Luis Soares on Tue, 23 Sep 1997 15:58:01 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Re: The User is the Content

Hi Mr. Horvath

I do appreciate your critique immenselly as you have managed to completely
misread my text and that gives me the opportunity to clarify it somewhat.

The first and most important thing I think you failed to comprehend was the
irony of it all. When I talk about the su-called success of the American
entretainment media, I state it as a fact that cannot be denied, which, of
course does not mean in anyway that I subscribe this success as something
good or useful to our society in any manner. That you failed to understand.

The phrase the user is the conte is extremely wide in its significance,
open to all kind of amibvelences and interpretations and certainly not a
defense or attack on anything. The User is the Content is as true to the
fact that millions of consumers are pushed and shoved around the world by
marketing strategies as to the fact that I, that have never met you before,
can try to make you read and understand my ideas.

I do not believe in any kind of "level playing field" as I do not believe
you can "broadcast your message to the world" as I do not understand the
many-to-many model as one of many broadcasting to many. In fact, I look at
the network as a basic ecology that is importing some of the already
existing hierarchies in the outside world in general and media in
particular. There is no "one" road for the Internet as there never was for
television and video and I would much advise you to read the Concil of
Europe report on European culture called In From the Margins.

I do believe that technology will tend to grant control to fes over many,
as it always as done. I also believe, however, that the moment of chenge,
as new media come into being is the moment where that tendency can better
be opposed. Selling the Internet as an ideal media for finding information,
as the "virtual library" is what all big corporations have tried to do,
because we all know that people trust the brand they know better, and so
CNN will always triumph over John Doe when it comes to information

We all have the notion that new media in general, networked media in
particular, are redistributing power and everyone is trying to grab it. Of
course, it seems that those that already have power are in a better
position to grab it. But I do think it can be different.

As for the traditional America vs. Europe opposition, I do not find it
useful most of the times. There are of course, exceptions, as when Geert
Lovink gave his presentations at this year's Ars Electronica Symposium,
with a great sense of humour and irony. I do believe that European
criticism is the best thing happening now in terms of theoretical thinking
on these issues. But you will agree with me that some action has to come
from Europe and please let it not be things like Info2000.

Europe has a unique chance to re-state its values of culture, democracy,
freedom based on the comunity, values that I feel much mor european than
american-west-coast or even McLuhanite, as you say. Quoting on Philippe
Queau, qhen he last was in Lisbon, The United States has a vision, to
conquer the world, East Asia has a vision, to grow economically, to make
money, Europe has no vision, the European Community has forgotten Europe's
greatest assets, its peoples, concentrating on economy and the single
currency, little more. Suggestions, anyone?

Luis Soares

in reply to:
> From: John Horvath <>
> To: nettime <>
> Subject: <nettime> Re: The User is the Content
> Date: sábado, 20 de setembro de 1997 22:52
> More McLuhanite Garbage
> by John Horvath

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