Mark Dery on Thu, 4 Apr 2002 07:44:34 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> thumbs (as though there weren't more serious things...)

Not to put too fine a point on it, Sadie, but there's a difference between
wallowing in the corporate trough---conducting research directly funded by a
vested interest whose ostensible interest in that research is
psychodemographic data for the marketing machine---and dipping one's toe in
that trough. Sure, we all make our troubled peace with Mammon, and, yes,
we're all inextricably caught up in the tangled web of blood and commerce,
yadda yadda yadda. Let's spare our fellow Nettimers, naive or not, the rote,
retro-pomo argument about the impossibility of value-neutral objectivity.
Bottom line: The grubby fingerprints of Michael Eisner and Rupert Murdoch
are all over most public intellectualism and "independent" scholarship, mine
included. (I confess! I pimped for Enron!) But to suggest that research
about a product, bankrolled by its manufacturer, is no more subject to
corporate biases than, say, my dorky little book reviews for the VILLAGE
VOICE are encrypted with the hidden agenda of that paper's publisher is to
elide the difference between, say, the biased videojournalism showcased on
most American TV news and the product-studded advertorials, produced by
manufacturers, that sometimes worm their way into such shows, disguised as
"news." One is the product of subtle institutional and cultural influences
that combine to produce an "emergent" bias. The other is bald propaganda.
Surely there's a difference?

----- Original Message -----
From: Sadie Plant <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 9:58 PM
Subject: <nettime> thumbs (as though there weren't more serious things...)

> just to set the record straight - my mobile report makes a tiny
> reference to people using thumbs to input data, and makes absolutely no
> mention of mutations, Lamark, genetic leaps, or any of the other wild
> assertions made in the mainstream media - and now perpetuated on nettime
> too!
> on the funding front: like Coco, Mark Dery seems to think that there is
> some value-neutral money available somewhere - do people really believe
> that their work is "truly independent"  when it is funded by the
> government? Surely nettimers are not so naive.
> sadie

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