Tim Syth on Wed, 23 Sep 2009 12:38:10 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Has Facebook superseded Nettime?

Hello all,

The Nettime vs. Facebook debate is admittedly fun to think through, but 
is also seems like an unnecessary polemical comparison of a shovel and a 
sieve--both of which are useful tools. 

Shovels (such as Facebook) are good for excavation of the veins of 
information flowing through culture. It is critical to be aware of the 
times, even if that means bearing witness to the adventures of Britney, 
knowing what sit-com is hot where, or being aware of the most popular 
Facebook app (Superwall). The shallowness of Facebook and its cousins is 
wonderful for keeping tabs on the cultural pulse.

On the flipside, I find the sieves (Nettime and the like) to be more 
intensely focused perspectives. Such sieves definitely take more time 
and energy to process, but the facts that the user interface isn't there 
and that one must often read multiple and lengthy emails for each thread 
creates hurdles for those who want to participate. These hurdles require 
a more active commitment to the process, regardless of content, and it 
is this activity and willingness to invest time that contributes a 
filtering and intensifying of information that I also find very useful.

The thing is that both the shovel and the sieve are needed to balance 
each other out. In my mind, the more important question raised here is 
where does such polemic and unfortunately rather conventional thinking 
leave us?

Too much intensity without a general awareness or comprehensivity 
creates disconnected, ultra-specialized, and rather useless information. 
Too much general information without a passionate point of focus creates 
tired cliches and uninspired media bites. Either way, productive action 
is frequently left on the wayside. I want to hear about inventive and 
inspired practices and ideas, whether the platform is a commercial 
Facebook or an ivory tower Nettime. The more tools the merrier. 
Furthermore, as each of us access a different tool-set and use each of 
these tools to different degrees, while still crossing paths somewhere 
along the line (perhaps while shoveling on Facebook or sieving on 
Nettime), I believe we get a more diversified and enriching experiences.

The crucial crux of this situation is that we each need to know when to 
use which tool, to fully utilize the tools we choose, and to be willing 
to let tools and live and die based upon their usability. When Nettime's 
time is up we'll know because we'll stop using it.

Until then, active participation and dirt under the nails are what 
interest me.



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