Felix Stalder on Wed, 18 Jun 1997 18:58:16 +0200 (MET DST)

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Re: <nettime> The Digital Economy

Richard Barbrook wrote (in his excellent essay):

> If left to unregulated market
> forces, universal access to the new information
> services will be very slow in arriving. Yet, the
> commercial potential of the Net can only be fully
> realised through the construction of the fibre-optic
> grid which covers the whole population.

Universal Access as the precondition of commercial use of the Internet,
that sounds familiar to me. 

In a speech about a year ago, Hundt Reed, the chairman of the FCC
(Federal Communications Commission) developed a similar line of
argumentation why universal access is necessary for the Internet: to
create a larger audience for on-line advertisemen. He said: 

"That sort of advertising will come about primarily if the Internet
reaches everyone. As broadcast TV has discovered, if you can deliver the
whole country as an audience, advertisers will make you very, very
comfortable. It's good for the Internet if everyone has access. 

> Under Fordism, the factory worker
> was seen as a heroic figure - the embodiment of hope
> of a better future. In contemporary society, the
> digital artisan has taken over this role.  ... The digital
> artisans are pioneers of a social democracy fit for
> the twenty-first century.

Let's hope the digital artisan won't disappoint the socialist hopes as
much as the factory worker did.

Felix Stalder


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