Geert Lovink on Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:10:30 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Paulina Borsook on Cyberselfish, 15 years later

Dear nettimers,

Paulina Borsook should be considered California???s first generation net
critics, writing a decade before Carr, Lanier, Keen, Turkle and Morozov
took the center stage and mainstreamed the genre. Much like the
scattered initiatives and individuals such as Bad Subjects, Steve
Cisler, David Hudson and Phil Agre (just to list a few random names),
Paulina Borsook was one of the first to criticize the self-centred
libertarian tendencies in the computer industry. Different from UK
critics Barbrook and Cameron (who published their Californian Ideology
in 1995), Borsook was an insider, for instance closely connected to
Louis Rosetto and the first generation of Wired magazine contributors.
In 2001 I did an interview with her to promote her book Cyberselfish, A
Critical Romp Through the Terribly Libertarian World of High-Tech. The
interview was included in my MIT Press interview collection Uncanny
Networks. I was also able to invite her to speak in Europe at the Dark
Markets event in Vienna, in September 2002.

Even though Pauline wasn???t part of the nettime community at the time,
I saw her unique view from inside Silicon Valley as a part of the same
movement expressing socio-political and artistic discontent where the
internet industry was heading. In a strange way Cyberselfish even came
too late: the dotcom bubble had already crashed a few months earlier,
and the book was launched mid 2000, around the dubious election campaign
of G.W. Bush, a year before 9/11. Consequently, Cyberselfish disappeared
into a black hole. 15 years later, Paulina approached INC with the
request to publish two new texts: an auto-biographic note and an update
of Cyberselfish, a 2015 afterword, if you like. We were honoured she
asked us. Here are the URLs: (the essay) (auto biographic text)

Best from Amsterdam, Geert

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