Gabriella \"Biella\" Coleman on Mon, 24 Aug 2015 19:18:57 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> gentrification of hacking


   Sorry for the delay. Post camp life turned out to be far more
   complicated than expected but I managed to cobble together a bit of a
   short reply below.. But given how these discussions tend to metabolize
   rather rapidly, I realize I might be too late.

   On 15-08-17 06:00 AM, [1] wrote:


Message: 1
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2015 20:58:32 +0200
From: Brett Scott [2]<>
To: [3]
Subject: Re: <nettime> gentrification of hacking
Message-ID: [4]<>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Thanks Biella,

You're much more of an expert on this than I am, so it's good to see
this. My main objective was to stir up debate a bit to keep people on
their toes, rather than necessarily believing in the 'death of the
hacker'. A lot of my writing has an ambiguous relationship to factual
reality, or I often deliberately mix together descriptive accounts of
things with normative accounts of things I'd like to see, and
sometimes they blend into one... well, perhaps this is a way of saying
that I am less an academic than I am a shit-stirrer, and sometimes I
will make things cruder than they actually are in order to push a
political agenda. I want the politicization to continue, and pointing
out the forces against politicization is one way I do that. Hope this
makes sense

   It does, to a point. We clearly reside in the same camp: we want to
   encourage the processes of radicalization among the technorati. And
   your piece is provocative enough (and written well enough) so that
   people read it in large numbers and it ricocheted far and wide across
   many sites. You did stir the pot of conversation, which is a really
   good thing.
   Still as already stated, my worry, which is less academic and more
   pragmatic, concerns precisely how to most productively push a political
   agenda. The window of activist activity we are witnessing is both
   remarkable (and remarkably robust) but completely fragile--and again
   precisely due to the economic dynamics you lay out. Your piece may have
   identified a problem (one again that is more cyclical, and on going
   than new) but it also missed an opportunity to nudge those who harbor a
   political/activist sensibility toward the site of struggle. These are
   exciting times precisely because there is rich and active terrain of
   struggle with large numbers of hackers and geeks willing to enter fully
   into the political arena. A number of folks tweeting your piece made it
   seem like there was once possibilities and now they have have slipped
   through our fingers. That is a dangerous (and empirically wrong
   message) to send to the public at large.
   There is no need to belabor the point but I guess I raise it a final
   time for the sake of future writings. I just think you could have been
   more effective--as a shit-stirring provocateur--had you loudly and
   proudly pointed to those who have decided not to accept the path of
   gentrification for the sake of a better world so that others with a
   activist sensibility could join they rabble rousing party ;)

   Take care,


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