David A Cox on 28 Oct 2000 00:34:38 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] hack as symbol

An attack on Microsoft from St Petersberg is a very rich image in terms of
the global drama it evokes and the historical conflicts it resurrects. The
news reads like the blurb for a blockbuster movie. St Petersburg, was
borne from a tragic zeal to modernize. Peter the Great forced countless
Russians to build the city in a limited time, many were killed in the
process.  St Petersberg when it was being constructed was to rival Vienna
in its physical scale and political ambitions. A good book on this subject
is Marshal Berman's "All that is Solid Melts into Air".

Perhaps today's Vienna is Seattle? The imagery is a familiar one; of the
east eager to catch up with the west, by any means necessary. The sense of
drama and intrigue is fertile indeed. Imagine if the hack had happened to
a Linux firm, the open standard of that OS would nullify the political and
symbolic dimension of the hack itself. The idea of software as property is
what is most vividly under attack, and by extension, the notion of the
sovereignty of large corporate entities whose power has been shown to
supposedly rival that of government. 
David Cox

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