I was DISTINCTLY TOLD, in the 1990s, that if we put computers into all the things it would make us all super-smart and super-sexy and super-kind and we would all live in houses made of translucent plastic and acid dance and rainforests and we would specifically NOT become a society of giant raging dumbass jerks selling fake nutritional supplements to Nazis.
There were RECEIPTS. Money changed HANDS.
I wish to complain to the MANAGEMENT.
@natecull My mentor in graduate school once wrote a book that expounded the former.
He now writes books mostly about how money and technology have formed an unholy marriage that is ruining the whole world. He's the most gentle and kind and wonderful human, and the most heartbroken person I know, because not only did he believe, he was one of the *prophets*.
...which is why I am now an anarcho-communist, because the thing he had me study was the history of money, LOL.
Also, the physical representation of the girl (whose name I can't remember right now) in Adolescent Demo Division is based on me!
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull Well, it ended up in the book Life, Inc., though I think it’s threaded throughout a lot of his work that came after. For me, it became the basis for a hugely radical shift in my perception of politics— money is like god to us, and when the curtain is stripped away and you realize there’s no there there, it kind of blows your mind that you and everyone else is in pursuit of something that’s a fantasy.
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull As for Rushkoff turning on tech, he never did and never has. He turned on the tech *industry*, or rather, I would say, became aware that the tech industry had colonized Cyberia in the way all colonizers do— exploited its natives and resources for personal gain without thought to how that would destroy the very things they were exploiting.
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull Oh, but as for when that happened... 2005 is when we started working together on Life, Inc., but I think it started before that. Maybe 2003ish? He was teaching at ITP and had watched it go from a school that promoted weird stuff made with tech to a school looking for their next alumnus to sell their thesis project to Google.
@dredmorbius @TheGibson @natecull Anyway, I’m obviously speaking from an outside perspective and don’t know what was in his head, but I do know he was a much less optimistic but no less hopeful man when we met.
I also RAed for Clay Shirky at the time, when he was working on Here Comes Everybody, and it was like being student to The Vinegar Tasters. (Clay didn’t put me in the acknowledgments, though... 😒)
I'd always thought cybernetics was about machine and process controls, but he very much intended it to apply to /all/ systems, including animal and human behaviour, psychology, sociology, economics.
And warned explicitly of the dangers.
He was sidelined due to his post-WWII conscientious objection to military work, and corporate criticism, in part being caught up in the Red Scare and McCarthyism.
A massive shame.
Adam Smith. Jevons. Keynes.. Frederick Soddy. /Not/ Friedman, though I likely should. Graeber. Joseph Tainter on Roman currency, etc.
Interested in what you came up with, and yes, it's pretty interesting. I'll check Life.
<<a very special moment in our recent history – a moment when anything seemed possible. When an entire subculture – like a kid at a rave trying virtual reality for the first time – saw the wild potentials of marrying the latest computer technologies with the most intimately held dreams and the most ancient spiritual truths. It is a moment that predates America Online, twenty million Internet subscribers, Wired magazine, Bill Clinton, and the information superhighway.>>
@natecull @TheGibson He kept a pair of Timothy Leary's sneakers in his office that Leary had given to him when he knew he was dying with the note saying, "I trust you to walk in my shoes when I'm gone." 😭
I also own the toy glockenspiel that he played on "Godstar" when he was briefly in Psychic TV. Douglas is one of the greatest humans, and the reason I went to that school in the first place. They say don't meet your heroes, but in some cases, it's GREAT.
In 1993, I was at Bible college and wrote a paper on how I thought the future of the church was going to be on electronic discussion forums
(cos I was doing Fidonet at the time)
I don't know what my tutor made of it.
tbh that year was in the middle of my my 'finding myself 'period and I... am still somewhat lost, though maybe less so
I think that most people who have practical meditative / contemplative / psychedelic experiences are glimpsing part of the same reality. At least, from the stories I've heard, I see repeated elements that match up.
The idea that we're all united under the hood, so to speak, and it's more about how long it takes us to *realise* that.
@TheGibson @natecull Yeah, I mean, I've been on Mastodon for about a year and a half, and it often still feels like that first breath of potential and connection and the kind of globalism that's about knowing people all over the world instead of exploiting people all over the world. The global village, instead of the global factory, if you will.
As the fediverse expands, though, I've felt the tremors of the other internet, like thunder you can't hear yet but can feel, and it makes me nervous.
I know Susan's thunder is ever present... but we are building something good out here, in the void.
And as our generation ages, it may indeed end up being our legacy that we reclaimed the internet.
Regardless of their rules, regardless of expectation.
Simply because it was good, and right.
I think it's a great goal.
Look, we know the silos are vulnerable... we see it daily now.
People are ready to walkaway from the spying and harassment.
And when the people like us begin to leave, their gears begin to rust.
I want to leave the rust upon their gear.
I want to be the rust upon their fears.
Imagine if everyone had been on the same IRC channel?!
@TheGibson @natecull I haven't, yet, except for my best meat space friend who was on those old channels. Which surprises me, in some ways, but doesn't in others, because, for the most part, even though we sent each other snail mail and physical photos and exchanged comic books and the like... I didn't actually *know most of their names.* But I can reel off their handles to this day, and it's been 20+ years.
I have already decreed to my circle here that I do not want to know their given names.
My name, my server... they pose the age old question... is Batman Bruce Wayne, or is Bruce Wayne Batman?
Which one is the mask.
I believe that The_Gibson is the best me.
I believe the same about many others out here.
It was around 1999 that I logged into the Interactive Fiction MUD and met the circle of wonderful folks there (Emily Short and others) and for nearly a decade that was my spiritual home.
It was a haven on the Internet and one of the reasons was that it used old technology so there was a sort of a built-in wall against spammers and abuse.
The door was always open, but to want to get in you had to *care*. And then you picked up the culture, which was kind.
@natecull @TheGibson Yeah, that's the thing I LOVE about and am fiercely defensive of on Mastodon. The culture is defended by practicing it daily, and encouraging those who are new to practice it, too.
That *does* happen on those other sites, but the culture is toxic and destructive, but wow, are you "rewarded" for falling in line with it.
Anticapitalist Mastodon instance. Party means fun, not political party. But we're still political.