Peter Lunenfeld on 9 Aug 2000 07:28:52 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Interview with Peter Lunenfeld

Dear Richard --

There was no misunderstanding to clear up. In fact, your rephrasing, "the
New World makes good things and thinks lazy thoughts," rankles even more
than the original.

It should come as no surprise that some of the earliest critiques of West
Coast techno-libertarianism originated cheek to jowl with the hype. Take
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Hackers: Reading Mondo 2000" by Vivien Sobchack.
Sobchack originated this dead-on dissection of "optimistic cynicism" and
"the ambivalence of mondoid desire" as a short piece for Artforum in 1991
while she was still living in Santa Cruz, and then expanded it  for Mark
Dery's Flame Wars in 1993, after she had moved to LA. So, don't blame
California (much less the whole of the New World) if too many Europeans took
WIRED at face value. "The New World: Thinking rigorous thoughts since 1776."

Yours --


>Just to clear up a misunderstanding:
>>When Richard Barbrook and
>>Andy Cameron wrote "The Californian Ideology,"
>>for some of us who were working here, the tone of the
>>article rankled: "So far, the Californians have proved to be better at
>>making virtual machines than social analyses." This is a typical European
>>attitude  the New World makes, the Old World thinks.
>This is *not* what the sentence means. What it really says is that the New
>World makes good things and thinks lazy thoughts.
>Funnily enough, 'The Californian Ideology' was primarily inspired by our
>annoyance at the way that the Old World thinks about the Net whatever the
>New World thinks. Look at the uncritical reception given over here to
>'Wired' in '95 - and to Manuel Castells today...

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