Kevin Murray on Thu, 23 Jul 1998 07:05:35 +0200 (MET DST)

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RE: <nettime> Net Criticism 2.0: a bug report for first-timers

> Net Criticism 2.0 A Fast Conversation of Two Moderators
> with Ted Byfield and Geert Lovink
> GL: So let us have an exchange about the current and
> possible 'net criticism' and how we think this genre
> should be (further) developed. Who are your masters,
> big examples? Is NC different from IT-business
> reporting, investigative journalism, essays?

Any attempt at Net Criticism is certainly welcome, and 2.0 seems to offer a
useful account of how the net can be placed among the big media players. But
I'd like to suggest the inclusion of an additional feature. Of course, this
may be planned for later versions of NC, but I'd at least like to add my
voice to the chorus of users seeking additional capabilities.

I'm thinking specifically about a phenomenological dimension of Net
Criticism. This is a dimension that relates to the experience of the Net,
rather than its politics (though of course they intersect).

There are many general observations that might be made about the online
experience, but a short-cut to these issues can be found in the
'FirstTime.Com' scam. This is a scam where two 18 year olds were supposedly
going to lose their virginity in front of a web cam on a pre-advertised date
and time.

Scams might be seen as 'dreams' of the net. The desperate desire for hits
draws entrepeneurs to find the hot spots of collective libido that remain

'FirstTime.Com' extends a fascination for the way the net can extend into
private realms. Why this fascination? Is it voyeurism or camaraderie? One
way of answering this question is to put this 'loss of innocence' together
with Timothy Leary's attempt at an online death bed scene. Both imply a
god-like net that transcends the mortal world in its act of global witness.

At the end of this path, the real loss of virginity is going online for the
first time, and true death is offline.

Thoughts like these must have passed through many critical minds in thinking
about the net. The question is, should they have a place in Net Criticism
Forecast for Melbourne Issued at 0505 on Thursday the 23rd of July
1998 Becoming fine after local morning drizzle, chiefly in
southeastern suburbs. A partly cloudy day with light northwest to
westerly wind. Max 13
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