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Will the Internet be controlled? Will it be commercially exploited? Will it be a matter of surveillance? Today, even with a vast repressive net cast over the world, the Internet remains relatively untouched. Palestinians send email documenting Israeli incursions, massacres and war crimes. Ossama Bin Laden now sends his messages by email. The Internet is the highest level of anonymity and the highest level of connection.
A few insane plans to monitor all of cyberspace, a la Earnest Hollings and such, are so crazed they have little plausibility. The quality of Internet information processes are just as much taking shape. Conspiracy theory is the most distinct quality here. The activities of the ruling class are now continuously tinged with other possibilities.
The intellectual property wars are taking a particular shape. Pirating is omnipresent but it hasn’t wiped out normal consumerism. Rather, pirating presents the gradual threat of revealing the poor subjective quality of normal music, video and other production (whatever its highly capitalized objective values might be).
The fight continues and will continue on multiple fronts. Indeed, the front will merge with all other battles of WWIII as the unsustainability of the present order becomes more manifest.
All of the dreams of cyberspace are still there, and the players who put money into them are still there as well. But just much, the cats have all gotten out of bag and running around.
Conspiracies can be deceptive since they focus a person on the particular activities of a particular cabal rather than the conditions of the entire system including a person’s own part in it.
All particular conspiracies are just a part of the condition of modern life. And a key part of this modern condition is that the frabric of life is produced by alienated labor with the intention of enhancing commericial production in general as well as selling some piece of junk in particular.
But that makes it sound fairly easy. It isn’t.
It is difficult to imagine knowing concretely that your sexual appetites, choice of partners, preference in personal cleanliness, common emotions or images of a better life have been manufactured to make a buck in general.
Some of this is a very open. Government programs to “encourage family life” are generally done quite openly. Yet they openly aim to influence a whole series of very choices personal choices for the purposes of policy makers.
If it should emerge unambiguously that some horror, say AIDS, was an
explicit program of the medical-industrial complex, then it will most be
either justified using similar drab language of public policy or denounced
as an excess of some urge.
In this world of calculation, one cannot separate a flat communication
about “hot button issue” such as AIDS, child abuse or abortion, from the
psychological effect such things generate. Our aim in mentioning
these is to cause people to lessen their automatic reactions to all of
these items. Our aim is to create space where people can step back and
think about the effects of these powerful motivators.
the mention of various factors
Certainly, the internet has presented a problem with information management
over the last few years. And this problem seems in many ways once again
coming under control.
The use of H1-B visas is very specifically intended to crush the autonomy
and power of information workers.
It’s important to notice that H1-B’s aren’t simply a matter of creating
more workers capable of doing a job. The idea is to crush these new arrivals
in every way.
The usual step taken by computer workers is to lobby against the H1-B bills. After September 11th, it should be obvious that H1-Bs will be supported no matter what the atmosphere – H1-Bs would be the first program to go since they would constitute a clear security risk but this has not been the case.
So the point is that the “American Programmer” just will no be getting
professional, face-to-face treatment from congress.
Instead, the best approach is to show solidarity with international
workers. By building bridges between American and East Asian computer workers,
we can begin to increase bargaining power for both kinds of work.
An informal association, equipped with the ability to poll members and
discuss a situation, would be more powerful than a formal union.
A powerful demand to discuss is the demand for a forty-hour workweek.
Back to the 20th century, huh? Publicizing this as a demand
and pushing exactly why this is important is key.
Just as much, demands for coherent processes would have a useful place
the discussion. The use of incoherent management styles which destroy the
Also, programmers refusing or sabotaging the most despicable projects
would be important. Sabotage, “hacking”, has had a powerful history in
the programming industry.
The point of organizing is realizing how much this system now lacks
sense. Programmers asked to be the brain of the system in large and small
ways, yet they often no longer benefit from the system in even small ways.
This process is far from over but we can it’s implications.
I think Dilbert is funny. It’s lost some over the year but heck. But
unlike Dilbert, we intend to really fight this insane world.
