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<nettime> READYOURSELF digest [butt, afonso, guderian, lacook]
nettime's_circle_jerk on Wed, 3 Mar 2004 22:51:53 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> READYOURSELF digest [butt, afonso, guderian, lacook]


Re: <nettime> what would be nettime's reading list?
     Danny Butt <db {AT} dannybutt.net>
     Miguel Afonso Caetano <mafonsocaetano {AT} mail.telepac.pt>
     Carl Guderian <carlg {AT} vermilion-sands.com>
     Lewis LaCook <llacook {AT} yahoo.com>

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Date: Thu, 04 Mar 2004 01:38:31 +1100
Subject: Re: <nettime> what would be nettime's reading list?
From: Danny Butt <db {AT} dannybutt.net>

Getting past my natural antipathy to anything using the term "politically
correct", the point of this excellent question from my pov is exactly that
mailing lists are terrible places to gain consensus, but are very good
places to integrate a range of different viewpoints (as anyone who tries to
manage virtual organisations knows). So the nettime list is never going to
be authoritative, though it will be fun. Though I think it would be best
done in a "voting" style situation where we could sample the *amount* of
support for particular texts, which would give a better impression of the
overall tone of nettime, rather than just noting that particular texts have
been noted.

In asking for a list I note Geert is perhaps making one of his few
concessions to currently fashionable commercial genres of journalism :)...
perhaps we can start a weekly pop psychology quiz as well, I'd be keen to
see what kind of psychometric testing the nettime community could come up
with.

First and foremost, a nettime list should be anti-foundational, in that it
should include significant works which have not yet been relegated to being
"important for their underpinning of following work". That's probably a
pedagogical philosophy around new media as much as anything. It's better to
understand now, because understanding now will necessarily implicate the
past (particularly in my list :7), whereas the converse is not necessarily
true. That said, anything which sounded hostile or ignorant toward feminist
theory, anti-colonial movements or 70s cultural studies would be lucky to be
retained (even though that's true of much of nettime, I think that these
things are important for nettime's concerns, if that makes sense)

My nettime list - as opposed to lists I might do for other lists - would
probably start with Donna Haraway rather than the bible, and include Stuart
Hall, Eric Michaels, Saskia Sassen, Don Lamberton, and the Sarai readers.
You could branch out to a lot of stuff from there. Derrida and Spivak for a
second course accompanied by plenty of secondary literature. Does the fact
that my list crosses over little with those mentioned make me an outlier on
the bell curve of nettime? I'm looking forward to the results!

Danny 


Benjamin Geer wrote on 3/3/04 7:22 PM:

> geert lovink wrote:
>> (Would it include Empire, Crowds and Power, Male Fantasies, a Foucault,
>> Ahrendt or even Deleuze? How much history (of science)? How much would
>> politically correct and which titles would really be useful? Geert)
> 
> Maybe there should be different reading lists depending on the
> geographical and cultural background of the reader.

-- 
http://www.dannybutt.net

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From: Miguel Afonso Caetano <mafonsocaetano {AT} mail.telepac.pt>
Subject: Re: <nettime> what would be nettime's reading list?
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2004 13:51:02 +0000

> (Would it include Empire, Crowds and Power, Male Fantasies, a Foucault,
> Ahrendt or even Deleuze? How much history (of science)? How much would
> politically correct and which titles would really be useful? Geert)

Definitely,  a very large dose of European Theory... I'm not thinking in terms 
of what should be - that is, what I think are the most essencial titles - but 
according to the expressed preferences of Nettime's readers. Here's the list:

Deleuze & Guattari - A Thousand Plateaux

Paul Virilio - anything from the 90s, maybe the Reader

Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri - Empire

Lawrence Lessig - Code or The Future of Ideas

Naomi Klein - No Logo

Lev Manovich - The Language of New Media

The New Media Reader and Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality 
Anthologies

Thomas Frank - One Market Under a God 

Friederich Kittler - Gramophone, Typewriter and Film 

and Last but not the Least: Geert's own Dark Fiber. 

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Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2004 14:56:58 +0000
From: Carl Guderian <carlg {AT} vermilion-sands.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> what would be nettime's reading list?

(I vote for two more dead white males: Dr. Charles MacKay, whose
"Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" shows that
speculation bubbles, moral panics and adulation of criminals belongs to
no particular place or time, and Richard Hofstadter, whose "The Paranoid
Style In American Politics" does something similar)

It's a fair question, a dshonest one coming from this man, since he's
already answered it. This article carries with it the bouquet of
conservative whine. See below: 

geert lovink wrote:

> (Would it include Empire, Crowds and Power, Male Fantasies, a Foucault,
> Ahrendt or even Deleuze? How much history (of science)? How much would
> politically correct and which titles would really be useful? Geert)
> 
> http://www.techcentralstation.com/022704C.html
> 
> The Problem with Dead White Males
>  By Arnold Kling  Published 02/27/2004
> 
.
is that they died before the glorious revolution of the 1980s that
tumped over the graven images of political correctness. What we need are
*live* white males (or others who write like them), preferably from the
Hudson Institute, the Hoover Insitute and the American Enterprise
Institute.
.
> 
> The Skeptical Environmentalist, by Bjorn Lomborg, combines ecology with
> statistics and economics. It is a fine example of the scientific approach
> to a complex subject.

Uh-oh. Another writer fighting the lonely fight against the received
wisdom of the greenhouse crowd. He might be right--I haven't read the
book--but surely you could oppose to it one of the best books making the
case *for* human-caused global warming. 


