Newmedia on Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:29:47 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Nettime @ Hungaroring

Fellow Nettimers 

As the old saying goes, "They always return to the scene of the crime" so,
eight years after MetaFORUM III, I have returned to Budapest (this time
with my copy of "Multitude" in hand) . . . to review the scene and relive
the crime.

The reason for my return was another world historic event, involving,  once 

1)  a stadium filled with Euro-Asians, Magyars, Germans, Mediterraneans,
Brits and other assorted far-flungers,

2)  a weekend focused on the implications of the latest technologies –
at the intersection of industrial and the information ages -- along with
their social and economic implications,

3)  groups-within-groups, ins-and-outs, old rivalries, new conquests,
suspicions, energetic parties, lethargic central committees, espionage,

4)  and, incidentally, I stayed (part of the time) in an upscale hotel
overlooking the Danube and ventured towards Statue Park, once again.

This time, however, it was the Hungarian Grand Prix that captured nearly  all 
my attention. 

Who would have imagined that in these past eight years

a)  WIRED would have become a lifestyle magazine owned by a British
publishing house,

b)  the "Californian Ideology" would have led to Arnold Schwarzinegger,an
Austrian, becoming governor of California,

c)  the Internet Bubble would have crashed, leaving many well-laid plans
twisted and abandoned,

d)  George Soros would nearly be forgotten and "industrial capital" would
have displaced "finance capital" in the trans-industrial age?
Who, indeed.  And, who can imagine what might happen in the next 8 years?  
What havoc and what panic will this digital services explosion unleash?  
Can media possibly be disarmed?  Will we ever learn to "stop worrying and
love the bomb."
Very few of those who were featured at MetaFORUM III are still on the list
--I was invited to deliver a "keynote" titled "Who are WE; What are we
BECOMING?" so, if you are still in touch with some of the "originals,"  
perhaps you can pass this note along . . . if they are still interested in
the scene and curious about the outcome of the crime.

Best, Mark Stahlman
New Media Laboratory New York City

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