Eric Miller on 5 Dec 2000 18:26:26 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] RE: <nettime> Fw: Enemies of the Future

the analogy I keep coming back to is that of the auto manufacturers and the
postwar "car society" in the US.

--highways = networks (obvious)
--rest stops, cloverleafs,  = servers, routers, and hubs (obvious, again)
--"Nobly building our future" ca 1950 = "nobly building our future" ca 2000
--Manifest Destiny of empowerment via transportation = Manifest Destiny of
empowerment via information
--a shared sense of infallibility
--avoidance of corresponding social questions. (read a copy of Business 2.0
lately? it's frightening how naturally they can avoid any recognition or
discussion of the social impact of the businesses they discuss.)
--workers believing that it's their ticket to everlasting prosperity
--advertising extolling the mechanical virtues of the product and implying
that the Joneses will leave you behind if you don't buy a new machine
--segmentation of society based on access  
	cars + whites + 1950 = flight to suburbs, urban decay left behind
	computers + education + 2000 = high-paying info economy jobs for
some, low-wage service industry jobs for the rest
--witch hunting those who would subvert what is good and ethical for the US
	1950: communists
	2000: monopolists 
--busy building a future that doesn't take into account human nature and
social needs
	1950: the American Dream resulted in class stratification,
large-scale waste as we built temporary housing/public works, and isolated
individuals in mass-produced boxes (read: suburban tract housing)
	2000: the American Dream doesn't take into account that we are
social creatures.  we need interaction, not facimilies of interaction.
again, we are being isolated in mass-produced boxes in the name of a
brighter future.  this time the box is just beige plastic instead of 2x4s
and drywall.

thought I'd throw it out there.  I just remember growing up in Flint, and
seeing the same sunny optimism back then that we've had recently in the
Information Age.  any thoughts?


-----Original Message-----
From: Felix Stalder []
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 10:03 AM
Subject: Re: <nettime> Fw: Enemies of the Future


The high-tech boom looks like the railway boom in the 19th century. Lots of
up and down on the stock market, great hopes, great psychological potential
(after all, the locomotive was the first major machine that was "in
public", rather than inside factories, railroads were the biggest, most
expensive and most complex industrial endeavour at the time). Eventually,
some got very rich, some lost a lot of money, other earned or lost mediocre
sums. In the wake, Europe and America were transformed, a new degree of
market integration was realized, mass production became even more
important, and a modern form of nationalism was born.


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