John Hopkins on Thu, 8 Apr 1999 18:03:08 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Digital Resistance: WWW War...

Well, Geert, I guess this isn't strictly a reaction to what you are
saying, but I feel the need to emphasize what you (at least here) are a
little timid about... ;)

>true, but internet is now slowly becoming part of people's life, their
>institutions and all the dirty realities attached to it. it is worth
>defending the net, and its principles of decentralization and distribution
>of power, but the AOLs, WebTVs, telcos and other business people are not
>interested in this 'idealism'. they are turning the net now into an
>interactive mass medium meant for only one purpose: electronic commerce.
>all the rest is becoming marginal. governments are encouraging this trend.

What exactly is MARGINAL?  I don't understand this NEED/BELIEF to have a
message BLASTED across the headlines of MAINSTREAM MASS MEDIA.  What power
is that to SCREAM to a million people when what is ABSOLUTELY needed is
individual dialogue?  I think it is a deceitful and dangerous lesson to
give young people that TO BE means TO BE IN THE MEDIA to an audience of
millions.  Moral questions are decided definitively by the individuals who
are directly involved.  And they have to live with those decisions.  How
is it possible that anyone can direct those decisions remotely in any way? 
Or presume the moral authority to direct them via mass mediation?  We
should never give creedence to a force claiming to hold the power to
change us remotely and en masse -- the moment we do is the very same
moment it happens!  I don't care if anybody is interested in my idealism,
I just speak/listen to the person next to me, and I know the only thing
that stands in the way then is human nature! 

I really don't give a f**k about what all those "malevolent" NGO's are
doing to the Internet -- nobody is making people SHOP!  (It is another
activist question when personal communication is absolutely obstructed by
these developments, but I honestly don't see that happening except by the
simple clumsiness, incompetence, and inefficiency of these very same
telco's, not by conspiracy)

>the logical next step is that activists (from all sides) can no longer see
>the net as something 'neutral'. it is not, and perhaps never has been.
>what I find a bit silly is to think that bringing down PR servers of, for
>example, NATO has any 'real' effect. these hacks are symbolic; actions
>aimed to get publicity. they are by no means affecting the military
>infrastructure. geert

Right -- of course -- but don't the hackers know that, intrinsically?
Don't they know the difference between a supra-firewall sacrifice server
that the organization doesn't give a damn about -- versus a central
intranet database server which, in most cases is beyond all but the most
intensive hacking -- which, numerically is an insignificant threat.  Okay,
that's what you said...  So, a hacker seeking PR points is basically just
more of the same bullshit, like Milosevic and other power-grabbers are
doing the same soft-shoe-shuffle for Air-Time.  Funny the Bible labels the
Anti-Christ coming on the eve of the biblical millineum as "The Prince of
the Power of the Air."  chew on that! 

In a global monetary PGO world isn't the place you put your money
absolutely the most critical political decision one can make -- in a very
real and pragmatic sense?  But aside from that, the force of arms, and
face-to-face open dialogue, are there really any other life-changing
tools? (I ask this honestly, based in personal observation and seeing what
goes on in "my world" -- that is, the world that I am sensorially
experiencing, not a theoretical projected world.)

John Hopkins, Tech-no-mad artist and educator in Kiel, Germany at the
Muthesius Kunsthochschule FORUM program.

neo-scenes occupation:
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