RUSirius (rusirius) Tue 4 Jan 05 11:01
I definitely see it happening in Brazil, there are rumblings in Mexico (Zapatista is in many ways anarchistic), I know I've heard vague rumblings in other places in South and Latin America but the memory banks aren't serving breakfast this morning. There's always been a pretty strong civil libertarian left in America. I think there is still some possibility it could ride in on a reaction if the theocratic wing of the Republicans actually start to interfere with people's lives (and entertainment consumptioni) in a way that is personally felt by great numbers. In other words, not too likely but you never know...
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 4 Jan 05 14:52
Remember the people we knew who were seeing cyberpunk as a political movement rather than a literary subgenre? I wonder what they're doing now? That energy was too weird to simply evaporate, no?
Dennis Wilen (the-voidmstr) Tue 4 Jan 05 18:48
One guy "we" (Jon, RU, me) all had in common was MindVox ringleader Patrick Kroupa, aka Lord Digital. In a recent cDc manifesto <http://www.cultdeadcow.com/archives/001204.php3>, Dark Sorceror wrote: >>> Most of our much-lauded societal advancements come from people who probably didn't date a whole lot in high school. Supposedly Isaac Newton died a virgin. And the Internet? In the essay "Voices In My Head" - probably the closest thing to a manifesto of the "cyber generation" as was ever penned - Patrick Kroupa put it this way: <<< There were of course exceptions, people who were so high on the potential of this technology and the completely new level of reality it could bring, that nothing more than a love of their creation drove them onwards. But these people were pretty uncommon, most of the pioneers were guys who were simply unhappy . . . or to be more exact, so unhappy that they had given up on finding joy in the "real world" and were constructing a rocket ship called Cyberspace to get them out of here as fast as possible. "Peace, love and happiness" was not exactly the driving force behind the rise of the electronic domains. A more realistic rallying cry was one of "Gee this technology is neat, and I'm gonna use it to make a whole new world where I can be happy and none of you can ever bother me again. You'll all be sorry, just wait and see!" They were building the cult of high technology in the hopes that it would somehow save them from whatever they thought had prevented them from attaining happiness anywhere else. <http://www.mindvox.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/MindVoxUI.woa/wa/staticpage%3fpagena me=Akashic/Voices.html> Can it be that countercultures are dead and counter _realities_ are here? It's all about the instantiation, right?
Ted (nukem777) Wed 5 Jan 05 03:44
How about all the "tribes" springing up around the world? There seems to be a lot of commonality in world music and various sub-cultures around the planet -- people who see themselves beyond their borders and simply part of the blue marble -- but I haven't seen anything that really links it all and allows for cross-talk and pollination. Any thoughts to a world counter-culture that aims at the whole shebang?
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 5 Jan 05 04:03
Global Voices (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/globalvoices/) might be a context for pulling world bloggers together, and Jim Moore's concept of the Second Superpower (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/people/jmoore/secondsuperpower.html) suggests a global counterculture via blogs and other computer-mediated conversations and connections.
Ted (nukem777) Wed 5 Jan 05 10:04
Thanks for the pointers Jon.
