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Re: <nettime> On Empire
McKenzie Wark on Thu, 30 May 2002 20:08:51 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> On Empire


Tom Gray asks:

>What significant piece of IP has a 'hacker class' developed?

And then answers his own question:

>Semiconductors, telephony, Internet, UNIX...

All if which are the invention of the hacker class, as i
define it. The hacker class encompasses all those who create,
whether it be music, text, computer code, new drugs, new
subatomic particles...

>... all come from large scale
>corporate or government structures.
>
All the significant advances in technology and culture
come to be *owned* by corporations or government bodies,
but it is hardly the case that they produce them. They
are produced by people who are obliged to sell their
labour to corporations -- the hacker class.

This is the area there Hardt and Negri let us down,
IMHO, in not thinking through the way new forms of
property (IP) create new class relations (vectoralist
vs hacker).

Why do we let the media restrict the meaning of the
word 'hacker'? The media criminalise it, or use it
to describe a very limited set of computer innovators.
We are all hackers, and we are a class. We just don't
know it -- yet.

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