[iDC] the false Aufhebung of social media [was: Social Production and the Labor Theory of Value]

{ brad brace } bbrace at eskimo.com
Sat Oct 31 16:05:25 UTC 2009

[I'll keep this brief, assuming that this message won't be
relayed to the List either... censorship masquerading as
social-media two-daze.]

Perhaps local-continuity is the issue to cling-with, as
these larger, emancipatory possibilities have been raised
(and beaten-down) online for decades. All I hear here is
just the same received diatribe that effectively, merely
circulates the same old repressive regimes and their
grinning (their mouths stuffed with berries),
advocates/acolytes. Good parable/posture; bad reform. And
certainly still no job for me, after 20 years' of ignored
applications -- it's probably not a good idea now anyway.
Why not just admit for once that it's really all a big pack
of lies? and this is what scaled social continuity requires?

[I can guess what you might mean by this negated german noun
aufhebun. And the 'nextlayer' database wasn't accessible,
although I'm interested, and probably shouldn't be.]


On Sat, 31 Oct 2009, Armin Medosch wrote:

> hi all
> I would just like two add a couple of points with relation to 'social
> production' which maybe shift the discussion on to slightly different
> terrain, away from the labor theory of value.
> In media theory much has been made of the one-sided and centralised
> broadcast structure of television and radio. the topology of the
> broadcast system, centralised, one-to-many, one-way, has been compared
> unfavourable to the net, which is a many-to-many structure, but also
> one-to-many and many-to-one, it is, in terms of a topology, a highly
> distributed or mesh network. So the net has been hailed as finally
> making good on the promise of participatory media usage. What so called
> social media do is to re-introduce a centralised structure through the
> backdoor. While the communication of the users is 'participatory' and
> many-to-many, and so on and so forth, this is organised via a
> centralised platform, venture capital funded, corporately owned. Thus,
> while social media bear the promise of making good on the emancipatory
> power of networked communication, in fact they re-introduce the
> producer-consumer divide on another layer, that of host/user. they
> perform a false aufhebung of the broadcast paradigm. Therefore I think
> the term prosumer is misleading and not very useful. while the users do
> produce something, there is nothing 'pro' as in professional in it.
> This leads to a second point. The conflict between labour and capital
> has played itself out via mechanization and rationalization, scientific
> management and its refinement, such as the scientific management of
> office work, the proletarisation of wrongly called 'white collar work',
> the replacement of human labour by machines in both the factory and the
> office, etc. What this entailed was an extraction of knowledge from the
> skilled artisan, the craftsman, the high level clerk, the analyst, etc.,
> and its formalisation into an automated process, whereby this
> abstraction decidedly shifts the balance of power towards management.
> Now what happened with the transition from Web 1.0 to 2.0 is a very
> similar process. Remember the static homepage in html? You needed to be
> able to code a bit, actually for many non-geeks it was probably the
> first satisfactory coding experience ever. You needed to set the links
> yourself and check the backlinks. Now a lot of that is being done by
> automated systems. The linking knowledge of freely acting networked
> subjects has been turned into a system that suggests who you link with
> and that established many relationships involuntarily. It is usually
> more work getting rid of this than to have it done for you. Therefore
> Web 2.0 in many ways is actually a dumbing down of people, a deskilling
> similar to what has happened in industry over the past 200 years.
> Wanted to stay short and precise, but need to add, social media is a
> misnomer. What social media would be are systems that are collectively
> owned and maintained by their users, that are built and developed
> according to their needs and not according to the needs of advertisers
> and sinister powers who are syphoning off the knowledge generated about
> social relationships in secret data mining and social network analysis
> processes.
> So there is a solution, one which I continue to advocate: lets get back
> to creating our own systems, lets use free and open source software for
> server infrastructures and lets socialise via a decentralised landscape
> of smaller and bigger hubs that are independently organised, rather than
> feeding the machine ...
> Did anybody notice, have not mentioned Marx a single time. Love reading
> Marx but agree with Brian we need to come to our own conclusions in our
> own times, maybe informed by some of the key methodological decisions
> that Marx made but not by any mechanical application of them

global islands project:

"We fill the craters left by the bombs
And once again we sing
And once again we sow
Because life never surrenders."
-- anonymous Vietnamese poem

"Nothing can be said about the sea."
-- Mr Selvam, Akkrapattai, India 2004

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