Newmedia on Sun, 10 Jun 2012 21:13:47 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Nightmare or Opening?

In your chapter on money, you say --
> In the second half of the twentieth century, humanity 
> formed a world society â a single interactive social 
> network â for the first time. 
Really?  Does China want to a part of this "world society"?  Or  Brazil?  
Or Russia or India or Mexico or Indonesia or Italy or Egypt?   Or Cleveland 
or Miami or San Diego?  No they don't and why would  they?
And, what is an "interactive social network"?  A social-graph that can  be 
monetized through advertising?  That's the Facebook business plan and  
simply doesn't work.  Indeed, as Douglas Rushkoff recently remarkd, "It is  
anti-social."  Digital economics cuts the opposite direction -- as was  already 
widely evident in 1992 when I brought AOL public.
> This was symbolized when the 60s space race allowed 
> us to see the earth from the outside or when the internet 
> went public in the 90s, announcing the convergence of 
> telephones, television and computers in a digital revolution 
> of communications . . . 
Huh?  Why would the positioning of satellites in geo-stationary orbits  in 
order to rain the same consumptionist propaganda down on everyone's heads  
reflect the same "symbolic" results as the Internet where people talk  back?  
These are two fundamentally different actions -- as today's economy  shows.
C'mon, look around.  Has it worked out the way you describe?   Music sales 
are down sharply.  Movies and magazines and newspapers  also.  Nowhere has 
digital media even equally what it replaced.  And,  no one believes that it 
Convergence never made any sense!  The only people who thought that  
television and computers would "converge" were those who wanted to use the  
Internet to get people to buy things they don't need.  And, now that we  have seen 
what they can do over the past 20+ years and you add it all up . . .  they 
have failed.
> Emergent world society is the new human universal â not 
> an idea, but the fact of our shared occupation of the planet 
> crying out for new principles of association. The task of 
> building a global civil society for the twenty-first century, 
> perhaps even a federal world government, is an urgent one.
World government was the task of the 1950s (or really the 1920s of  H.G. 
Wells' "Open Conspiracy.")  This was the task of the United Nations,  the 
IMF/World Bank, the World Federalists, the Trilateral Commission.  It  was the 
task for Rockefeller and Soros and the other "masters of the  universe."  
It is *not* the task today.  Why are you re-asserting their claims and  
re-arguing their case?
Furthermore, emergence is a myth -- literally, "mythic thinking."  It  is 
accounted for, if at all, as the "loophole" in the 2nd Law of  
Thermodynamics.  It is a presumed "ineffable" quality of matter itself,  representing the 
neo-pantheism of our times.  There is nothing *human* at  all about 
> Money, instead of being denigrated for its exploitive power, 
> should be recognized for its redemptive qualities, particularly 
> as a mediator between persons and society. Money â and 
> the markets it sustains â is itself a human universal, with the 
> potential to be emancipated from the social engines of 
> inequality that it currently serves (Hart 2000).
This "universal" you describe isn't *human* at all -- it is MAGICAL  
thinking.  Economic growth is, as many have noted, driven by the "magical"  
circulation of money.  Everyone pays others and gets paid for doing what no  one 
really needs at all.  Round-and-round it goes.  Prosperity for  everyone!  
For better-and-worse, the HUMANS have already figured this out and  
more-and-more are jumping off the merry-go-round.  Now that's a *crisis*  alright . 
. . of global economic proportions!
Mark Stahlman
Brooklyn NY

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