Craig Brozefsky on Wed, 25 Aug 1999 14:55:17 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Fragments of Network Criticism

Felix Stalder <> writes:

> Will the user become really powerful, as Genc Greva hopes? Only when there
> is a possibility to translate her attention into more than advertisement
> dollars. Advertisement still holds all the keys, pressing the network back
> into the shape of the mass media. 

How does the user become "really powerful" by having their attention
translated into something else?  What do you propose their attention
be translated into?  Who does the translating?  I could see how
someone else, other than the advertisers, could become powerful by
translating the attention of users into other things, such as
political power, social power, or perhaps consumer power.  But I can't
see how the *user* becomes "really powerful" thru this.

> Something that is at the same time intensely technical and intensely
> social cannot does not happen over night. We're just at the beginning,
> true communities of content, communities that really share things with one
> another, that have been built around real needs, rather than just boredom
> and novelty, will pave the ways to create the demand for an internal
> economy.

I'm not sure I'm buying the notion that we are just beginning, but
perhaps we just have different understandings of what "beginning"
means.  I read beginning as "only a couple years into the endeavor"
but perhaps you are talking about scales of centuries.  Anyways, I'd
like to point out that since the 70's at least their have been
communities built within these technological spaces.  If we expand our
notion of what defines these spaces a little, we can go back even
further to the dispersal of the telephone and party lines.

Now, wether or not these count as "true communities of content" I
cannot say, since it seems that phrase has no real meaning on it's
own.  In the context of your post and what I know about your research,
I can guess that the "content" indicates something being exchanged,
creating the demand for the internal economy.

I think "markets of content" is perhaps more apt than "true
communities".  Your use of community in this sense reminds me of Sun's
"Java Community License" which is sorta like a version of intellectual
fuedalism.  On the Internet, "community" has come to mean a market
which is formed by social relations, and has developed it's own
identity as a market, often internalizing the demographics of the
advertising firms.  Linux geeks, ala Slashdot, are a particularly
fresh-faced example.

> Don't worry about the technology, this it can be done, for
> engineers, things are easy. Maybe its as easy as remebering and
> updating some long forgotten technology, something from those
> optimistic 90s, thus, creating autonomous zones, not temporary but
> self-sustainable.

I've found the first step towards building powerful, sustainable
social relations online is to regard the other with compassion.  This
strategy has paid off well in the last 5 years.  The technology itself
is mostly arbitrary, perhaps it does create a space with special
flavors that let's a particular relation flower.  But if you're not
open to building a relationship in these new spaces, then you'll miss
your chance.

Craig Brozefsky                         <>
Free Scheme/Lisp Software
I say woe unto those who are wise in their own eyes, and yet
imprudent in 'dem outside                            -Sizzla

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