{ brad brace } on Tue, 15 Jul 1997 17:19:53 +0200 (MET DST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> Bandwidth and Content

On Mon, 14 Jul 1997, John Perry Barlow wrote:


> That said, I do believe that although the currency of the future is
> attention, and it will often be expressed and traded as bandwidth. People
> will fight over bandwidth as they have fought over money, sex, power,
> water, drugs, or any of the other things of which it could be said that
> "the more you have, the shorter it feels."

I'd say, the currency is 'scale of belief.'

> Social inequity, except in the most desperate conditions, is often more a
> matter of perceived unfairness of distribution than a survival need for the
> goods being distributed. In the places I've been where *everybody* is poor
> and where there are no televisions to taunt the natives with the "good
> life" in "Dallas" or "Santa Barbara," the general level of contentment
> seems higher than anywhere I go in America. But the moment they become
> aware of how much "more" other humans have, the riots begin.

The rich nations of the world are acting like ancient usurers, lending
money to the desperate poor on terms that cannot possibly be met and,
thus, steadily acquiring more and more control over the lives and assets
of the poor. 

> Perhaps the greatest favor we could grant the unwired world would be to
> encourage them not to chain themselves to the never-ending desire for more.

The global revolution really runs itself. It has turned upon its original
sponsors and ensnared them in a circle of bad choices, trapped between the
old politics of the twentieth century and the new economics of globalized
finance. The wealthiest industrial societies, the very ones that first
promoted the globalization of commerce, find themselves governed now by
unforgiving imperatives from the capital market -- a commandment to
undertake a forced march to reduce living standards for their own
citizens, discard old political commitments to social equity and reduce
benefit systems for pensions, health care, income support and various
forms of ameliorative aid. 

If governments resist, they face recurring financial crisis. If
governments comply, the social aggravations will be deepened and an era of
divisive, reactionary politics is likely to flourish. One way or another,
the societies that fostered the global revolution are going to be punished
for their great and grandiose ambitions. (WG)


{ brad brace }  <<<< bbrace@netcom.com >>>>  ~finger for pgp

The_12hr-ISBN-JPEG_Project      ftp.netcom.com/pub/bb/bbrace
  continuous hypermodern       ftp.teleport.com/users/bbrace
      imagery online          ftp.rdrop.com/pub/users/bbrace
       all-the-time        ftp.pacifier.com/pub/users/bbrace
Usenet-news: alt.binaries.pictures.12hr/ a.b.p.fine-art.misc
Mailing-list: listserv@netcom.com / subscribe 12hr-isbn-jpeg
Reverse Solidus: http://www.teleport.com/~bbrace/bbrace.html


#  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@icf.de and "info nettime" in the msg body
#  URL: http://www.desk.nl/~nettime/  contact: nettime-owner@icf.de