Archive for October 1st, 2012|Daily archive page

Zuckerberg Visits Russia and Meets With Medvedev –

More Russians are online today than Germans, making Russia the largest Internet market in Europe. Russians also, strangely, have spent more freely relative to their income than Americans on virtual products, like special powers for online games, making their country a useful market for testing revenue streams other than advertising.

via Zuckerberg Visits Russia and Meets With Medvedev –


Perhaps not so odd. In fact, upon reading it, I’m not at all surprised, but then, the history of cultural works in Russia leans heavily toward the oblique allegory, the fantasy masquerading the real. (Karl Rove, eat your heart out.) Even recent science fiction follows this grand narrative, again no surprise.

Islands of Resilience

Islands of Resilience.

More on this later–but I want to balance on the fulcrum of community the fuzzy identities of intellectual property, green energy, and the possibly new term, “green manufactury.”

The point, which deviates from left/progressive accounts and also from right-wing accounts, is that “community” must be empowered to identify, address, manage the challenges it faces. But it cannot do this alone. Nor can communication be in some way resembling that of the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Modern communication–modern notions of “social” or “presence” even “identity”–need to be invoked. And we need, as well, to use the lessons (I, at least) learned form the cooperatives of the 1970s. 

(Confession. I live in Yorkville, Toronto, where the greatest of the student cooperatives existed in the ’70s and lived my first two years of college at UC Berkeley at Barrington Hall, where I was the Workshift Manager and also on the Board of Directors, all well before my 19th birthday. I was also deeply influenced by BF Skinner’s reappraisals and by, at least at the time, negatively, Toffler. And also, more positively, by Doris Lessing’s really underappreciated Briefing for a Descent Into Hell.)

Further point: As I write this, the Maker Faire is taking place. It’s about promoting participatory culture. But, especially in the US, it’s hardly novel. The entire country’s spirit is premised on it, on the idea of DIY.

The difference lies in what you can do now: far far more than ever before. But it’s not about being independent. It–my notion, especially–is about recognizing what can be done….

And in undoing the mistake of the 20th century, to bind all under the sun to constrictions of property.

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