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Re: <nettime> The Return of DRM
Felix Stalder on Fri, 30 Apr 2010 15:06:03 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Return of DRM

On Friday April 30 2010, Morlock Elloi wrote:
> Zillions of 'tards rubbing their iphones or "socializing" via http are
> not informed technology users - they are products tethered to their
> manufacturers via complicated chains of deceptions.

Instinctively, I agree with this, but on second thought, this seems   
to be closing the case a bit too prematurely. Here in Austria,        
there were presidential elections (a mainly representational post)   
last week, where the incumbent was challenged only by a far-right     
candidate. In recent elections, the far-right freedom party managed   
to portray itself as the party of youth, fighting against the         
old-guard establishment of the dominant parties.                      

This time, some students managed to mobilize several thousand people,
mainly through facebook, to protest in the street against the neo-nazi
candidate very early in the campaign. This contributed to her looking
really old and stuck in the past. The veneer of the party of the young
was damaged and she did badly at election day (there were many other
factors contributing to her poor showing, of course.) So, all in all,
fb played a positive role here.

The point being, the fact that these platforms are centralized,       
commercial and thus provide a very particular framing of social       
interactions (who would have thought that 'having friends' could be   
quantified....) does not mean that they cannot enable things that     
escape this framing. They can, as long as the social logic of the     
users does not come in conflict with the commercial logic of the      

But conflict between providers and users need not break out openly.
The key question, rather, would be to understand the impact of the
framing of social interaction through commercial, advertisement-driven
infrastructures vs the autonomy of the social interaction that they
enable. I think in the long run, the former is far more powerful than
the latter, but I cannot really put my finger on it why and how.



--- http://felix.openflows.com ----------------------- books out now:
*|Deep Search.The Politics of Search Beyond Google.Studienverlag 2009
*|Mediale Kunst/Media Arts Zurich.13 Positions.Scheidegger&Spiess2008
*|Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society. Polity, 2006 
*|Open Cultures and the Nature of Networks. Ed. Futura/Revolver, 2005 

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