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Re: <nettime> Steve Coll: Leaks (The New Yorker)
John Young on Fri, 12 Nov 2010 13:40:15 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> Steve Coll: Leaks (The New Yorker)


Like many supporters and detractors of Wikileaks Coll underestimates
the intent of the initiative. The comparison to media is fatuous as though
media, if not scholars, should be the dominant source of public information 
about governments and other authoritative institutions.

Media and scholars are themselves authoritatives more like governments
than different, enjoying privileges and protection all sides grant one
another while condemning those outside their fold.

None of the authoritatives are insurgencies and assuredly will find ways
to "critique" whatever disturbs their perquisites and opportunities, using
concepts and language meant to defuse and stigmatize threats.

There is overmuch circularity in Coll's apolgia for media in which he 
presumes an enduring value in responsible media and scholarhip that 
has been squandered by timid rumination. This marks a failure to
go beyond convention.

One might suspect Wikileaks is laughing its ass off at the high-value
conceit of supporters and detractors who are out to advance their
own initiatives under guise of pondering the Wikileaks each has
confected for that purpose -- and avoiding the high-risk of taking
on a true threat to authoritatives.

To be sure, Wikileaks as it has been might morph into a tamed beast
like so many short-lived, opportunisticly aggressive insurgencies
brought into submission with valorization, condemnation, attention, 
praise, notoriety, bribery, prizes and embrasure by mightily crafty 
and extremely well-endowed authoritatives who gobble up ambitious
rebels like sweetmeats.

Wikileaks would be smart to pull back from Ellsberg and those working
diligently to manage it in the most favored direction, the prefabricated
heroic, that is, all hat and no cattle.

Another New Yorker article this week explores the self-affirming drive 
toward heroism.

If not Assange's heroicly defiant Wikileaks peters out then many others 
more variable and durable, and that seems to be what's developing under
the radar of all too delusional incisiveness.


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