David Garcia on Tue, 18 Jun 2002 18:36:01 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> where has all the bandwith gone?

> As opposed to some "natural" societal evolution ? Bullshit. Masses were
> always and always will be buying dreams.

The fact that the masses (all of us I suppose) "were and always will be
buying dreams" does not mean that dreams are all we ever want or need.

When my three year old daughter recently had to undergo operations on both
her hips it was natural for us to look for what was out there in terms of
the knowledge that a hard pressed Dutch medical establishment was unable to
provide. We turned to the net to find what was known about her specialized
hip condition and, surprise surprise, the really useful knowledge (that has
been invaluable in helping us through this difficult process) came from a
list and website made, not by medical experts, but by fellow "nitwits", that
is ordinary sufferers, and carers  pooling their knowledge and experience.
For instance how do you change a nappy when the bottom half of your child's
body is in plaster? There are good tips for this that even the nurses did
not know. And  the fact that a video of this process would have been most
useful shows that the bandwidth issue remains relevant here.

Because the net is comprised of so much more than the official networks of
power and knowledge meant that we had access to a network of fellow "dumb
empty nitwits" who had all undergone (or were undergoing) simmilar or
related experiences. Isn't this why we value the net? Why its different from
all previous forms of media. It is neither exclusively a mass nor an
intimate medium but valuable hybrid allowing us to slide between the two.

> Average user is a dumb empty nitwit that may be
> able to create 0.5-1 kilobytes of original material per day. And outside
> his own house he can't really force his family videos onto anyone.

Throughout my daughter's months in plaster we have been keeping a video
diary (the video diary form has become a widely used form of personal
testimony which can, quite often, be of interest beyond ones own home).

I am sure that if the bandwidth had been available many of us in the "hip
club" would have been interested in developing the kind of preparitory
understanding that only audio visual material can provide.

Our case is not a one off.. There is a vast invisible realm of vernacular
knowledge and media production. Pit's wish to re-open the bandwidth question
for social needs (OK Morlock go for your gun, if you must) is valid and
important. Sadly the nature of Morlock's intervention suggests that we may
be losing sight of the net's value as a resource for knowldge and experience
which offers us so much more than the official version.

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