Of course everyone has their own take on /. so this isn’t intended to
be the final word.
The “slashcode” BBS tends to disperse the
The situation of databases results in multiple, contradictory dillemas.
Operations on a database are “logical.” This doesn’t mean they make
sense, it means they follow the atomistic quality of mathematical logic.
The security concept of an enterprise of any sort consists of dividing
people into the inside and the outside. Those inside are trusted and those
This physical analogy tends to break-down. Once an enterprise
is large enough, there will be some on the “inside” who are as effectively
untrustfully as those on the outside.
We can use an “analogy equation” to express this situation. The analogy equation express any exact relationship, rather it summarizes a series of tendencies working against each.
Our raw tendencies are:
1) Logical operations have an impact across any fixed categorical system (whether the system is security organization or a system of social categories like job versus home). Thus logical operations have unforseen results.
2) The more people have write access to data, the less reliable the data is.
3) The more people have read access to USN data, the more easily a fake USN can be found (either by finding an existing USN for a purpose or by creating once).
4) The ability of one entity to verify a USN of another entity is limited.
5) Security through obscurity breaks down over time.
6) The more onerous a security system is, the likely that authorized personal will seek a way to avoid the security system.
7) Tracking data not directly keyed to a USN becomes more difficult the more a system grows.
8) Data organization tends to continue over time, even between different systems.
9) Absolute distinctions between security levels contradict the concept of relative differentiation of economic situation. They also contradict the situation of the multi-dimensional roles possessed by modern humans.
10)Those who wear the most hats are usually the smartest. Those who
are characterized by their jobs (such as average cops), tend to
be “dumb” – blind to the multiple possibilities of a given system.
c = UV. If U = usability, how widely a security method is used
(say how much people use social security numbers) and V = verifiability,
( say how reliable SSNs are), then we can posit an inverse relationship
We would imagine that a whole series of analogy equations exist. These
equation can be “deduced” from our original “axioms.” But this is naturally
only a bit of aproximate reasoning rather than some fixed system.
Chips – computers
This publication is part of a project to adapt to this condition in a way that allows a subversive thread to be intertwined in the process.
We will be sailing with the winds of the feed while using the compass of a total critique of the conditions. Email is a medium that moves ever closer to the oral than the written traditions.
The various technologies have
We will extend the conditions of temporarity by publishiing everything we have written, whether complete or not. And with the provision that everything is prelimenary, everything can be updated.
This publication/page/file itself is prelimenary and will be updated regularly or irregularly. It is possible that we will obtain the technical means to make these automatically commentable and updatable. But this is again uncertain.
A recent of the internet claimed that resulted in the destruction of common community. This was deduced from (or despite) the fact that time spent on the net primarily took time away from watching television. Naturally, this is the sort of community whose destruction is to be cheered.
It is worth noting, for example, what the world without the internet
would look like. In a world of amnesia, few remember Al Gore's project
of the "National Information Infrastructure." This fortunately failed plan
involved a system of distributing information where locked, controlled
devices guarenteed that information would be paid-for on consumption -
a huge "pay per view" library of one-way, unsavable, unverifiable information.
The internet, haphazard construct that it is, effectively delayed what
could be called the "cyber-police reconing" for possibly five years. And
moreover, from napster to freenet to free software, it has created some
technical methods of subverting the world of information control. (Of course,
all these groups have a forrest of mostly confused ideas concerning the
resources that could actually )
Like Marx, we can't claim to be profits in terms of which way the total conflict will be going. At the same time, we can claim to have a good idea which sides are going to coalesce and what terrain the conflict will play-out on.
Essentially, is forms what Marx would call a "crisis of realizing capital"
- which is slightly different from a crisis of lowered production.
The information economy is an agenda that predates the internet. Our
original article outlines it's various aspects.
Certainly, the world of "ordinary" news has moved more and more towards
a single, totalitarian feed. In this movement, today websites are the largest,
perhaps the only, mitagating factor.
