[ih] New Republic Article - "How We Misremember the Internet’s Origins"
Brian E Carpenter
brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Fri Nov 1 14:33:12 PDT 2019
I think an underlying point is that the actual form that the Internet took is really beside the point. Once the technology of the global village was put in place, we got the social and political effects of the global village. Once the neo-liberal economic (and social) doctrine was put in place, it made use of the available global village technology. Other major political trends have done the same of course, e.g. the Arab Spring.
In other words, the technical details that most of us on this list obsess about are largely irrelevant to the use society is now making of the technology. Margaret Thatcher used to say "There is no such thing as Society." I suspect that FaceBook has proved her wrong, and not because it runs over TCP/IP.
On 02-Nov-19 09:14, Andrew Blum wrote:
> I think the current predicament the Internet faces—dominated by a few giants, optimized to sell advertising, with wild social repercussions—might benefit from this “whole style of thinking.” Ingrid makes a very powerful point here:
>> By emphasizing the technical innovations (and obsessive dedication to them) as more important than the political and economic contexts in which they were germinated, the graybeards of internet history and PR machines of the tech industry perpetuate the illusion that technology magically exists outside of politics, rather than existing in a constant dialogue with it. The internet emerged in a region heavily shaped by libertarian conservatism and environmental racism, and it was easily instrumentalized toward both—and, in a now-familiar feedback loop, the internet’s ability to amplify specific ideologies further reinforced such polarization.
> I see how that’s a pretty direct attack on some of you (bearded or not!), but surely you (and the Internet) can handle it. It might be too much to expect a conversation along these lines to happen on this list, but I wouldn’t dismiss the article so quickly. There’s way too much at stake for that—as, among so many other examples, Zuckerberg demonstrated this week in Congress.
> Andrew Blum
> Author, TUBES (Ecco, 2012)
> Author, THE WEATHER MACHINE (Ecco, 2019)
> www.andrewblum.net <http://www.andrewblum.net>
> andrew at blum.net
> +1 650-804-5985
>> On Nov 1, 2019, at 3:37 PM, Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com <mailto:brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> I have no idea where she got her degree, and I apologise if it read as a personal attack. It was actually intended as an attack on a whole style of thinking, and I stand by that.
>> Brian Carpenter
>> On 02-Nov-19 08:18, Lori Emerson wrote:
>>> Hi all, I've enjoyed having the chance to be a lurker on this list for awhile and I've learned a lot. I also appreciate that you all might have different views on Ingrid Burrington's think piece, but I can't imagine that veering into ad hominem attacks on the worth of her degree is considered part of productive discussion on this list.
>>> best, Lori
>>> On Fri, Nov 1, 2019 at 1:15 PM Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com <mailto:brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> <mailto:brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>> "But when the publicly funded open protocols and infrastructure built by ARPANET entered the Californian crucible of nascent ex-hippie neoliberalism, the windows of possibility narrow."
>>> Um, meaningless drivel from someone with a liberal arts degree?
>>> Neoliberalism didn't *actually* arise from hippiedom; it arose from rich people endorsing a particular stream of thought in academic economics. You might as well say that the Postel principle arose from hippiedom, since Jon had long hair. It would make as much sense IMNSHO.
>>> Brian Carpenter
>>> Internet-history mailing list
>>> Internet-history at elists.isoc.org <mailto:Internet-history at elists.isoc.org> <mailto:Internet-history at elists.isoc.org>
>>> Lori Emerson
>>> Associate Professor | Director, Media Archaeology Lab
>>> Department of English and Intermedia Arts, Writing, and Performance
>>> University of Colorado at Boulder
>>> Hellems 101, 226 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0226
>>> traditional territories of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations
>>> loriemerson.net <http://loriemerson.net> <http://loriemerson.net> | mediaarchaeologylab.com <http://mediaarchaeologylab.com> <http://mediaarchaeologylab.com>
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