re:publica 09 : Shift Happens ?! The Progress Of Absentia



- Level RED psychomedia alert -

Shift Happens !? Where do you put your efforts now ?! What do you believe in ?! After a steady stream of decades going elsewhere, the endless beta … let’s call it ‘The Progress Of Absentia’ … Are you Still trusting the manufactured flatlands + Mass Communications platforms?!

Have a look for yourself … LIVE: stream of Re:publica 09 here, the 3rd round/year of bloggers gathering for  an international web 2.0 festival ( with some pretty unsavory sponsors, and don’t say we didn’t warn you! ). The 3-day program here (lectures are marked as de or eng, not sure what on-site translations are happening yet)

But anyway it’s April 1st , the sun’s out and we say : F*CK the Cubicle Life !

Note + Point : Today, a funny April Fools headline was posted at Torrent Freak, which began winding its way thru the social networks : Warner Bros. Acquires The Pirate Bay, and while we can admire the struggles where the Piratbyrån and the varied Copyleft front seem to hold fast (and some most definitely without compromise), a deeper analysis might show that while Warner Bros. is not about to show any love for Pirate Bay, users no doubt (still) show a high download ratio of love for WB.

So would it be a naive question to ask: what ground is gained by free downloads into the Progress of Absentia !? MORE User love of cubicle-time!?

Picture a Dickens-esque Olive and Oliver bravely walking up to the Victorian orphanage headmaster for more gruel, “More Sir, I’d Like More!”  To what extent is the battle for who controls the mass mediated extensions of mankind, a mousetrap … or perhaps in the words of Ken Hollings ( author of Welcome to Mars ): here we go again, Daedelus just plunged into another (military) Labyrinth!

Ok, we will concede it’s logical for a craftsperson to love her tools, but has there ever been a generation so duped into loving one’s factory interiors ??!  Have the goalposts for liberation been dubiously rearranged while you were kept busy escaping the jaws of the Minotaur ??! Ah, Perhaps THat’s what they mean by ‘Shift Happens’.


In a talk entitled “The social media experiment is over. Now is the time to extract value for business and society.” at Re:publica this afternoon Adam Christensen, the manager of corporate communications at IBM’s headquarters in Armonk, NY, said, “We need to start taking advantage of the great work we’ve been doing (refering to the networld) to make smarter cities.” And he didn’t fail to mention that he could always be found on twitter, as if that should boost our confidence in IBM’s plans for higher intelligence.

Fortunately, a not-slacking Berlin audience member quickly jumped at the first Q+A opportunity and asked, ” Don’t you think you’re maybe just a shill for the corporation?!” And with a reference to control ( and privatization ) of water supplies, went into a nice rant about whether corporate businesses and governments could/should/would be trusted ever again (with any “smart” city planning). He was also quick to point out that he was not anti-business, and that he himself was an entreprenuer… But really the IBM do-good idealism in his pitch Did sound like the pawn song of a huckster cyclops ( in stars and stripes) that would eat yur grandmother in a nanosec. One has to wonder that the “crowd source” did not scoop this IBM prop off the stage and tar and feather him on the spot, but it is important to remember the masses are still in a deep trance, and expecting salvation from a corporate angel/devil with a suitcase full of cash and/or wings. Btw, XLt highly recommends reading Edwin Black’s IBM and the Holocaust. Oh the angel tech is sweet ! At childhood’s end, has no one warned the new one-mind species not to take candy from strangers and power-hungry corporate automatons ?!

Hmm, maybe some of these presentations ARE going to get HOT. We’re going to have to watch this Progress of Absentia fest out of the corner of our eye… inbetween soaking in the long-awaited spring sun.


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