Fw: [iDC] old social architectures

Ulises arsalaan1-idc at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 11 15:11:49 EST 2007

It seems I sent some replies to individuals only, instead of to the whole list. I am re-sending to avoid any confusion. Apologies to Armin, Tobias, Michael and Grant for the double copies. 



You make some great points here, but your divisive tone at the end troubles me. Are you trying to create some beef between Nettime and iDC? ;-)

First, some responses to your arguments. I share your critique that the discourse of the digital divide promotes "the assumption that those without access to the Net are somehow lacking in public discourse and that to solve the problem is to give them access." If I quoted Bollinger, it was to show the inherent contradictions that such a discourse creates. My point throughout has been precisely that to the extent that social media creates a 'market,' we can expect only certain kinds of solutions to emerge from its application.

I think, however, that you go too far in casting doubt on any form of gift-giving that requires technology for its production (you  say: "The gift is now a privileged item of technology which requires skills -- which says a lot about the status of the gift in the 21C, that it is no longer a gift, no longer capable of being given, say, from the heart, but a "technology" which requires "skills" in order to "contribute" so as to reap the "benefits.""). The truth of the matter is that even the simplest of gift may require technology for its production. Baking a cake for a friend and contributing to Wikipedia may be two very different forms of gift-giving (Michael would probably say that the Wikipedia contribution is a form of non-reciprocal exchange, not a gift), but I don't think we should discount either one simply because an oven or a computer was required for its production. 

Likewise, I think that when you assert that "social media *doesn't* educate because it doesn't engender questioning" you are adopting a technological determinist position that gives too much power to the technology without  considering who, how and when it may be applied.

And yes, to my facile remark of _What Would Freire Do?_, I deserve an equally facile response in the form of _Freire is alive today, and he is blogging in Arabic!_. You are right: it's about figuring out our own responsibilities and our own biases --of finding the Freire within (here I go again with the cheap Freire comments!). But to suggest that this list is better than that other list, and that this or that list sucks because of the attempts at 'professionalizing' the discourse seems contrary to your own advise. If you think this discussion is not addressing the appropriate questions, or is too neatly packaged in professional language, then you can either abandon it or re-engage it in subversive ways. It seems you yourself are suggesting we have a responsibility to do the latter. 



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