Armin Medosch on Tue, 13 Oct 1998 16:50:19 +0200 (MET DST)

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

<nettime> a moderate approach

Dear moderators,

as things get more and more emotional and words like "assholes" are flying
around I would like to suggest that the discussion takes on a more
moderated approach. I really don=B4t like the language that I saw the last
two days on my screen. It is obvious that the hijacking act is against all
nettiquette but as any act of piracy this is in the nature of such acts.
So, dismissing it as "not good net.manners" is as childish as the
hijacking act itself. I think that those who created this copycat list and
those who identify with it somehow felt very discontent about how nettime
is run. I don=B4t say this to justify the hijacking but to point out that,
as a matter of fact, there is discontent in the nettime "family".=20

But the other side now, the strong defenders of the established nettime
list, show no better manners. What particularly strikes me is that with
the polarization that has taken place it seems to be so easy now for them
to bash the other side. And by bashing them they can avoid any type of
critical self-reflection. But I think there are some questions to be

- can nettime really afford to keep going in this mode of clandestine
inner circle politics, which does not just affect the list but also real
world matters where nettime inner circle freemasons are involved?=20

- or should not rather a way be found, how nettime can get a clear and
transparent organisational structure which would make it more accountable,
more responsible and also more effective; if nettime was set up as a
non-commercial body it could also apply for funding which would make
projects like book publishing much easier and again, more transparent.
Who, for example, would really critizise those heroes who are working now
on the book for free. If this was done in a more structured way with clear
responsibilities also critique could be channeled better towards

- rather then calling reflection of the purpose of the list futile
navel-gazing I think it has to be asked wether it should go on as a list
which is mainly a dumping ground for long academic or otherly well
polished texts or if more lively forms of debate should be encoruaged. By
using the phrase "dumping ground" I don=B4t want to say that this purpose,
publishing texts, is not a good purpose. But if it is the main policy,
then that should also be made clear

- who are all these part time anarchists part time academics who have
enough time to write all those texts which I admittedly never will read.
Where are all the people now, who made the list interesting in the first
place and now stay so silent? Is their silence not more discomforting then
the loud protest of the list hijackers? Probably the saddest thing is how
people get so up in arms about these issues and somehow have lost the
passion to debate more broadly political and non-personal stuff.=20

More questions could be asked but one thing seems clear to me, that
nettime suffers of the "tyranny of structurelessness" so that rumour and
intrigue are in the forefront. I would rather be happy that this changed
and net critizism blossomed again and I don=B4t have to read about
nettime.assholes any more best wishes armin

Telepolis - Magazine of NetCulture
Office London: 52B Andrews RD, London E8 4RL
Phone: +44 171 923 88 30 Fax: +44 171 923 88 31

#  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-l" in the msg body
#  URL:  contact: