John Horvath (by way of Pit Schultz <>) on Sat, 14 Dec 96 02:17 MET

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

nettime: virtual ghettos [re: Internet+Belgrade]

>But the net puts it in your face. The students in Belgrade aren't strangers
>in a far away land anymore. They've made themselves part of my neighborhood.

Sounds like virtual Sesame Street. Or, even worse, like a personalized
version of CNN. After all, CNN says the same thing: "where will you be
the next time history happens?" They would like you to say in front of
the TV. The Web version is similar, except the answer is not "in front
of the TV" but "in front of the computer" (of course, this is rapidly
changing with Web TV. Pretty soon, the TV will be the all encompassing

CNN and the Web are useful for providing another view, but they should
not be substitutes for reality. Furthermore, if arm-chair activists
would like to make a difference, then they would get their asses in the
streets and demonstrate like the people in Belgrade -- in front of the
White House, parliament, or wherever.

Another thing: the "neighbourhood" that the Web creates ghettoizes your
world view. After all, much has been made about what has been going on
in Belgrade. Yet not that far away in Minsk, a similar situation
unfolded without as much of an outcry. Does this mean your neighbourhood
is determined by:

1) a home
2) electricity
3) a computer and internet connection

After all, who gives a shit about Kurds, Rawanda, the street children of
Brazil, Mongolia, etc.


*  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
*  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
*  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
*  more info: and "info nettime" in the msg body
*  URL:  contact: