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This November INDYMEDIA – (( i )) – will be 20 years old !!
… April Glaser writes a good short history of the pioneering network/platform/newsfeed … for Logic Magazine ( here ). But there’s probably many more things that need to be analyzed in the history of the Internet and digital culture to understand and assess whether “Another Network Is Possible“… and where + how tactical media can unite communities tomorrow… XLterrestrials are working on a post about ALL that…
Part 1 : Where are we now ?!
( that haunting, nostalgic + personalizing final-years-Bowie tune is playing back in our
heads as we write… )
This is an extremely complicated discussion, and it will take more than
a short essay to sort through all the angles and dilemmas we find
ourselves soaking in with the cybernetic technodystopias +
technospherical spectrum +/or rectal probes of the military/corporate
communication industries, now oozing ubiquitous through all the tissues
and orifices of human + social organization like electro-shock +
doctrines + disruption therapies to cure our inherited
already-anthropocene-driven madness… by accelerating it … like: Here
take this, it’s another anthropo-scenic downloading spiral into
Stephen-Pinker-esque “tech-n-progress” Inc.
There’s a whole swarm of profit-soaking entities making a killing off our needs and desires to find our way out of these dismal industrialized loops, while not providing much real community infrastructure, other than this ultra-dubious surveillance tether to (corporate) net dependence.
Imagine an “UBIK” mortuary business scenario in PKD’s hilarious and creepy satire written at one of his peak output moments in the late 60s … We are now paying out our asses to go along on the circular jerks’ carny ride of some new technological game of keeping in touch with the dead, ourselves ( in the machines ) … This is very similar to the half-life of the consumer zombiedom merry-go-round – dysney-topian haunted mansions of the Noosphere – and the new totally organic social-organs harvesting farms. Yes, u ( and we) digital monkey subjects typing in the cubicles are filling the coffers of the Titans ( and tightening the noose of their controls ) as we e-speak.
It’s high time to question it all, and make some quick tactical maneuvers… to avoid the worst possible outcomes !
It makes perfect astute sense that April Glaser properly locates the origins of the indymedia alternatives in that Zapatista wisdom… and Subcommandante Marcos’ precision diagnosis and prescriptions made at an Anti-globalization conference in Chiapas in 1996. ( Link ) If you take some time to watch the whole interview with him made around that time. It feels like nothing has changed except the temperature of the already boiling globalized pot.
A magazine like Logic, while fascinating… and useful… appears to also be in the business of keeping up your hopes for another all-sewn-up, locked-in digital revolution, rather than mobilizing a radical set of emergency responses to our on-the-ground realtime habitats getting the scorched earth treatments. AND it appears to have no real experiences of or connections to the so-called “developing – other – worlds” which always gets the burnt end of that futurist stick … now for the last 2 or 3 or 4 centuries at least.
( Btw, That Logic manifesto borders on pushing an odd new round of Cyber-dreaming Declarations, that needs debating and picking apart. )
And now, unless you’re one of those whose got a bunker-estate in New Zealand, a couple private jets on a Mountanview – Nasa airstrip, beachfront property ( for resale?) in Greenland, Alaska, Sibera, Scandilands … well, we are all indigenous organisms now … and we’ll all get the shaft of this idiotic guinea pigdom future, unless we organize ourselves anew. A real feet-and-bodies on-the-ground collective community intelligence is still possible ! But any online factors therein will be a minimal factor… like a can opener when all you got today is a can of beans… But why not go for a takeover of a few million hectares of potential fertile farmlands + homeland + commons just beyond the perimeters of your tiny isolated electrified cubicle cages!?
On a quick note… Glaser’s piece is a little US-centric… and it would be wise to revisit a few other places… that were precursors + seeds to the Indymedia platform… i.e…. The ABCs of Tatical Media ( 1997 ) and discussions that were brewing on Nettime ( founded in 1995) which was very much a kind of counter- California Ideology + libertarian webz dialogue.
Though as we can also likely deduct, it also had its weird evangelisms… we’re currently reading “Marx Und Die Roboter” ( Dietz Berlin, 2019) , which to some extent looks to question the fetischism of the digital rev left imagining some potential escape hatch in those floating tin cans – above the variety of Bio-catastrophes awaiting us … in our disconnected +/or overconnected strung-out states.
to be cont !