jon lebkowsky on 25 Jan 2001 23:39:58 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> The End of an Era: the Internet Hits Ground

I'd like to respond briefly to this thread, specifically Tiffany's
excellent, informed, well-grounded (as always) comments.

> >that they all force us to recognize that the Internet is not a space
> >separate from society. On the contrary, as the Internet becomes more and

> the Internet *was* a space "separate from society," and it both bred
> and attracted people who were "separate" in some significant way from
> society. why else would they be communicating online, or sharing
> files, or gaming, or making utopian plans via modem, instead of
> hanging out with "society"?

In the late 80s we heard predictions of a counterculture resurgence in the
'90s, a kind of critical mass was building around that thinking, another
extension of 'beat generation' and 'hippie' and all the other alternative
trends that have proliferated in industrialized America. Thing is, those of
us who were attracted to fringe and neophiliac cultures, traditionally
somewhat isolated, stumbled onto this tool with which we could find each
other... the computer!  It was a real epiphany (rhymes with 'tiffany'),
learning that the number-crunching box could be used to COMMUNICATE, that
you could link these boxes and do mail and post your wildest exclamations in
spaces of increasing visibility.  Those of us on the fringes found each
other as we found ourway into cyberspace as early adopters, and for a brief
few years we informed the character of a new reality.  Those days, it seemed
quite special.

We're still special in our own ways and have special relationships and
places we go to interact and find each other, but cyberspace is settled now,
it's a business as well as social infrastructure, so we're not as noticeable
when we appear as freaks, though perhaps some of us have visibility now
through other , perhaps mundane channels - business, politics, etc.  Our
experiments are not as noticeable.

But that's okay. It's true, as you say, that the Internet is more clearly a
reflection of or a part of everyday life.  This is as it should be.  However
it is so flexible, so malleable, it can be what we make it. And we can still
find each other online.

I'm just saying what magtiff already said, as reinforcement of her views...

> be appropriate. speaking of which: did ANYONE ever buy into the
> whacked Kellyesque new economy view? i mean did they REALLY believe
> it?

I think some day-traders must've believed it...!


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