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Re: <nettime> Facebook's perfec spam laboratory.
Newmedia on Fri, 18 Jan 2013 16:02:49 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Facebook's perfec spam laboratory.

> Facebook has replaced that and now a brainwashed 
> mass celebrates its gullibility and ignorance in ways 
> that must repel all sensitive souls, if they were ever 
> to risk contamination by joining in.
Diana McCarthy invited me to keynote the last MetaForum 15 years ago  
(because I had dared to challenge John Perry Barlow' s "Cyberspace" declaration)  
-- so where is she now?  Facebook.
When I got to Budapest, one of the most interesting people I met was  
Richard Barbrook.  I wrote "English Ideology and WIRED Magazine" in reply  to his 
"Californian Ideology" (and his propensity to go off on Hungarians and  
everyone else for their "national" characteristics) -- so where is he now?   
The last nettime F2F event took place at the (Soros) offices of Vuk Cosic  
in Ljubljana -- so where is he now?  Facebook (in Slovenian).
When I brought up the lack of serious discussion about the impact of  
technology on our behaviors and attitudes on nettime many months ago, what was  
the reaction?  Nothing.
The best one-liner on the topic came from Diana -- WMD = Weapons of Mass  
Distraction.  The best back-and-forth discussion came from Richard -- what  
did McLuhan actually know in the 1960s about the coming of the "network"?   
(Answer: Nothing and Richard misuses the term "McLuhanism" as a stand-in for  
whatever replaced "Fordism.")
Where did these discussions happen?  Facebook.
When I tried to initiate a conversation on nettime regarding Vuc's plans to 
 stage a conversation at a gallery about "where do ideas come from?" the  
moderators decided not to post my reply to his announcement.  Twice.   So, 
what happened in Ljubljana?  Patrice showed up but no report on  nettime.
And, then we get this from Felix, "Yes, I totally agree, media determinism  
is self-defeating and my post,
written sloppily, might have suggested  that."
Huh?  What the hell does "media determinism" mean?   "Self-defeating"?  
More "sloppiness" by referring in an *apology* to a MEME  that has no meaning?
I've recently been tracking down sociologists to try to figure out why they 
 denounce "media determinism" and invented what they call "Social 
Construction of  Technology" (SCOT), since I couldn't find an explanation in the 
published  material.  I've had conversations with two who have published books 
on the  topic and they admitted that it was a "defensive" move meant to 
"protect"  sociology from *outsiders* -- sound familiar (i.e. nettime protecting 
itself  from Facebook)?
Aaron Swartz was wrong (in addition to being clinically depressed and  
suicidal) -- INFORMATION is *not* power.  As Francis Bacon made clear  KNOWLEDGE 
is power.  They are decidedly *not* the same thing.
Instead of a discussion on nettime, what we get is "information wants to be 
 free" hagiography . . . #FAIL.
> I contend that this is a variant of the socialist inversion
> of > Spencer's bourgeois myth.
Mythology indeed!  (And, btw, since "bourgeois" simply means people  who 
live in cities, what is "wrong" with that -- would you rather be a  "pagan"?)
The primary *effect* of DIGITAL technology is to encourage feedback.   This 
is what nettime did once.  Now this is what Facebook does.  (And,  if you 
don't like what I say, you can just "unfriend" me --  which, presumably 
because Keith doesn't "like" my comments, is exactly  what he did. <g>)
This is quite different from the *effect* of mass-media, which is to  
encourage consumption.  To the extent that nettime encourages "consumption"  of 
the same *mythology* without any FEEDBACK (which is likely what happens to  
any moderated list), it has remained in the earlier "analog" media modality 
in  which "fumes" are recycled and nothing "upsetting" happens.
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY
P.S. What Coates and Wang are doing is very important for economics, which  
is why I'm in touch with them (and why Keith just posted a link to their 
HBR  "manifesto" on FB but not on nettime).  Obviously, there won't be a  
discussion about "real-world" economics on nettime.  But will there be one  on 

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