[NetBehaviour] The Immaterial Aristocracy of the Internet.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu Jul 10 13:24:42 CEST 2008
The Immaterial Aristocracy of the Internet.
By Harry Halpin
Taking issue with the argument that, after decentralisation, control is
embodied within the protocols of networks, Harry Halpin gives a
historical account of the all-too-human actors vying for power over the
net. Not technical standards but immaterial aristocrats rule cyberspace
and their seats of power are vulnerable to revolutionary attack
Is there anything redeeming in the net? It all seemed so revolutionary
not so long ago, but today it appears this revolutionary potential is
spent. Is this disillusionment symptomatic ofthe structure of the net
itself? Such is the analysis presented in Alexander Galloway and Eugene
Thacker's book, The Exploit. However, I think it is problematic at best
to forsake the net's revolutionary potential at this point. My general
impression of Galloway's previous work Protocol: How Control Exists
After Decentralization, is that while it is undoubtedly some of the best
workin 'new media' studies to be produced in recent years, it leads
ultimately not to action but to paranoia.
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