nettime's_storm_system on Mon, 3 Jun 2002 11:28:31 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> empirical digest [taiuti, caravita, strpic, schultz]

"Lorenzo Taiuti" <>
"Giuseppe Caravita" <>
     Re: <nettime> On Empire
Ognjen Strpic <>
     Zagreb interview with Michael Hardt
Pit Schultz <>
     Re: <nettime> The Hacker Class / On Empire

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From: "Lorenzo Taiuti" <>
Subject: Empire
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2002 15:54:52 +0200

I am  very surprised by the impact that Negri's "Empire" is having on 
the net.
I know Negri's thought from long ago and i wonder why his ideas get so 
much attenction now on the Net.
"DO WE NEED ANOTHER HERO?" ( Tina Turner'song  in "Mad Max under the 
Thunder Dome" 1989? )
The thought going on the net shoul be clear of "typical thought", 
refusing the "compact ideas" of the near past and try to shape 
democratic thought.
What's really different from analisys constantly made on "radical" 
mailing lists and Negri's book?
The sheer fact that is been published.
And what about the "comunity thinking" that was supposed to make a 
"rhyzome" system of thinking?
We don't Need another Hero.
Lorenzo Taiuti

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From: "Giuseppe Caravita" <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> On Empire
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2002 19:33:15 +0200

 Caveat lector.  Or, as they say in
> today's university vernacular, don't believe the hype.
> Kermit Snelson
One generation of italian leftists (autonomi) educated by this "cattivo
maestro" is enough.
Take some Rifkin (the Age of Access), some James Boyle (The second enclosure
movement and the costruction of the public domain...), some Lessig (the
future of ideas....), put all that in the magical words of Seventies radical
communist left and You have "Empire" as result.
Negri, in reality, is only a poet. But a dangerous one. Because He think of
himself as a revolutionary.....
Beppe Caravita

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Date: Sun, 02 Jun 2002 19:29:47 +0200
From: Ognjen Strpic <>
Subject: Zagreb interview with Michael Hardt

dear nettimers,

the transcript of the interview i posted to nettime was made primarily as a 
source for translation and was a bit too literal and full of typos (as i'm 
sure you noticed but were too polite to complain).

well, i re-read it and the text is now slightly edited, much more legible, 
and does more justice to Michael Hardt. therefore, if you wish to use it, 
please use the polished version, named New Forms of Power*, available at

*thanks to Jim from

Ognjen Strpic 

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Date: Sun, 02 Jun 2002 15:20:15 +0200
From: Pit Schultz <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> The Hacker Class / On Empire

even if i agree in many points with your text on empire,
yes, the authors wrote their book under clinton and so
the topic of copyright wasn't as hip as it is today,
Hardt lately announced that they'll write an update
on bioproperty and IP.

strange is for my opinion the lack of media analysis,
television, radio, print. the berlusconi, murdoch,
and now sunken media empire of leo kirch do not find
much mentioning, and so doesn't the role of football
and its colonial heritage which might be done in
the sequels :) instead one has to read about Rome again
and again, which reminds us to cultural theories
of the 19th century. Why not Napoleon? Or the
Commonwealth? and what's up with this 'posse'
a reference to north american hiphop culture?
the empire leaves many questions open...

i think the property relation and its technical realisation
in DRM systems and international law would fit pretty well
in their analysis, which indeed doesn't center on class structures,
which makes sense arguing against a political rethoric dominated
by the rule of the all encompassing middle class, as third
way clintonian social democracy leaning towards neo-liberalism..

Regarding your concept of the "hacker class", one could see it in
tradition of Gramsci's organic intellectual as the hacker is usually
employed to work for a "bigger hacker", like Bill Gates,
helping to establish standards of consent, extending the hegemony
of MS windows (or linux, see below). Also the concept of immaterial
labour is more fruitful, as it allows to include the *user*, in his
inter-passivity of leaving datatrails and paying with attention, or
the social work of taking part in a chat, and all the other liminal
actions people take when they are on the net.

The fact that Eric Raymond tried to coin the term of the hacker
doesn't make it much more credible. Id reads like from a
mid 90ies Wired's jargon watch page. [2] Out of the mouth of Richard
Stallmann, it gets a bit more to the point of an (ironic) messianic

"When we have enough free software
At our call, hackers, at our call,
We'll throw out those dirty licenses
Ever more, hackers, ever more.

Join us now and share the software;
You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free."

maybe i miss it a bit, but when i hear vectorial i can't resist
to think "generation flash". Karl and Friedrich wearing a pair
of new sneakers, no logo?

my main problem with empire is the rethorical figure which
ends up with an open question of a needed mode of organisation.
it suggests that the multitudes are an interim mode, a mode
of becoming wich needs to lead to another stage. again at
the horizon the splintergroups of the 70ies appear, the
fight over the proper modes of organisation.

i think that it must be possible to keep he fluid mode
going as long as it is needed, depending of the modes of
organisation of the empire itself. at another moment the tactics
of 'networks and castles' might apply. the second book, "the
empire strikes back" might contain the solution. maybe it's good
to take the good parts of the book but not take it too serious
when it gets strange and interesting...



An individual with a good understanding of the structure and operation of 
computer networks, who deliberately breaks into confidential systems. In 
many cases there are no malign intentions, although hackers can cause 
damage by inadvertently introducing viruses or commands that disrupt the 
proper working of the system. Those with more malign intentions are 
sometimes known as crackers.

[16c: from hack to cut with heavy blows and a jagged effect]. (1) Someone 
or something that hacks or does things badly; formerly, by extension, 
someone who mangles words and meanings. (2) [1970s]. An informal term for 
an obsessive computer programmer who is constantly trying new things 
(tinkering or hacking), including seeking access to private systems (as an 
electronic eavesdropper), and planting destructive routines (viruses) in 
other people's programs. In the 1980s, for this reason, the term developed 
pejorative connotations. It is, however, used positively in both the title 
and the text of The New Hacker's Dictionary (ed. Eric S. Raymond: MIT 
Press, 1991). This work discusses the jargon and slang of computer 
enthusiasts (which it sometimes refers to as hackish), with entries from 
abend (an 'abnormal end' in which a software program 'crashes') through 
kluge up ('to lash together a quick hack to perform a task') to zork mid 
('the canonical unit of currency in hacker-written games). [Media, 
Technology]. T.McA., M.L.

1. A person who is proficient at using or programming a computer; a 
computer buff.
2. A person who breaks into a computer system to view, alter, or steal 
restricted data and programs. Some former hackers have become professional 
designers of sophisticated computer security systems.

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