straight
away for giving a sensitive example again) a newsgroup or two for those
that really want them (not many people use newsgroups generally, traffic
and life on the net is just so busy lately that few seem to have the
time) and the raw mailinglist as main meetingpoint, for die-hards and
people that are not afraid to filter and sacrifice some time/space for
the benefits of what free speech can all generate. Some parallel
malinglists could be something too.
My most important suggestion though is that you just DO it, and stop
complaining for months things are going bad. Do you want somebody to
come and save you? The topics above are the same topics that were
discussed at the 'secret' (members only) meeting in Ljubljana. They
are not meant to be spun out so severely, its not good. Things are,
even now, not as bad as they seem.
Which reminds me of a topic I have for a long time wanted to discuss:
what is the basic thing that created nettime? Wasn't it net.criticism?
The topic seems to have been dropped, as if it has no life
or is too 'navel-staring' as the dutch say, too selfcentred/focussed.
With the rapid development of the www and the politics in- and outside
the net concerning the net and the people on it, it seems to me there is
still a lot to be discussed and to be examined. Why put so much stuff on
nettime that has no reference to the net? This is something I don't
understand. Of course some things deserve exceptions, like the postings
from Belgrade in December last year, which really got to me, but some care
should be taken I think.
I wonder whether the thing that underlies these two matters: the
selfdeclared problems with nettime and the undervaluation of
net.criticism, could be a kind of generation conflict. People that have
been on the net for a long time sometimes seem to think the good times of
the net are over, or net.culture is stagnating, even disappearing. How
often have I not heard that complaint: "The good/exiting times of the
net are over!" Over for who?


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