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Archive for July 6th, 2007

red net

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Excellent piece today on opendemocracy by Richard Barbrook which recounts the strange history of the internet as a US project that arose in reaction to Soviet advances toward cybernetic communism. The most interesting thing – something I’d definitely like to hear even more about – is the way that what would become the internet took its shape in a certain sense under the influence / the pressure of a non-capitalist sense of what it should or might be (The story is rather telegraphic in the piece – I’ve ordered Barbrook’s book tonight to see if it gets more thoroughly fleshed out there…) and then had to be, only afterwards, properly commoditized. Or perhaps it would be better to say that the difficulty it has had in properly commoditizing itself derives from an initial formal insistence on openness, gift-structure, and non-proprietariness.

More to come, from me, I hope, on parallel topics. I’m thinking about writing a longer piece on, what to call it, the persistent intimations of socialist culture in our benighted world.

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July 6, 2007 at 12:09 am