[-empyre-] responding to Nick, on Ex-communication and We are all informers

Nicholas Roberts niccolo.roberts at gmail.com
Mon Dec 22 17:24:05 EST 2014

Snowden has only leaked details of what was well known since the beginning
of the internet (actually since the telecommunications revolution in the
70s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Puzzle_Palace)

the military did and do fund core, basic, and advanced research and
development of the internet

the worlds first domain name registrar was started by a NSA general, under

I asked Gore Vidal about this at the Sydney Town Hall 10 years ago, and
ever the wit, Vidal said "doesnt suprise me they got in on the ground
floor". Thing is, "they" built the ground floor

Chomsky often describes the freedom created by military funding of academic
research and development, certainly compared to corporate short termism. He
states his own department was funded by the military at various stages

he also talks about how he would correspond with his daughter on on these
academic-military networks during the death squad era in South America,
again with complete freedom

the internet isn't broken, its exactly the same structure as it always was

although its a shocking confirmation of what was considered "conspiracy
theory" kind of speculation, Snowdens leaks are just details, nothing
fundamentally new

personally, I am fearful that Obama's Army, the netizen generation, that
deify Snowden and Assange (remember him?) are being drawn into right wing
reactionary politics via the internet libertarianism of the Snowden - Ron
Paul philosophy. Adam Curtis calls this the Californian Ideology

Snowden didnt even work for the NSA, he worked for a private corporation on

I am concerned the Snowden/Wikileaks generation are going to become the
invisible bridge to radical right wing politics in America and the world

Rick Perlstein has written a new book called the Invisible Bridge, about
the fall of Nixon and the rise of Reagon and how the "hippy" and "new left"
generation converted to Thatcherism/Reagonism...

Adam Curtis also covers this era quite well, and interviews corporate and
political psychological researchers who predicted the landslide victories.
People who would never admit to their friends or political pollsters that
they where going to vote conservative/Republican aligned lifestyle values
with Reagan and Thatcher and gave them a landslide mandate

Snowden and Wikileaks are the invisible bridge to the Rand Paul
President,both Snowden and Assange are Ron Paul fanboys and the love is

Ron Paul talks a lot about ending the EPA, the IRS, the Fed and now the NSA

but, thing is, in his world, those nominally democratically accountable
public institutions will be COMPLETELY replaced with contractors or maybe
even directly corporate powers

Imperialism isnt going to go away, its just being completely privatized

its not just new media that ended with Snowden, its the Hopey Changey Obama
illusion that the netizens preposterously projected on the world

now, they push an even more dangerous and preposterous delusion

right wing internet libertarianism, the Californian Ideology

anyone who doubts this, might look at the devastation wrecked on the
Australian parliamentary Greens by the Wikileaks Party in the last elections

personally, I am more concerned about private concentrations of power and
resources than public concentrations of power and resources

at least with public concentrations, there are real, if generally
ineffective, leverages for change. With private concentrations there is
only customer power. lol

On Sat, Dec 20, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Renate Terese Ferro <rferro at cornell.edu>

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Nick thank so much for sharing these links to your work on empyre.
> Your mention of Snowden reminded me of a recent May 2014 discussion on
> empyre featuring Geert Lovinck's e-flux essay "Hermes on the Hudson:
> notes on new media after Snowden."
> http://www.e-flux.com/journal/hermes-on-the-hudson-notes-on-media-theory-af
> ter-snowden/
> Lovink categorically believes that the Snowden affair was the
> watershed moment when new media practices came to a grinding halt,"
> The Snowden revelations in June 2013 mark the symbolic closure of the
> ³new media² era. The NSA scandal has taken away the last remains of
> cyber-naivety and lifted the ³internet issue² to the level of world
> politics."
> You wrote:
> >The materials that Snowden and the affiliated journalists have released
> >starkly shows us the present state of things. Our metadata is being
> >siphoned up in uncountable volumes...In short, we are all informers on
> >ourselves.
> We are dependent on these systems, on a global infrastructure that
> none of us could build and maintain, for lack of capital, time,
> resources, knowledge... What this suggests to me, then, is perhaps we
> need to rethink our forms of communication....But perhaps we need to
> consider something even more drastic, that being a rethinking of the
> very semiotic systems we use to communicate. This is the conceit of a
> more recent project of mine called _sylloge of codes_
> (http://www.sylloge-of-codes.net/). ....
> You continue with, So while we continue to inform on ourselves, we can
> also begin to think of more poetic codes, using that underutilized and
> always-under-attack faculty, the imagination.
> I am intrigued with your invitation to use poetic code and imagination
> to counter this new environment and can't help think also about the
> new book co-authored by Galloway, Thacker and Warke, EX-COMMUNICATION
> ( look back to our May
> 2014 discussion for a more in-depth discussion of this text)  that
> proposes to sever communication networks.  You seem to be inviting us
> to do the opposite and am wondering if perhaps we can go back to not
> only your work but also Ricardo's work from Week 1 to think about
> these possibilities.  You and Claudia promised more about your
> project.  Looking forward to hearing that as well.
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Assistant Professor of Art,Cornell University
> Department of Art, Tjaden Hall Office:  306
> Ithaca, NY  14853
> Email:   <rferro at cornell.edu <mailto:rtf9 at cornell.edu>>
> URL:  http://www.renateferro.net <http://www.renateferro.net/>
>       http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net
> <http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net/>
> Lab:  http://www.tinkerfactory.net <http://www.tinkerfactory.net/>
> Managing Co-moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu


Nicholas Roberts
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