Part of the reason why I’ve been off… line, for the last month or so is that… erm… the nature of the war that we may or may not be in, is shifting focus. I feel like The Internet is being attacked… globally on so many fronts (in basically the same way) that we possibly do need to call it something like war now.
I mean in the bronze age, Iron age, industrial-era… wars were fought in bronze, iron, industrial ways – so I guess in the information era (or whatever it is we’re currently in) this pattern will continue – but things will be different because we’re also going through a Gutenberg Shift – and one of the things that happens in Gutenberg Shifts, is that it becomes a lot clearer to people that their biggest problems are top-down problems.
So we’ve got highly dubious 3-strikes laws being plotted/snuck through in New Zealand, the UK, Spain, France, Sweden?… there’s the ACTA negotiations which are secret because (according to one of the players) if people knew what they were, they’d walk away from the table. Relentless corporate attacks on net-neutrality… There are censorship moves afoot not just in China and Iran but also Australia… and all of the above is just the stuff I know about. There seems to be this broad-based top down attack going on. The end of 2009 feels like the end of Empire Strikes Back.
We seem to have skipped the part where we look at evidence as to whether sharing culture actually hurts the culture, and instead we (or our elected leaders at least) are just blandly accepting the idea that “a file shared, is a sale lost” and have moved on to discussing the punishment.
Well we’ve been here before, and I’m more than happy to fight for this. Seriously.
Anyway, vaguely apropos of that… here’s an interesting video of a beautiful bit of paleo-futurism – Salvador Allende’s hi-tech panopticon.