<videovortex> [Fwd: the anti web 2.0 manifesto]

Greg J. Smith greg.smith at utoronto.ca
Thu Sep 27 17:54:06 CEST 2007

> As an opening 
> gambit, let’s focus on the meaning of four key words in the digital 
> utopian lexicon: a) author b) audience c) community d) elitism.

This text seems quite invested in d).


greg j. smith
416.877.4281 / skype: serial_consign
smith at serialconsign.com

Annet Dekker wrote:
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: 	the anti web 2.0 manifesto
> Date: 	Thu, 27 Sep 2007 16:49:04 +0200
> From: 	Malka <malka at montevideo.nl>
> To: 	Annet Dekker <annet at montevideo.nl>
> Andrew Keen, creator of www.aftertv.com 
> <http://andrewkeen.typepad.com/aftertv/>, wrote a new book "The Cult of 
> the Amateur", which exposes the grave consequences of today’s new 
> participatory Web 2.0 and reveals how it threatens our values. The key 
> points of this book are summarized by Keen in THE ANTI WEB 2.0 MANIFESTO 
> (Adorno-for-idiots) 
> <http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/2007-April/002435.html> below.
> 1. The cult of the amateur is digital utopianism’s most seductive 
> delusion. This cult promises that the latest media technology in the 
> form of blogs, wikis and podcasts will enable everyone to become widely 
> read writers, journalists, movie directors and music artists. It 
> suggests, mistakenly, that everyone has something interesting to say.
> 2. The digital utopian much heralded “democratization” of media will 
> have a destructive impact upon culture, particularly upon criticism. 
> “Good taste” is, as Adorno never tired of telling us, undemocratic. 
> Taste must reside with an elite (“truth makers”) of historically 
> progressive cultural critics able to determine, on behalf of the public, 
> the value of a work-of-art. The digital utopia seeks to flatten this 
> elite into an ochlocracy. The danger, therefore, is that the future will 
> be tasteless.
> 3. To imagine the dystopian future, we need to reread Adorno, as well as 
> Kafka and Borges (the Web 2.0 dystopia can be mapped to that triangular 
> space between Frankfurt, Prague and Buenos Aires). Unchecked technology 
> threatens to undermine reality and turn media into a rival version of 
> life, a 21st century version of “The Castle” or “The Library of Babel”. 
> This might make a fantastic movie or short piece of fiction. But real 
> life, like art, shouldn’t be fantasy; it shouldn’t be fiction.
> 4. A particularly unfashionable thought: big media is not bad media. The 
> big media engine of the Hollywood studios, the major record labels and 
> publishing houses has discovered and branded great 20th century popular 
> artists of such as Alfred Hitchcock, Bono and W.G. Sebald (the “Vertigo” 
> three). It is most unlikely that citizen media will have the marketing 
> skills to discover and brand creative artists of equivalent prodigy.
> 5. Let’s think differently about George Orwell. Apple’s iconic 1984 
> Super Bowl commercial is true: 1984 will not be like Nineteen 
> Eighty-Four the message went. Yes, the “truth” about the digital future 
> will be the absence of the Orwellian Big Brother and the Ministry of 
> Truth. Orwell’s dystopia is the dictatorship of the State; the Web 2.0 
> dystopia is the dictatorship of the author. In the digital future, 
> everyone will think they are Orwell (the movie might be called: Being 
> George Orwell).
> 6. Digital utopian economists Chris Anderson have invented a 
> theoretically flattened market that they have christened the “Long 
> Tail”. It is a Hayekian cottage market of small media producers 
> industriously trading with one another. But Anderson’s “Long Tail” is 
> really a long tale. The real economic future is something akin to Google 
> a vertiginous media world in which content and advertising become so 
> indistinguishable that they become one and the same (more grist to that 
> Frankfurt-Prague-BuenosAires triangle).
> 7. As always, today’s pornography reveals tomorrow’s media. The future 
> of general media content, the place culture is going, is Voyeurweb.com: 
> the convergence of self-authored shamelessness, narcissism and vulgarity 
> -- a self-argument in favor of censorship. As Adorno liked to remind us, 
> we have a responsibility to protect people from their worst impulses. If 
> people aren’t able to censor their worst instincts, then they need to be 
> censored by others wiser and more disciplined than themselves.
> 8. There is something of the philosophical assumptions of early Marx and 
> Rousseau in the digital utopian movement, particularly in its holy 
> trinity of online community,individual creativity and common 
> intellectual property ownership. Most of all, it’s in the marriage of 
> abstract theory and absolute faith in the virtue of human nature that 
> lends the digital utopians their intellectual debt to intellectual 
> Casanovas like young Marx and Rousseau.
> 9. How to resist digital utopianism? Orwell’s focus on language is the 
> most effective antidote. The digital utopians needs to be fought 
> word-for-word, phrase-by-phrase, delusion-by-delusion. As an opening 
> gambit, let’s focus on the meaning of four key words in the digital 
> utopian lexicon: a) author b) audience c) community d) elitism.
> 10. The cultural consequence of uncontrolled digital development will be 
> social vertigo. Culture will be spinning and whirling and in continual 
> flux. Everything will be in motion; everything will be opinion. This 
> social vertigo of ubiquitous opinion was recognized by Plato. That’s why 
> he was of the opinion that opinionated artists should be banned from his 
> Republic.
> -----
> video vortex discussion list
> artist responses to youtube

More information about the videovortex mailing list