RTMARK admin on Fri, 28 Aug 1998 10:55:50 -0700 (PDT)

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Syndicate: misunderstandings

Our recent post ("the ejido's request that Ars Electronica facilitate an
informal meeting") has caused some misunderstanding and confusion, and
we'd like to try to clear it up so that attention can focus on issues that
really matter, rather than these miniscule institutional matters.  We are
sorry if anything we wrote led to these misunderstandings.

1. Geert Lovink does not moderate the Infowar list.  We never intended to
say that he does, or that he engages in censorship of any kind.  This is
just a bizarre misunderstanding, and a very unfortunate one, as it is
Geert's excellent work that has created a forum for these important issues
to be aired, and as we are in complete agreement with him on what is
important in this.

2. We do not know whether much censorship has actually occurred in the
Infowar list.  All we know is the one instance mentioned in our "ejido"
post, in which a message of ours did not make it to the list despite
several attempts.  (It was NOT Geert who prevented it from getting to the
list!!)  We thought this was particularly amusing, given the content of
the attempted post and the avowed confrontational theme of the list, but
we do not think this is a huge issue.  This is one list at one art
festival, not a corporate policy of Third World exploitation or anything
on that order.  We really did mean that this was amusing, as we said in
the post.  It's not a big outrage, it's a stepping stone to discuss a big

3. We have not intended to say that Gerfried Stocker has done anything
wrong, or that he is withholding travel funds for Popotla (we were once
under the impression these funds existed, but have since been corrected).
Our intention here has always been to point out some very important issues
via the content of the Infowar awards, without saying that anyone in
particular is to blame for that content.  Ars and Infowar must indeed be
thanked for sponsoring the Infoweapon prize, and for providing a forum to
discuss important issues raised by this conjunction of awards.  The real
problem we are trying to focus on is not with Ars at all--the real problem
is what 21st Century Fox is doing with Popotla, and what many, many other
corporations are doing in the Third World.  We think that the presence of
these parties, made possible by Ars, furnishes a terrific opportunity to
focus on these issues in a public setting, and this can only be good.

Again, we apologize for any misunderstandings caused by our post, and we
hope we can now focus on the real issues, since most of us (including the
people at Ars) are probably on the same side in these matters....

Bringing IT to YOU.