June 12th, 2001


Rushkoff on the Internet

A speech by Douglas Rushkoff on the Internet.

He creates some very good, liberating ideas. It's wonderful that he can get paid to speak to a bunch of people who want to get rich quick off the Internet and tell them that they are a bunch of drones. ;->

On reality -
"Reality itself IS open source."

On media -
"How do we come up with consensus? How do we decide what this reality is? Media. Media is where we negotiate the standards -- not just media standards -- reality standards."

On content -
"Content is not king. The people are."

On dotcoms -
"The mainstream media will tell us that the Internet is dead... it's like a beachball that lost its air. No... it's like a tree that just fought off a fungus."

I can't tell you how much I agree with the last one. He made a very good point that these dotcoms have brought us little of real value. Did they bring us email? Usenet? The web? Did they do much of anything to empower us or make it easier for us to use the Internet for what it is all about -- communication and sharing? No. They just tried to control it and make money off it. We don't need them, and we're better off without them.

Frankly, I hope this technology downturn drags on for a few years. It is the best thing that could have ever happened to the open source movement. People can once more start working on cool things just because. These can be the best days ever for anyone who wants to subvert the existing media, wrest back control, and return it to the people. While all these moneygrubbers proclaim that the reality has changed and that it is "the end of free" on the web, that is completely not the case. It's the end of them, not the end of free. A new form of media is coming, and we're it. Personally, I couldn't be happier...

what's the connection?!

I remember having a thread awhile back with womanonfire and phalen discussing Jarboe, The Swans, and all that. Phalen knows Jarboe. I'm envious. I saw the Swans play live. He's envious. Lather, rinse, repeat.

... and then I remember reading an interview somewhere by Nick Zedd that he used to be roommates with M. Gira. I thought that was quite a coincidence, but it didn't entirely surprise me.

Tonight I read Douglas Rushkoff's website and followed a link through to Genesis P-Orridge's site. I know that Genesis moved somewhere into the wilds of Northern California at one point, essentially a political refugee of England. He presumably still lives around here, but I really haven't been following what he has been up to lately, and I haven't seen him do anything for a few years. It was good to hear he's still quite busy, and able to return to Britain. His site was very visually loud at times... it was fitting, though.

...only to find a post there by M. Gira, mentioning the launch of the Young God Records website. A very good website actually, and, unlike Genesis' site, far less likely to give you seizures.

Obviously, this is all some kind of message telling me to buy more Swans CDs... well, probably not, but it's a good excuse.

The man who would shut down nakedparts?!

If you *gasp!* feel aroused by looking at the human form, you might want to read this...
In explicit terms, the attorney general told Congress this week that hardcore sex sites would no longer be selling peeks at balloon-breasted babes.

"I am concerned about obscenity and I'm concerned about obscenity as it relates to our children," Ashcroft said. He will use Justice Department prosecutors to help state officials imprison sex-site operators that feature obscene images: "We try to be especially accommodating to local law enforcement to assist them, and I would think that would be an objective of ours in this respect."

A number of Republicans asked Ashcroft to pledge to prosecute raunch and ribaldry, but Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia -- who also, unbelievably, is co-chair of the Internet Caucus -- was the most persistent. "The failure of the (Clinton) administration to enforce those laws has led to a proliferation of obscenity, both online and off, and I am particularly concerned about the safety of our children on the Internet, where they're subjected to child pornography and solicitation in a massive way."

I suspected that Republicans would be more aggressive about sex sites, but this sounds worse than I suspected. Maybe the only thing for us to do is for all of us to become pornographers... they can't bust everyone, can they?!