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Re: <nettime> FW: [IP] more on Ireland counts the cost of MIT Media Lab
Florian Cramer on Sun, 9 Oct 2005 16:02:44 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> FW: [IP] more on Ireland counts the cost of MIT Media Lab fiasco

Am Mittwoch, 05. Oktober 2005 um 19:49:55 Uhr (-0400) schrieb Gurstein, Michael:
> > Original URL: <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/04/
> > mit_media_lab_ireland/>
> >
> > Ireland counts the cost of MIT Media Lab fiasco
> >
> > By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco (andrew.orlowski at
> > theregister.co.uk)


> > The European Media Lab was launched at the height
> > of the tech bubble but closed its doors in
> > January this year. Its output may disappoint the
> > Irish government, but it won't surprise anyone
> > familiar with the original MIT Media Lab.
> >
> > [snip]

You left out the juicy bit:

| The institution was founded in the 1980s by Nicholas Negroponte
| as a way of relieving gullible corporations of their money. The
| haphazard and often whimsical "research" was scorned by real computer
| scientists, but succeeding in its goal of attracting attention from
| a gadget-happy mass media. Negroponte even funded his own tech porn
| publication: Wired magazine, to promote the utopian adventure.
| And they're still at it. This year we featured the Labs' Clocky - a
| shagpile-covered alarm clock that runs away from you.
| The only difference with MIT Media Lab Eire is that the taxpayer,
| rather than, private donors, were invited to sponsor the playpen.
| We can't improve on the Sunday Times description of the scandal,
| written by John Burns, which begins thus:
| "One of its biggest research projects was a sensor to read peoples
| minds. But MediaLab Europe (MLE), a project that cost the Irish
| taxpayer almost ¤40m, must have thought the Irish government was
| already telepathic. It refused to tell ministers how many people it
| employed, what they were paid, or to provide audited accounts."

This seems somewhat symptomatic for the whole so-called "new media" cyberkitsch,
and I wouldn't be too sad if these were the signs of its ultimate collapse and
vanishing. I wouldn't be surprised if in one or two decades, people will consider
"new media" retrofuturist camp, just as "cybernetics" before.



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