[NetBehaviour] Scratch-off the Facebook logo, and you’ll find the CompuServ logo,underneath.

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Tue Mar 4 15:05:22 CET 2014

Hi netbehaviourists,

An interesting article by Dmytri Kleiner

Scratch-off the Facebook logo, and you’ll find the CompuServ logo


During the summer I traveled to the Monostori Fortress near Komárom,
Hungary to attend IslandCQ 2013 “Crisis! Re/Constructing Europe.” This
text is for the IslandCQ 2013 publication. Rather than simply
transcribing my presentation, I have created this text to cover some of
things we talked about, and to expand upon them and take the topic
further. This text is a remix and extension of three previous texts, two
from my blog, and one co-written with Baruch Gottlieb.

Remixing and forking both software and text is an approach I have used
for years, and indeed most of my texts contain fragments of other texts,
some of which I have written myself, some co-written with others. I
inherited this technique from the long history of radical art, from
practitioners of cut-up, like Brion Gysin and William Burroughs, to Dada
and The Situationists International, and into my own generation with the
Neoist Network.

The Internet and free software, to me, were a natural extension of my
already existing support of free communications and anti-copyright. When
I encountered the Internet for the first time I immediately embraced it,
its distributed architecture, its capacity for allowing free speech, and
perhaps most significantly, its culture of sharing. The Internet
embodied the social relations to match my political and artistic

However, when I encountered the Internet, though I didn’t know it, it
was already dying. It was clear to me that there were challenges, to be
sure, but I didn’t yet realize how bad the prognosis was. To me, my
fight to save the Internet was against the cencorius desires of other
users and the timidity of the small companies providing internet
services. This was a fight that seemed winnable. However, what I didn’t
know at the time, was that the real fight was against Capitalism, and as
such, the inevitable end of the Internet was already evident.

A good example of my early participation is a text I posted on Usenet,
it was republished on Wired Magazine’s HotWired site, which claimed to
be the world’s first commercial web magazine. In it, I argue that
sysadmins working for internet service providers should focus on keeping
their servers running, and sanction users that are abusing system
resources, but not interfere with content, because if they did so, if
they assumed the role of online censor, they would jeopardise the spirit
of the Net, and also jeopardise the viability of their own service.

In some way I was right, assuming the Net worked the way we thought it
worked, worked the way that John Perry Barlow thought when he wrote “We
are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her
beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into
silence or conformity,” or the way John Gilmore thought when he wrote
“The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it,” or the
way Richard Barbrook thought when he wrote “Within the Net, people are
developing the most advanced form of collective labour: work-as-gift.”

Unfortunately, I wrote my article in September. The 790th day of
September, 1993, to be exact. What would have been October 31st, 1995 on
the pre-September calendar.

The rest here

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