[NetBehaviour] An interview with Geert Lovink

John Hopkins chazhop at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 20:00:50 CEST 2015

Hi Ruth!

some musings...

> I do not agree John,
> With you argument we would refuse to read books too, because they don't spring
> from someone we can see and touch.
> for better or for worse the human drive to communicate always has us reaching out.

This was a more general critique (or maybe simply a reminder) of where we are, 
where we've been, and that these protocols exist on a sliding scale. Books are 
definitely on the scale, (Imagine a life with human contact only via reading 
text on paper?) So it is not an absolute, as we are already, at birth, on that 
sliding scale that (some would say) started with the transition from oral to 
written language.

It is only such that evolving techno-social protocols (text-based communication, 
telephones, SMS, mobiles, etc) become norms that often never get questioned once 
a large fraction of the population have adopted (or been coopted to adopt) the 
protocols. Maybe I'm being ultimately retro and showing my age, but I want to 
keep questioning any/all evolving protocols (while also including ones that were 
normative to me and pre-dated my arrival on the planet as well...) For example, 
as someone who was heavily invested in the mail-art network back into the early 
80s, I used the postal network protocol as a means for cross-linking and 
participating in a sizeable international network of folks.

> My relationships with the people who I meet in the flesh are enhanced and
> enriched by those maintained across digital networks and vice versa.

Of course, you are quite right ... that is where we are in the present moment -- 
distributed selves having established distributed lives because of the ease of 
quite phenomenal (and energy-intensive) travel and tele-communications 
possibilities. Again, this mobility is on a sliding scale -- even if I could, I 
wouldn't want to be visiting all my international network of friends every few 
weeks as it would take a terrible toll on the body & the planet -- driving, 
flying, time zone changes! Once around when I was 20 years old, I calculated to 
that point in life I had spent 100 24-hour days of my life in a car, traveling 
at 55mph/88kph.

> After all I think you and I have only met once in physical space and yet your
> writings and conversation add an important ecological sensibility to my world view.

consumated, consecrated, yet distant! ;-)

> Rather we need to coordinate better in good faith to create tools and community
> for mutual benefit and to resist inequitable and alienating forces where we meet
> them.

The fact that a Mailman-driven platform persists reflects on the average age of 
participants here -- old enough to have found this protocol a useful new tool 
that fit our evolving life-styles; likely too old to be sustainable via another 
set of protocols. I would prognosticate that the character of the dialogue 
carried by the 'list' will not survive a radical platform/protocol shift. I've 
seen numerous other distributed 'networked' communities implode as a result of 
protocol changes (sometimes they evolve and adapt, but this is rare).

Resistance to alienation I think needs a core that arises from the life 
arrangements and relationships that are the most proximal to us. From there it 
procedes outwards, ripples on water: the praxis of intimate momentary life -- 
mediated only by the body -- is the source, the driver of all empowered change. 
When I am sitting in a room with other humans and the more and more frequent 
instance arises where they are 'not there' because of their 'distributed' life, 
I feel an erosion of the basis for empowered living ...

Having said all this, with a simple (cheap) GoDaddy account, you can make & 
manage Mailman email lists to your heart's content (so far!) -- if you are 
experiencing provider issues... Oh and maybe a change would fix that incredibly 
annoying problem with some netbehaviour users -- that we do not receive our own 
postings! argh! :-0


Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
grounded on a granite batholith
twitter: @neoscenes

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