John Hopkins on Wed, 26 Aug 2015 15:14:11 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> gentrification of hacking

Biella --

some musings on your note:

Still as already stated, my worry, which is less academic and more pragmatic,
concerns precisely how to most productively push a political agenda. The


have slipped through our fingers. That is a dangerous (and empirically wrong
message) to send to the public at large.

I'm very curious when you speak of 'empricially' here -- are you speaking of an absolute number (or a percentage of the rising population?) and of course, where are you getting your data and under what auspices is it acquired?

It would seem that a quantifiable impact of hacking on, say, socio-politics would be more defined by the incredible increase in dependencies (of the population) on hackable data systems within the wider techno-social system. Without those dependencies, a potential political upheaval would not be accessible. It is precisely these dependencies that, when disrupted, cause the populace to react. (But who wants reactionary politics, anyway?)

There is also the question of the ecosystem of the dependency of the hacker on the Machine. I have always observed that the more the protocols of the Master are engaged, the more power the Master accrues.

I would suggest that only through the creation of new protocols, new ways of living that turn fully and walk away from the Master's way that the Master is de-powered -- this is the essence of decreasing the dependencies. This turning, with the ensuing social cost to those who turn, is the most radical action.

With this in mind, shouldn't the hacker community focus on decreasing those dependencies? They do already to some degree, but it would seem that most are more engaged in 'twiddling the dials' of the machine, rather than eliminating it altogether, 'deleting' their initial field of action, and walking away on a new path.

The political arena that you describe would appear to be built by the Master. Perhaps it is better to be an escaped slave running free in the countryside well outside the sight of the arena than to be a brave gladiator waiting for the Master's thumb: Respect due to those in resistance, but resistance is a path that is largely defined by that-which-is-to-be-resisted. There are those who need to find new pathways altogether. I would rather see an emphasis on encouraging people to establsih those new pathways.


Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
grounded on a granite batholith
twitter: @neoscenes

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