Date sent: Wed, 6 Dec 95 05:55 MET
From: Pit Schultz
Subject: Late: Re: Utopian Promises-Net Realities / Critical Art Ensemble
Copies to:,,,

Hi John,

some answer take their time, and then there are maybe even more questions...

At 22:16 19.11.1995 -0700, you wrote:
>At 5:01 PM 11/19/95, Pit Schultz wrote:

>>The need for net criticism certainly is a matter of overwhelming urgency.
>Really? What do you propose we do with your criticisms and indictments? sorry for my very late answer; thanks for the flowers, but the text was from CAE. Let's point on 'we need to cultivate a critical perspective towards the tools we use' (John Brockman)

>Even if we find the Net to be brimming with toxins to the future
>commonweal, by what means shall we prevent them?

maybe balkanization? there are still some first and second wave bastards which have simply other problems then beeing 'unwired'. But if "The border (between cyberspace and the offline world) needs protection and blood will be spilled..." (you about 'Cyberspace and the American dream', cited in web review) then certainly critique is a weak weapon. I would say a certain uncertainity must not mean war, just politics as their continuation. I think also for EFF a question: What should one do against the political indifference of the virtualized self? What means 'action' in a electronic environment? Maybe the marketing of belief. Establishing new belief systems like a naturalized info-darwinism, or a Weltgeist of the wires? Finannly i am thankful for the existence of such ambigouus enemy tribes like the intoxikating Wired Magazine, it's clear that noone need a consistent theory anymore, if only a kind of desire can circulate and money gets transfered.

>"Direct action" to control the Net toward the improvement of Humankind is
>no less perilous in the service of your good intentions than it would be in
>the service of Senator Exon's. And stopping it is not an option. It is as
>inevitable as evolution, running, as it does, on the same engine.

It's a very good feeling to see our evolution planned in the heads of Kelley, Toffler, Ginrich and others. They are very bright in reducing all the possibilties to a kind of prophecy which is not yet proved to be selffullfilling. Mother nature will certainly do a better job if becoming netscape enhanced. First it's enough when Wired shows us how much 'we need the black people to make the net more funky' It's not only my online addiction itself, it's the tales arount it which bother me. Proud to be alienated. What The Net hasn't proved yet very well is, that if it's useful to more than sweet smoke in the heads of the info elites.

>A decentralized medium offers but few choices - and they are very personal
>ones: jack in, jack out, or jack off.

What interests me is 'where the personal helicopters are that they have promised us'.

>In the end, as Gandhi proposed, "You must be the change you wish to see in
>the world." There's little else you can do.
And Goebbels said: listen to the voice in the radio.

** but now to something completely different.

instead of chatting around, finding enlightening phrases, we could do a little interview online, if information is based on difference, than it can't be conflictous enough, there is more to do than wasting your time= with quasi-personal mail and disfuntional unix operators, but we decided lately that nettime should _not_ be a talk list. So would you like to do an e-mail interview? Let's say, a 'funky' one, where both sides have their fun (and time) You can decide if private or mailing-list or not.

Please tell us if you like and if, when you like to start. I'll ask Geert if he would participate. Kind of Euro/US cybercultural dialogue?

best regards



we later open an x-tra nettime-talk channel
here is some reply from 'the authors'
'communication creates conflict' heath likes to say.. hope you stay on the list!


As for Mr. Barlow, he and I certainly do not see things not see things in the same way. The discussion is too large to really go into now. However, the following points may apply here:

1 Resistance is a gamble; there is always a strong possibility that it may go wrong. The direction of the authoritarian state is a certainty. What do we have to lose by acting against it?

2 Nomadism offers many vioces, authoritarian structure offers one voice.

3 The sight machine is turned on (like the war machine) and there is no turning it off--quite correct. However, the amount of autonomy that individuals attain will vary depending on social forces acting against the machines. The resistance is permanent and forever.

4 Critique helps us to map the contestational terrain. From critique, we can deduce strategies and tactics of resistance. The negation of critique leads to the affirmation of action.