Keith Sanborn on Sun, 6 Jul 2003 14:23:52 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Google's Weapons of Mass Destruction

Even my father sent me this one and I appreciate the critique wrapped in
humor, but it's also another kind of a Trojan Horse: if you happen to buy
one of the books on that the creator of the site links to, then
he gets paid. Again, we have a form of clever advertising, something the
brits are quite good at. Political critique that gets paid; or is it just
someone wanting to get paid who uses political critique as a hook? Not
much worse or radically different than the "un lapin" website selling tee
shirts and I'm a fan of the latter, though I've never bought the tee

To paraphrase a 20th century advertising jingle: it's two, two, two things
in one.

It's enough to drive one back to arguments about superstructure and
substructure in an ancient Marxian vein.

But it's not about advertising being bad; that's a given. It's about
masquerade and data gathering. I imagine it will be frequently imitated.
But this is an interesting case where the search engine is detourned, but
then the politics are recuperated by a commercial impulse. Usually, they
aren't planned into the same package. It seems like another permutation of
what Debord called "the integrated spectacle" and may even represent a new
tactic--if not a new strategy--for commodifying dissent.

Keith Sanborn

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