inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #126 of 173: 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...
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #127 of 173: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #128 of 173: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #129 of 173: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #130 of 173: 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. 
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #131 of 173: Ted (nukem777) Wed 5 Jan 05 10:04
    
Thanks for the pointers Jon.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #132 of 173: 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....
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #133 of 173: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #134 of 173: 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...  
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #135 of 173: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #136 of 173: David Gans (tnf) Fri 7 Jan 05 10:02
    <scribbled by tnf Fri 7 Jan 05 16:50>
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #137 of 173: David Gans (tnf) Fri 7 Jan 05 10:03
    <scribbled by tnf Fri 7 Jan 05 16:50>
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #138 of 173: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #139 of 173: 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. 
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #140 of 173: 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.)
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #141 of 173: 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...
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #142 of 173: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #143 of 173: 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).
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #144 of 173: 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>
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #145 of 173: Dennis Wilen (the-voidmstr) Sun 9 Jan 05 11:27
    
Andy!  Where are you?  Please call home!
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #146 of 173: 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?
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #147 of 173: virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Mon 10 Jan 05 14:36
    
He tried, he tried. It bought him house arrest.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #148 of 173: 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.
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #149 of 173: 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. 
  
inkwell.vue.233 : R.U. Sirius: Counterculture Through the Ages
permalink #150 of 173: 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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