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Re: <nettime> Information cannot be free
wade tillett on Wed, 15 Aug 2001 14:30:51 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Information cannot be free

>josh zeidner <jjzeidner {AT} yahoo.com>
>...The more information I attempt to
>send, the more potential for noise( anti-information
>or entropy ).  The more I try to prevent noise, the
>less information( redundancy is a lack of information,
>redundancy is the lack of information ) I encapsulate
>in the message.
>...our reality is merely the interplay of these two
>forces:  noise, and information

as  with  all  systems, the distinction between information and noise,
self and other, is a product both of the belief system of the self (as
there  is  an  inherent  division  of self and other, a distinction of
information  and  noise made by the self) _and_ by the architecture of
the  systems which have manifested that very self. this is the paradox
isn't  it:  that  noise  and  information  (other  and  self) are only
distinguished  by the positioning of the self, by the manifestation of
the  self,  in  relation  to  other.  that is to say, there is no time
_before_  the  manifestation  of  the  self,  there  is  no  objective
distinction  of  noise and information _before_ noise and information.
rather,  noise  and  information,  the other and the self, are created
simultaneously  through  a participation/self-creation of or within an
architecture.  the  self  only  exists as its objectification within a
level  or  system.  information only exists as a limit, as information
_is_ a limit.

freenet   has   been   very   specific,   as   are  all  communication
infrastructures  (and  structures  in  general),  in  structuring  the
definition  of  noise and information. structure _is_ this definition.
without the definition there is no 'interplay'.

freenet  provides  a  dynamic redundancy which morphs according to the
user  (receiver's)  demand. if no one ever requests a certain file, it
has  the  potential  to  'fall off' of freenet. a sort of demand-side,
rather  than  supply-side  'censorship'.  a  key  structure is used to
separate  information  from  noise.  (noise  is  unwanted information,
information which does not fit the belief landscape of the receiver.)

>"Freenet dynamically replicates and
>relocates information in response
>to demand to provide efficient service
>and minimal bandwidth
>usage regardless of load. Significantly,
>Freenet generally requires
>log(n) time to retrieve a piece of
>information in a network of
>size n."

at  the supply-side of the spectrum, a sort of ultra-fascism exists in
which  all  information  is  only  consumed/inhabited  by the user and
controlled/created by the supplier.

at  the  receiver-side  of the spectrum, a sort of solipsism exists in
which  the  receiver  only inhabits his own belief, his own texts, his
own searches.

freenet  has  conceived  of  an  architecture  between these extremes.
freenet  has  a  sort  of  darwinistic (demand-side) natural selection
which  operates  as  a  function  of  the  users.  could one upset the
demand-side 'democracy' of freenet through massive demands for fascist

in any system in which a common landscape is created through majority,
the  failures (the 'social inequities' as you have called them) of the
system occur:

1.  at  the  level  of  the individual. that is, how the 'majority' is
counted,  how  the  space  is  divided.  a  hyper-inflation of certain
individuals  (power)  through  basic  bias  in  the system, or through
duplication, replication, assimilation, simulation.

2.  at  the  level  of  public  space.  any minority is made obsolete,
through  either  extinction or assimilation. the space of the minority
is diminished.

3.  at  the  level  of  production.  a  certain structure exists which
controls   what   _can_  be  produced  (the  material  of  production:
digital/physical/etc.).  as  well  as  what  _is_  produced:  i.e. the
preservation   of   authenticity/author/copyright.  for  example,  the
structure  of  freenet  allows  the  preservation  of authenticity and
author   (including   the   anonymous   _author_ship   possible),  the
preservation of the individual as a basic unit of production, but does
not allow the control of the distribution of the production (copyright

so  is freenet futile?

freenet  is  a  social  structural  construction.  it does not provide
information  'freedom'  if  by freedom you mean the absence of limits,
the  absence of form, the absence of information/noise distinction. it
is  simply  an  alternative  platform of communication, a social space
dynamically     constructed     and    changed    by    creator/users,
sender/receivers.  freenet  does  not  provide  us with an ontological
freedom,  an escape from the self or the limits of information. it is,
after  all,  only  an  architecture.  and  there is no architecture of
freedom.  however,  freenet  offers  an  alternative  political/belief
landscape,  another  possible manifestation/definition /environment of
the self.

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