Hi, Paul Knatz here.
After a decade of failing to communicate my readings of literature to my graduate school, I joined Ivan Illich as a deschooler. That was 1970. I’d already fantasized about an internet, written about it. Illich recommendation of social networking to replace the school system dovetailed. At his invitation I founded the Free Learning Exchange, Inc. (FLEX) in NY: offering to be the public’s cybernetic librarian, offering an unregulated data base of learning resources, that would naturally expand to a data base of all resources. Interest matching was emphasized. Feedback displays were designed.
I alerted the phone company, IBM, churches … and the public as to how they could help. I had a dozen full time volunteers. A cable company gave FLEX its own channel: human resources listed 24/7. Time called me in for an interview: and sluiced me out the back door after an hour or two. Thereafter the loads of free publicity FLEX had been getting dwindled. The Director of University Relations at IBM told me that the $100,000 budget I asked to help with was unrealistic: he thought I needed $20,000,000 a year to do a good job: 1971 prices. Great, fine by me: though I thought I should learn how to spend $100,000 before I learned how to use $20,000,000 efficiently. But IBM actually gave nothing, while the public gave little more.
John Sutter invited people to join him looking for a passage to California through the Rockies. He found one himself, alone. He then invited people to help him develop the Sacramento Valley. We ignored him until gold was found in his stream by his mill: his gold. We took the gold after destroying his farm and eating his livestock. But then we’d already borrowed democracy from the Iroquois Great Law of Peace. Actually we diluted Hiawathan democracy, perverted it, and gave credit elsewhere: where we owed no royalties. Illich’s social networking was designed to recast society as something convivial, something potentially Christian. I wanted his networking but I wanted it to include all things: not just English teachers and math teachers, but doctors, lawyers, bricklayers, Indian Chiefs. Illich’s offer was made in the spirit of Christ: Jesus inspired. So was my expansion. My first volunteer was an activist Catholic: Noreen. The public mostly sat with its thumb up its ass, its other hand in its pocket: where the state’s hand was already sewn in. $100,000 or $20,000,000 a year would have been a lot less than the $50 billion the US was spending on conditioning the young, training them for the consumer/industrial society.
My domain, Knatz.com, told all this: and a great deal more as well: nearly 3,000 text files by 2006, thousands of graphics. The deschooling material spun off into a domain dedicated to the purpose, InfoAll.org. my InfoAll blog, at blogspot, supplemented it. But the US arrested me, jailed me, censored me, me confessing to the absurd charges under torture as it were because they were threating to keep me off their plagiarizing internet for fifty years whereas they might let me out after fifteen months if I lied and said I was wrong to blame the kleptocracy for being a thief. I live to write, so I did; but then they warned me from remounting my five domains, destroyed my business, wasted my remaining pittance of cash, destroyed the synergy of my computer system: so the printer doesn’t work, or the scanner, the CPUs are no longer properly networked …
Slowly, painfully, I’ve been moving classic Knatz.com material, InfoAll.org material, Macroinformatino.org material to blogs: all at blogspot.com: IonaArc, InfoAll, Macroinformation … and now pkTools, PaulKnatz, pKnatzQuotes, pkKlep, pk Theo join the array. But I can’t stand Google’s HTML! So I try WordPress as a refugee.