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FleshFactor: Access=Privilege

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"

It is so easy to be blind to the culture you grew up in, the one that
shaped all those unconscious predilections. 

I had a serious discussion about the internet with an old friend who
happens to be a poet who only has access to a typewriter and "signs on"
(no job). Three hours of argument about the U.S. and Bill Gates,
technocracy, techno-utopias, etc. 

"But the Internet is like a vast world library.. yes but you only find
what you want to find - isn't that the beauty of it? Like minds flocks
together and insulate themselves from reality.." 

The internet is a place of privilege and access counts. SO is all
technology. The telephone networks also harbour a privileged world.  I
wondered whether he would be pro-internet if he had access (and me anti-,
if not), and how important are those that manufacture and control the
means of communications rather than its content? 

AND why not remain in our ivory towers? - those problems out there are not
mine. AND isn't it so rewarding to solve technical problems in that
private controllable safe space?  Leave the social issues to the experts -
the social workers and politicians!

Having a cultural tele/microscope is one thing (the powerless viewer) but
doing something about what you see and think is wrong is another.  Yes
there are some who mix flesh awareness & techno & culture in the local
community (more I hope) but the worker bees in the BIG cyberspace of
society (the Beast that has no brain) - they can only get on with their
narrow overspecialised activities and tune out/switch off when they can
(or ease social conscience by gestures). 

Act globally think locally? 

Do not blame the people (though single car drivers should be made to
breathe their own exhaust emissions)  it's the inertia and the ride we are
on, change it? how? why?!  I go for the create your own alternatives and
leave the Beast to battle with Nature (head in a nice patch of sand?)  Or
should we ALL be enlightened and know better?

Richard Brown    <r.brown@rca.ac.uk>

Research Fellow,
Computer Related Design,
Royal College of Art,
Kensington Gore,
London SW7 2EU.

Tel: 0171 590 4296
Fax: 0171 590 4292


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