> The first two volumes of Robert Skidelsky's biography of John Maynard
> Keynes are remarkable intellectual studies. Keynes is a very difficult
> mind to penetrate, and Skidelsky's success is remarkable.
> 
> Great stories help to illuminate human psychology and social context. Tom
> Wolfe is an outstanding writer, combining keen human insight with colorful
> prose. His first fiction work, Bonfire of the Vanities, is what I would
> recommend the most, although it is hard to pass up some of his earlier
> journalistic efforts.

Lively language doesn't quite disguise Wolfe's generally crotchety
conservatism.

> I have said before that I believe that young people should study the
> 1930's, because of the economic and foreign policy disasters that occurred
> during those decades. I recommend reading economist Randall Parker's
> Reflections on the Great Depression and Winston Churchill's The Gathering
> Storm. Churchill's mastery of the language is justification itself for
> reading his work.
> 
> Of all of the scholars who have attempted to provide perspective on the
> war between the United States and militant Islam, Ralph Peters is the one
> who impresses me the most. One example is his book Beyond Terror.
> 
> Given my own background, I believe that the insights of contemporary
> economics are important. In particular, it is important to understand the
> ability of decentralized markets to process information and provide
> technological dynamism. If students do not take an economics course -- and
> even if they do -- I recommend something like Virginia Postrel's The
> Future and its Enemies 
> 
http://www.dynamist.com/tfaie/

enemies include Environmentalists and Ralph Nader

> or Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics 

basically, pro-free market

or Sowell's The
> Vision of the Anointed.

the anointed being the liberal intelligentsia *whine*.


>  Justifiable Caution
> 
> I mean no disrespect to Shakespeare and Homer. I certainly have no
> objection to students reading the ancients -- or, for that matter, the
> works of Kant, Locke, and other great scholars who did not make the
> university presidents' list.
> 
>  In some respects, the caution shown by focusing on classics may be
> justified. When professors at the University of Maryland have selected
> modern works for courses for my oldest daughter, these have included the
> films of Michael Moore, the play "The Vagina Monologues," and postmodern
> sociological history. She showed me a quiz in which "Gender is socially
> constructed" was given as a true-false choice. No room to explain, argue,
> or analyze. Just True or False! And the correct answer was supposed to be
> "True"! If this is the professors' idea of contemporary thinking, I would
> rather that they stick to Plato.

damn those pointy-headed intellectuals!

>  Humanities professors are capable of inhabiting the modern world if they
> choose to do so. The head of the philosophy department at Muhlenberg,
> where one of my daughters attends college, is very much up to speed on
> where biotechnology is going and the ethical issues that it poses.

Unlike the French, right?

> Barriers to Entry
> 
> If I ran the zoo, so to speak, then a liberal arts education would include
> more books from my reading list and more professors like the Muhlenberg
> philosophy chairman. In a competitive environment, this updated liberal
> arts education would beat out what is currently offered to college
> students.
> 
> The defective curriculum is protected, however, by strong barriers to
> entry. The nation's top-tier colleges benefit from network and lock-in
> effects. No single Ivy League undergraduate has the incentive to attend a
> start-up college, unless a large number do so simultaneously. In many
> industries in our economy, a fresh new player with a bright idea can make
> inroads into the market. The academy is highly insulated from that sort of
> competition.

Er...

> Individual colleges do experiment with their curriculum now and then.
> However, such experiments are limited by the power of tenured faculty to
> resist change.
> 
> The Real Issue of "Relevance"
> 
> In the 1960's, radical students launched a concerted attack on the
> "irrelevance" of the college curriculum. What they demanded, however, was
> not more study of science and technology, but instead a new focus on
> gender and ethnicity. These leftists are now ensconced in positions of
> power in universities. I would bet that a fair number of the university
> presidents in the Fairleigh-Dickinson survey were student protesters back
> in the day.

Oh, you mean the *1960s*. *whimper* I'll bet few regents were protesters
"back in the day."

> Looking at the poll results, particularly when broken down into the
> most-cited authors, it would appear that the battle to unseat the "dead
> white males" from their commanding position in the academy has been a
> failure. My concern is that while there is a lot of handwringing over the
> dominance of "white males," the real travesty is that the writers
> recommended by academic leaders are so long dead. The ancients have no
> familiarity with the opportunities and challenges posed by widespread
> affluence, scientific medicine, electric power, high-speed communication,
> and computers.
> 
> If students today wish to protest to demand more "relevance" in their
> education, then I believe that they have a case. How can they face the
> twenty-first century if their academic leaders are oblivious to the
> nineteenth and twentieth?
> 
> #  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
> #  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
> #  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
> #  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
> #  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net

-- 
Games are very educational. Scrabble teaches us vocabulary, Monopoly 
teaches us cash-flow management, and D&D teaches us to loot the bodies. 
-- Steve Jackson

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Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2004 10:44:31 -0800 (PST)
From: Lewis LaCook <llacook {AT} yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> what would be nettime's reading list?

imagine that, academics choosing the canon...

bliss
l

--- geert lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl> wrote:
> (Would it include Empire, Crowds and Power, Male
> Fantasies, a Foucault,
> Ahrendt or even Deleuze? How much history (of
> science)? How much would
> politically correct and which titles would really be
> useful? Geert)
> 
> http://www.techcentralstation.com/022704C.html
> 
> The Problem with Dead White Males
>  By Arnold Kling  Published 02/27/2004
 <...>

=====


This is as useful as a doll.--Gertrude Stein

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Sidereality: http://www.sidereality.com/

--------

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#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net