RUSirius (rusirius) Wed 5 Jan 05 11:03
>> Remember the people we knew who were seeing cyberpunk as a political movement rather than a literary subgenre? I wonder what they're doing now? That energy was too weird to simply evaporate, no? >> (GULP... voice like Maynard G. Krebs saying "Work?") Cyberpunk politics? OK well I guess there was a sort of "We can hack the system to death" meme running through the cyberpunk/mondo etc. culture. CULTURE JAMMING: "Feed the noise back in on the system"; hack the Empire of Signs, detourne the virtual media culture (Billboard Liberation, Negativland style pranks and sampling/remixing, pranksters in NYC who perform for surveillance cameras, that sort of thing.) And then really good data encryption was supposed to bring down the nation state. We even toyed with the idea of hacking the banking system to death -- destroying the money system... etc. Is that what you're talking about? As aesthetic responses to the environment, some of these things seem valid, interesting, and fun. And data encryption has intrinsic value of course. As a political challenge, a lot of it seems weak, glib, and even irresponsible (should we bring down the state and the banking system?) to me now. I never pretended NOT to be glib and irresponsible during the Mondo 2000 zeitgeist. I made it clear that RU Sirius was a child playing with colored balls (mmm, errr... I think that was a Crowley metaphor to describe "the magickal child of the new aeon" and NOT from a gay porn mag). Others maybe took these strategies more seriously and still do. With Mondo and "How To Mutate" we were testing the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction. That can be pretty irresponsible... and fun. Post-Gingrich (who took up the devolution of the state in favor of a corporate agenda), post-Bush, post-9/11, post-tsunami, it's a little harder to be glib. I think winning elections, civil liberties battles, antiwar protests, all those rather conventional forms of activism are more important than "Culture Jamming." Maybe I'm just getting old. On the other hand, as I've already said a thousand times, the Free Software/Open Source meme was also a part of the package and I think that's a real keeper. The EFF was already fighting liberty battles around the net. The net as a resource for organizing... the move-ons and the meetups and flash mobs and so forth hold some promise. And big tech hacks in biology and nanotechnology may yet improve the human situation and even bring about that post-scarcity society that those lazy-assed hippies declared to be already here in the 1960s -- a little piece of sophistry that excused our desire to hang out and live off the detritus. And I do think the net encourages various "tribes" that lean towards functioning, creative, autonomous cooperation to link up. Again, a lot of people linked up around Zapatista in the 90s. And thanks Jon for that link. That looks pretty cool too. (An article about how global countercultural/anarchistic tribes are linking up would be pretty cool. Wired, anybody?) And I can't even respond to Dennis' post. It's TOO perfect. We sure weren't about "flower power" in the '90s although my emergent Taoism makes me think a little of that might have been a good thing....
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 5 Jan 05 14:06
Remember that article I wrote for your 21C issue? It was about the Zapatistas - I should dig that out. I did a lot of research, not that I remember much of it (where's the nootropil when you need it?) However I recall that they had a pretty effective Democratic tradition. (The article was partly about my culture shock when I tried to deal with an bunch of earnest politicos who were also a little paranoid). The Zapatistas, who were Indians in Chiapas along with a few college students from the University of Mexico, revolted in Mexico in the 90s. Was that a counterculture movement? Where do you draw the line between counterculture and revolution?
RUSirius (rusirius) Thu 6 Jan 05 10:41
Revolution in the service of an anti-authoritarian ideal would seem to me to be countercultural. Marcos' writing and persona, his sense of humor and play in the face of adversity strikes me as countercultural and the whole notion of "Rhizomatics", another fancy way of looking at emergence and non-hierarchical ways of organizing political movements and life that cme out of the Zapatista movement through the ideas (if I remember correctly) of Deleuze and Guitarri seems way countercultural to me. Pacificists also are frequently countercultural as well of course...
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 6 Jan 05 16:26
Though the counterculture of the late 60s and early 70s had few true pacifists, I think. In fact, I wonder if the war would have been unpopular if not for the draft? Many marched because they thought they (or their friends or close relations) might be shipped to Viet Nam, and they saw no compelling reason to fight. Others protested because that's what was happening.
David Gans (tnf) Fri 7 Jan 05 10:02
<scribbled by tnf Fri 7 Jan 05 16:50>
David Gans (tnf) Fri 7 Jan 05 10:03
<scribbled by tnf Fri 7 Jan 05 16:50>
RUSirius (rusirius) Fri 7 Jan 05 13:53
The draft was no doubt a factor but also just the degree and intensity of violence inflicted by the US in Vietnam... there really was a pretty widespread sense of moral revulsion. Maybe that sort of revulsion is quaint now ("Where's the outrage?" asked William Bennett about a blow job) but I suspect if the death toll of foreigners and US soldiers in Iraq approximated Vietnam we'd see it again, draft or no. Mortenson, Sirius always like your insightful non sequitors in limited dosages. Damn it, Gans pops in and it reminds me that I was going to walk down to Sweetwater last night! Yeah, it all does go back to sit-ins I think. I've been thinking, wasn't one of the accomplishments of the civil rights movement of the 60s the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed voting rights to African Americans? And here we are 40 years later and it's clear that African American votes are undercounted and we therefor suffer with the undemocratic election of more Republicans than most of us want. Is it time for Voting Rights Act 2.0?
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 7 Jan 05 14:53
In both cases - with Vietnam in the 60s and voter fraud today - I think the real change is in our awareness. War was always hell and votes were always manipulated, but mass media in the 60s and mass media + interactive media in the 21st century provide a look behind the curtain, and the great Oz in this case is an ugly critter.
