The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'cyberculture'
1. Markets are conversations in much the same way as the school bully picking on the disabled queer kid is friendship.
5. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. But NSA wiretapping subverts hyperlinks, so we’ve got that covered.
7. The community of discourse is the market. And if a particular community of discourse doesn’t like being the market, we’ll fucking well make them into a market.
8. We’re all down with conversation and social and community. Until we make enough money that we can delete your wedding photos, get Google stock and fuck off to a private island.
14. The people who invented a service to drive rich people around San Francisco in a Mercedes should be the people who decide on global transport policy.
30. The new growth market in our industry is casual game apps. We’ve built numerous companies on pinching the pocket money of particularly stupid kids. At least apps don’t contain sugar.
Bruce Sterling (who, of course, wrote The Hacker Crackdown) places the WikiLeaks situation in context:
Part of this dull, icy feeling, I think, must be the agonizing slowness with which this has happened. At last — at long last — the homemade nitroglycerin in the old cypherpunks blast shack has gone off. Those “cypherpunks,” of all people.
Now, I wish I could say that I feel some human pity for Julian Assange, in the way I do for the hapless, one-shot Bradley Manning, but I can’t possibly say that. Pity is not the right response, because Assange has carefully built this role for himself. He did it with all the minute concentration of some geek assembling a Rubik’s Cube.
If the Internet was walking around in public, it would look and act a lot like Julian Assange. The Internet is about his age, and it doesn’t have any more care for the delicacies of profit, propriety and hierarchy than he does.
Even though, as major political players go, Julian Assange seems remarkably deprived of sympathetic qualities. Most saintly leaders of the oppressed masses, most wannabe martyrs, are all keen to kiss-up to the public. But not our Julian; clearly, he doesn’t lack for lust and burning resentment, but that kind of gregarious, sweaty political tactility is beneath his dignity. He’s extremely intelligent, but, as a political, social and moral actor, he’s the kind of guy who gets depressed by the happiness of the stupid.
Remember 21C, the glossy, graphically impeccable cyberculture magazine of the 1990s, which followed in the footsteps of MONDO 2000, coming from a combination of the inner suburbs of Sydney and the cyberculture Petri dish of the Bay Area? (Come to think of it, remember the heady, optimistic futurism of early-90s cyberculture, when it was about more than new ways of making a buck and the latest titanium-plated gizmos?) Well, it's back, at least in the online sense. (The glossy, coffee-table-proportioned dead-tree edition may still be some way off.) And they've got articles, such as this one on bootleg remixes, and this slightly pomo celebration of the mythology of pimp culture.
Slightly tongue-in-cheek Salon article proves that Borges wrote about the Web:
What are the "infinite stories, infinitely branching" of his character Herbert Quain's book "April March," if not hypertext? What is the purpose of Ireneo Funes, the paralyzed young man unable to forget any aspect of anything he has ever seen, if he is not to represent search engines burdened with memories of long-inactive links? What is TlÃ¶n, the virtual world in "TlÃ¶n, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" that gradually overtakes the real one, if not the cyberspace for which the physical world is rapidly becoming a quaintly antiquated sketch?