The essence of a twentieth century, scientific, systematic or cybernic approach is the distinction between model and reality.
Here, the key to any serious argument is the structure that is described. If an argument presents a model which it useful for describing, explaining and predicting reality, the exact labels that are used will themselve be secondary.
Now, it should be noted that the essence of modern "propaganda" is the exact opposite. Propaganda aims to find "hot botton words" which guarentee an unthinking, gut response from people. These are both negative and positive reactions. "Terrorism" and "child pornography" are used to get negative reactions. "Family," "responbility" and "scientifically proven" are terms which are used to engender positive.
The prevalence of propaganda indeed, has also resulted in an constant
change in the meaning of words.
So, the distinguishing quality of an argument for us will be whether the structure fits reality - regardless of the exact labels. Thus whether we label ourselve "communists" "capitalists" "libertarians" or "anarchists" should be irrelevant. Indeed, to avoid the conditioned response of propaganda, we will be to an extent using either neuteral or new terms in our further descriptions.
The general arguments and framework we are present are not original,
though the exact way we are combining them may be unique. They include
arguments from cybernetics, economics, psychology and philosophy. They
include those labelled radical as well as those within respectable framework
One can argue that these frameworks for understanding are flawed in sense that our responses to words present more than either a rational or an irrational response to words - instead, the many-layered quality of communication involves a rich combination of possibilities. Indeed, it could be argued that nothing is "neuteral," that the using new terminology has it's own rhetorical appeal and so forth.
And there is considerable truth to this. Still, our approach aims concretely for the particular period in history. If the science of this times has acheived a terrain of neutrality or understanding, we aim to take advantage of this. Further could be said this is sufficient for right here.
Unfortunately, this kind of response is more likely to appear once we
escapes the boxes of present society than now, when we are very much trapped
And it's important to be clear how exactly this is happen. As a related phenomenon, money has existed as a part of life more or less since human beings have existed, but money as the dominant part of human life has existed for a much shorter period of time.
The relation of owning the tools, owning the means of production, is a system which extends beyond simply
The concept of intellectual property carried to its furthest extent intially implies a sort-of total cybernetic slavery.
Seeing as all activity possesses an informational description, those who control a class of information control everything.
The extreme centralization of this control can be seen if we compare
the situation to the control of a physical object. A store sells a fork
but it doesn't sell right to use a fork.
See the RMS document "when you could read."
In actuality, intellectual property cannot be carried out to this extreme in terms of repression alone. The means of repression fall short of this.
The question is how much be accomplished by propaganda, by fear and
mis-information. Essentially, the likely result will soon constitute a
cyber-stalinism (Though few cyber-cop presently acknowledge it, the massive
computerized repression of the People's Republic Of China is serving as
a test-bed for the compatibility of an information economy with a government
openly giving itself the right to control all aspects of people's lives).
It is worth noticing how the prevalence of standardized tests today creates a situation where teachers have a strong incentive to encourage children to cheat.
It is reasonable to note that the present system is based on an increase
in rules and an increase in cheating. Remember, though, that those instances
of cheating which declare themsselves and challenge the system could be
called subversive. Those instances of cheating which hide themselves and
plead loyalty to the system are ultimate loyal in fact.
It is common for the organs of the most repressive systems to aim most
directly at their own functionaries. The case of Wen Ho, who faces years
in prison for miss-placing a few computer tapes is notable. He is accused
of spying for China but has not been charged with this. But since he works
with classified papers, even the most normal mistakes can be placed in
the realm of felonies. (Though as the law expands, nearly everyone may
face this same jepardy).
In it's theoretical limit, cyber-space might be described as infinite
dimensional - distance between any two being essentially constant.
Objects in cyberspace could well be described as strings of information
or combinations of strings of indexs and string.
When it is framed this way, it is easy to understand that describing
the ownership of such strings is essentially impossible.
A key point made by a slashdot poster is that identification is a key
part of taxation.
Something that isn't mentioned is that taxation essentially is not a
matter of preserving government but preserving the ability to control monetary