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Re: <nettime> The 'Jake' Appelbaum case, or the rise and fall of celebri
biella on Fri, 10 Jun 2016 17:36:57 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The 'Jake' Appelbaum case, or the rise and fall of celebrities



   *** It has a lot to do with numbers. These, surprisingly, looked to be in
   our favor. Gatherings were ever bigger, the amount of people and
   resources mobilized were ever larger. It was probably a delusion. Just
   as the numbers increased, so decreased actual, personal participation.
   Larger groups foster 'strong personalities' - and Jake is surely one,
   for better or worse - and transform the rest, by sheer inertia, into
   mostly passive followers.

I dunno Patrice: while the rise of the celebrity hacker has been
problematic, I see a pretty different set of trends in the last few
years that are nothing but encouraging.

We see hackers taking real risk to expose wrong doing (which is why a
number are in jail). We see them being more inclusive than in years past
(gender issues are openly talked about and addressed *finally *) and
then there are all sorts of rather interesting projects that are well
and alive and  kicking and trying to reach beyond a narrow technic al
elite from the massive free culture urban experiments in Madrid Spain to
the  Pirate Parties that to be sure are only have some (and progressive)
success in limited places like Iceland.

Then you have the hackers like Phineas Phisher engaging in direct action
hacking to leak--a modality we will see more of in coming years.

I think the landscape has changed  and for the better.

To be sure in some areas, like Amsterdam some political activity has
waned. In s ome areas like Silicon Valley, progressive hacker politics
are almost impossible to nurture but to declare its death and demise is
to overl ook the present which seems to be teeming with political

I just finished a long article on the topic which will be published in
the fall.  I am happy to share with anyone who wants to take a look.

Final point: I agree with many of your points about the corrosive nature
of cele brity, which are spot on. Hell, it is the main reason I like and
studied Anonymous. We should be vigilant with the problem of celebrit y
leaders (for the reasons you state quite eloquently below) but to then
use that problem to diagnose the death of the hack er political movement
is premature. Hopefully the community can learn from this and forge
forward but I am not sure things are dea d at all even if there are
problems, which there invariably will be.


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