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<nettime> Is nettime MEDIA-FASCIST??
Newmedia on Fri, 6 Jun 2003 11:59:34 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Is nettime MEDIA-FASCIST??


John:

> Non-mass media?

Excellent!!  Now . . . what does that mean??

Is the Internet (or, more particularly, nettime) -- a "non-mass medium"??

Yes, sorta . . . but also NO!!

As we all know, new mediums usually try to "mirror" (in the rearview sense) 
previous mediums.  McLuhan would have pointed out that OLD MEDIA is always the 
CONTENT of NEW MEDIA -- in the beginning.

Based on the backgrounds of those who launched nettime, the "idea" behind 
nettime seems to have been RADIO -- "Community Radio" and/or "Pirate Radio."

So, is radio (i.e. nettime's alter-image) a mass-medium (i.e. 
"media-fascist")??

Of course it is . . . and it should be no surprise that *radio* was the 
dominant mass-medium during the time when both FASCISM and BOLSHEVISM were 
rampaging through the shell-shocked minds of 1920/30's Europeans.  Hitler (and Stalin) 
cannot really be imagined outside of the *environment* of RADIO.

So, nettime (in this regard) is a RE-PLAY of an older medium (radio) -- 
recapitulating the "ideological" conflicts of yester-media . . . thus the 
theme/title of this discussion (and most of the posts since nettime began.)  And, 
naturally (just like a radio station), SOMEBODY has to decide who gets on the "air" 
-- thus the famous "immoderation" of the nettime list

However, because the Internet -- including email, mailing-lists, blogs, 
personal webpages, threaded discussions, usenets, etc. -- is *also* a "non 
mass-medium,"  it has something *new* added that wasn't there in the "original" form 
of radio -- universal personal "self-exposure."  

Everyone gets to drop their pants -- in public -- on the Internet.

This is handy, since the "design priniciple" of email (from its earliest days 
as a DoD research project) was -- and still is -- "surveillance."

So, everything from having your email and "surfing" logged by your employer 
to coordinated worldwide busts catching "kiddie-porn" addicts to webcams in 
your underwear drawer to making your "thoughts" accessible via Google searchs is 
-- by design -- the largest aggregate application of the Internet.

People watching other people "expose" themselves *is* pretty much what the 
Internet is all about -- including on nettime!!  Including what I'm doing right 
NOW!! <g>

So -- given this new media *environment* of surveillance and self-exposure -- 
 having your "desires" tweaked with SPAM offering "penis extensions" and "hot 
coeds" and "cheap drugs" should come as no surprise.  It's unavoidable.

The increasing public acceptance of video-cameras in nearly every building 
lobby and street-corner (often networked to central "command" stations) as well 
as all the other technologies of TOTAL AWARENESS should also be a NO BRAINER!!

The *cause* of the actual erosion of CIVIL LIBERTIES in our lives isn't 
George W. Bush or AMERICA . . . it's the INTERNET!!

Yipes!!

So, with the Internet, we have a "non mass-medium" pretending to be a 
MASS-MEDIUM (i.e. everyone still wants to be SEEN, needs to be FABULOUS) and we are 
*all* living with the consequences.  Media-Fascism still dominates our lives -- 
including on nettime!!

Back to the original question -- What effects would a *real* NON MASS-MEDIUM 
cause in our culture??

Figure out the EFFECTS first -- then design the CAUSES . . . or as the 
Merovigian says in "Reloaded," "It's all about understanding the CAUSES, that's the 
whole trick."

Best,

Mark Stahlman
New York City


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