In Dark Fiber, Lovink combines aesthetic and ethical concerns and issues of navigation and usability without ever losing sight of the cultural and economic agendas of those who control hardware, software, content, design, and delivery. He examines the unwarranted faith of the cyber-libertarians in the ability of market forces to create a decentralized, accessible communication system. He studies the inner dynamics of hackers' groups, Internet activists, and artists, seeking to understand the social laws of online life. Finally, he calls for the injection of political and economic competence into the community of freedom-loving cyber-citizens, to wrest the Internet from corporate and state control.
The topics include the erosion of email, bandwidth for all, the rise and fall of doctom mania, techno-mysticism, sustainable social networks, the fight for a public Internet time standard, and collaborative text filtering. Stressing the importance of intercultural collaboration, Lovink includes reports from Albania, where NGOs and artists use new media to combat the country's poverty and isolation; from Taiwan, where the September 1999 earthquake highlighted the cultural politics of the Internet; and from Delhi, where a new media center explores free software, public access, and Hindi interfaces.
About the Author
Geert Lovink is an independent media theorist and net critic. He is the founder of nettime mailing lists, a member of Adilkno, and a cofounder of the online community server Digital City.
Table of Contents
|Introduction: Twilight of the Digirati||2|
|Essay on Speculative Media Theory (1996)||22|
|Portrait of the Virtual Intellectual (1997)||30|
|The Digital City--Metaphor and Community (2001)||42|
|The Moderation Question: Nettime and the Boundaries of Mailing List Culture (2001)||68|
|Crystals of Net Criticism|
|Language? No Problem (1996)||122|
|A Push Media Critique (1997)||130|
|Mass Psychology of the Net: A Proposal (1998)||136|
|Net. Times, Not Swatch Time: 21st-Century Global Time Wars (1998)||142|
|Fragments of Network Criticism (1999)||160|
|Sweet Erosions of Email (2000)||176|
|Culture after the Final Breakdown: Tirana, Albania, May 1998 (1998)||182|
|The 9/21 Aftershocks: Taiwan, December 1999 (1999)||194|
|At the Opening of New Media Centre Sarai: Delhi, February 2001 (2001)||204|
|Dynamics of Net Culture|
|Radical Media Pragmatism (1998)||218|
|Network Fears and Desires (1998)||226|
|An Early History of 1990s Cyberculture (1999)||234|
|The Importance of Meetspace: On Conferences and Temporary Media Labs (2000)||240|
|An Insider's Guide to Tactical Media (2001)||254|
|Organized Innocence and War in the New Europe: Adilkno, Culture, and the Independent Media (1995)||276|
|Soros and the NGO Question, or The Art of Being Independent (1997)||296|
|Information Warfare: From Propaganda Critique to Culture Jamming (1998)||306|
|Kosovo: War in the Age of Internet (1999)||318|
|Towards a Political Economy|
|Cyberculture in the Dotcom Age (2000)||330|
|The Rise and Fall of Dotcom Mania (2001)||348|
|Hi-Low: The Bandwidth Dilemma, or Internet Stagnation after Dotcom Mania (2001)||370|
What People are Saying About This
Remember the future? Geert Lovink comes not to praise, but to bury, the 'techno mysticism and digital Darwinism' that fogged our vision in the 1990s. The preeminent practitioner of Net criticism (a discourse he co-founded), Lovink combines a no-bullshit street wisdom acquired in his days as a squatter with a bear-trap intellect honed on postmodern theory and endless late-night debates. Geert Lovink is the Linus Torvald of open-source theorya free-agent thinker cracking the cultural code that cages our minds. Where he leads, I follow.
For over a decade now, Lovink has been one of the most prominent figures in cyberculture and new media worldwide. A new-media theorist, an Internet critic, an activist, an inventor of new innovative forms of net-based discourse, an organizer of ground-breaking eventsremarkably, he excels at all these different roles. I think of Lovink as a network of distributed sensors: everywhere at once, he is always the first to notice new changing directions of net culture, the first to name them, and the first to offer sober and illuminating analysis. Now we are fortunate to have his brilliant dispatches from the net front collected in one book. This is a new kind of book from a new type of public intellectual. Think of it as theory on-the-goor as a set of help files to keep handy as you navigate the present, on- and off-line.
Lovink is our major thinker about the intersections of tactical media, net criticism, and the social design of technology. Dark Fiber is a sterling work of radical pragmitism, the essays within pointing to a better and yes, possible, future for netowork societies.
A brilliant archeology of the world of new media by one of its longtime activists and theorists. Lovink's knowledge of technology, extensive participation in multiple grassroots initiatives, and critical politics give him a perspective on the subject that is unlike that of any other author I know.Saskia Sassen, University of Chicago, author of Globalization and Its Discontents
A brilliant archeology of the world of new media by one of its longtime activists and theorists. Lovink's knowledge of technology, extensive participation in multiple grassroots initiatives, and critical politics give him a perspective on the subject that is unlike that of any other author I know. Saskia Sassen , University of Chicago, author of Globalization and Its Discontents
A brilliant archeology of the world of new media by one of its longtime activists and theorists. Lovink's knowledge of technology, extensive participation in multiple grassroots initiatives, and critical politics give him a perspective on the subject that is unlike that of any other author I know.