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Re: <nettime> The Return of DRM
John Hopkins on Thu, 29 Apr 2010 18:49:28 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Return of DRM

Hi Brian ~

Greetings from Wendover Airbase where I am still in the midst of a
battalion-strength war games -- air power overhead (F/A-18s, Blackhawks and
MH-6 Little Bird Special Ops choppers), small- and medium-arms fire across
the street (hopefully they are shooting blanks) where two platoons have
taken up residence and are practicing sweep-and-clear exercises, and a
sizeable encampment one klick to the south including fire-finding and
ground-to-air targeting radar among other toys.  Belly of the Beast.

> The 2010s will see very different forms of revolt than the 90s, as
> well as very different forms of political invention. The idea that you
> could help to shape the protocols of a radically open public space -
> the tremendously productive idea of "open flows" - is over. That's not

Was it REALLY any different in those good old days?  When hasn't the (any!)
military-industrial complex NOT been in control of the protocols of
connection between its participating humans.  Can we say back in the early
days of telephone? (nah, Bell was a key figure in the yet-to-be-wet-dreamed
rise of the US Empire)

And if we go really far back, reading of the standardization of Roman
roads.  It's the same.  All roads lead to Rome...

IMHO, any techno-social system which deploys a communications means to
facilitate connection between its human participants will have, *as its
primary motivation*, the security and means to propagate that very system.

It appears to me that the countless layers of
protocol-built-on-protocol-built-on-protocol that is the case in our
current communications system merely obfuscates, more or less, where the
roots of the control and the motivations to control lie...

I can't think of any large-scale engineering system that has been deployed
anywhere with anything else in mind other than the continuance of hegemonic
control over the flows of energy that brought it to be in the first place.
(Those flows very much including the life-energy and life-time of the
humans who are participating).

Sure there are the autonomous zones where play and resistance are spawned,
but for these large techno-social systems, those are only fleas on the back
of the (straw)dog...  Sometimes those fleas carry bubonic plague (read:
viral ideas) and can bring down the dog, but a competing (straw)dog will
take its place.


PS -- I wonder, at this point, how many (what percent) on nettime are
actively, in an ongoing way, producing content on platforms that are not in
some way connected to Web 2.0?  And, how much time are they spending on the
more popular Web 2.0 platforms...?

John Hopkins
Artist-in-residence, April 2010
Center for Land Use Interpretation
Wendover Airbase, Utah, USA
chazhop {AT} gmail.com  jhopkins {AT} neoscenes.net
skype: chazhopkins

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