David Gans (tnf) Fri 7 Jan 05 16:51
(136 and my folluwup in 137 scribbled because it turned out the writer didn't intend for his comments to be posted.)
RUSirius (rusirius) Sat 8 Jan 05 14:42
Even though I grew up in a global/mediated "village" and with all those McLuhanisms sometimes it seems like we aren't meant to be here sharing a close-up with billions of other humans. I think it's a stress that defies our comprehension so we try to cope with it any way we can; drugs, activism, sex, workaholic activities, making money ad infinitum. We pass by more people on the streets on a given day then were living in some parts of the world not that long ago. Were we designed to live this way? Can we return to the garden without a giant "die-off" or even with one? Can we do that Terence McKenna thing and somehow bring about modern primitivism where we're dancing in the forests wearing our penis sheaths etc. but we have all of the information in the human system digitally implanted behind our eyes and little nano-machines that spill out medicines and comforts? (sounds like a stretch, but with enough shrooms, who knows?) Or can we redesign ourselves so that we can live this way? Or are we simply uncovering capacities in ourselves to allow us to live this way. Or is everything pretty much a fucked blind stumble? I suspect it's an improbable combination of the last three...
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 8 Jan 05 18:16
When you get up so close all you see are the dots and not the image, it's harder to believe in something like human destiny.
Ted (nukem777) Sun 9 Jan 05 02:24
We need a bit more inter-connectedness to our 'global village'; maybe an electronic potlatch or something like that. It's still too high tech/low touch and definitely not a two-way street. Are there people at WorldChanging working on that Jon? I hope this thread can go on parallel to Bruce's. I think any of us interested in being an effective part of the present are almost automatically going to be part of an emerging future subculture (yet to be defined).
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sun 9 Jan 05 10:43
Remember Andy Hawks? The Future Culture Manifesto? http://project.cyberpunk.ru/idb/future_culture_manifesto.html <quote> Let us now turn to subcultures, let us see what bubbles we have blown that provide the basic constructs of what we might deem, for a lack of a better word, FutureCulture. When I use the word "FutureCulture" I am referring to the FutureCulture E-List. When I use "futureculture" I am referring to the culture of the future. But it's not really the future, it's here-and-now, and it's in this writing. There are some other words with similar connotations, but yet the distinctions need to be mentioned, and then applied to everyday life. The first word is "technoculture". Like a technocracy is a government run by scientists or those who create technology, a technoculture is a culture that is fueled by technology. America is a technoculture. We would be lost without our televisions, our cars, our computers, our telephones. Futureculture, then, is a way of deciphering what tomorrow will look like in a technoculture. Another label to mention is "new edge". This is a trendy, shortsighted term that has little relevance to the perpetual realities of technoculture and futureculture. New Edge is a here-and-now-gone-tomorrow ideal. Fairly soon, it won't be "new" and increasingly so it is definitely not "edge". The other misnomre to mention is "cyberculture". Cyberculture is probably most closely associated with the idea of futureculture, yet cyberculture is often mis- and over-used. If you look at the meaning of the word "cyber", basically "information" in an oversimplified context, it has little to do with frequently-used notions of cyberculture, specifically a Gibson-esque cyberpunk world as it exists today or in the near-future. <end quote>
Dennis Wilen (the-voidmstr) Sun 9 Jan 05 11:27
Andy! Where are you? Please call home!
RUSirius (rusirius) Sun 9 Jan 05 19:02
>> We need a bit more inter-connectednes >> Truly. The parts (us) can be stupid (unable to wrap our minds around solutions to the complexities I alluded to above) but maybe networked we can solve problems ala WorldChanging. On the other hand, individual genius may end up being diminished in a networked "open source" process. What if Galileo open-sourced his ideas with the people around him?
virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Mon 10 Jan 05 14:36
He tried, he tried. It bought him house arrest.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 10 Jan 05 15:03
It could be that individual genius is... overrated. We don't know the extent to which geniuses in the past were influenced by others within their personal networks, after all.
It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Mon 10 Jan 05 16:46
From all that Mensa has offered anyone you are probably right Jon. However, the Tesla's, Einstein's, Newton's, etc. have made their impact. I still think what the world needs now, in order to bring about meaningful change, is connectedness...genius or otherwise.
It's a new sun to me (nukem777) Mon 10 Jan 05 17:16
Okay, I know no one is going to let me get away with "meaningful change" so how about 'Gumbo' - the mix and stew of the future as it is now?
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