Korinna Patelis- Goldsmiths on Tue, 10 Feb 1998 22:15:51 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> Tired of Re-wired & Wired

Got a copy of Re-wired yesterday, read it and have the following rather
opinionated comments to make about the whole debate that has now reached
its apotheosis:

a)Notions of authenticity are replacing notions of objectivity in Net
theory ( I am not sure who assured authors that the former can not be
criticized on the same grounds as the latter). Notions of the authentic,
first "real" Net users are increasingly underlying Net theory. They
usually become particularly prevalent in narrations of the death of the
'pure academic Net" used by "us" and the 'bad commercial take over", which
did make it possible for "them" to use the Net, but of course not in the
way it was used by "us". Unfortunately this is the underlying theme of
Hudson's account 
(which is at least according to him opinionated and not neutral.)
 These notions  can not only be critisised in the same way any notion of
authenticity can (I am assume I don't have to spell out that there are
essentialist e.t.c ); they also to easily  situate the authentic "old
users" as the  ideological opponents of those responsible for the
commercialisation of the Net ( at the risk of being mis-understood I am
not a free-marketier and I am critical of such commercialisation)

Above all notions of Net-authenticity  herald an other danger: for the
majority of citizens in Western Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean
having access to the Net was not a possibility until now and even now it
is not a possibility for most. For the late-comers there is the feeling
that we are about to enter a colony (where a civil war is going on between
different groups of aglosaxon men-see note below).

b)R. Barbrook , a colleague who I respect a great deal for his
contribution to Net-debate,  does not to my knowledge want or can
possibly bear on his shoulders the opinions, approaches and traditions of
a whole continent (by the way I would love it if people were a little more
specific when using the term "Europe"; it is not a synonym to Western
Europe). Barbrook's and Cameron's work do not represent the Western
European voice. 
 Like others I repeat that  it would be helpful for both us Western
European users and U.S. users to avoid this American/Europe
by-polarisation particulary since by "Europe' what is actually meant is
Britain.  Maybe focus on critiques of public policy in both continents (
"what an old way to solve the new digital problems") or anything else that
will get debate out of this state of mourning the "pure Net now lost"'.  

c)My apologies for not expressing any "digital sensitivity" when stating
that it really does get amazingly tiring to watch white Anglo-Saxon men
battling about who's territory or ideology the Net expresses. I am sorry
if  I sound quite rude, not disguising quite a simple objection in fancy
words. I think that any public exchange, particularly intellectual
exchange should be less emotionally charged and personal, particularly
when its claims are not personal but supposedly voice the collective.

Finally for those skeptical of my abrupt intervention who are thinking
that maybe I am bitter for coming to late to colonise this knowledge space
myself and hence my objections are self-motivated I have the following to
say;  believe me there is enough knowledge space to colonise in Greece (
where I will return and live); in fact the space has not even been created
yet for anyone to colonise. It isn't the spotlight I am bitter being late
for.  It is notions of late and early I am against.

  Korinna Patelis 

Korinna Patelis
Department of Media and Communications
Goldsmiths College-London-SE14 6NW
DIRECT LINE 0171-9197243

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