[-empyre-] effusion and essence

Geert Lovink geert at desk.nl
Fri May 9 00:54:57 EST 2014

Dear all,

thanks for the opportunity to discuss my essay here. The 'spirit' of the text is in particular directed by the great public response in Europe, and in particular Germany, to the Snowdon affair. Many actively involved activists, geeks, designers and artists see the revelations as a watershed. For me this goes in two directions: on the first hand back to the days before 1984, which Simon has further elaborated upon, the military origin of the Net (and as many of you might agree, roots are also destiny…). The other direction in which this development is going is that of the 'Vergesellschaftlichung' of the Net, the becoming-society, the generalization of net standards and protocols, the peneration (if you wish) of internet (of things) into every aspect of life, every object and (social) relation, to control and monitor any movement of any person or object.

It could be that not every society, not every corner of the globe is sensing these two parallel and paradox developments in a same way. In his response Ken Wark wrote that inside the USA 'Snowdon' is not felt as a big deal. I respect that point of view. However, this is not the same in Central Europe. Maybe there the first movement (back to the origin) is felt more stronger than the second one. Certainly here in the Netherlands it is true that the generalization theses is more obvious here than the military aspect. However, in my view it remains important to discuss the two tendencies as one: effusion and essence.

Yours, Geert

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