Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Personal / Writing / Notes /
@ K. 2008 05 15
I’ve been writing since 1948. I can’t be altogether certain of the date, but I was in grade school when I first started to bang something out of the big black upright Royal, having trouble finding the keys at first glance, my mother coming to help. I’m sure it was no earlier than the fourth grade, but well before the sixth grade.
My seventh grade teacher asked my permission to submit something of mine for publication. Thus I consider myself as submitted since 1950, even though I myself never mailed a manuscript till 1969. In that latter year I began mailing each in a series of stories to major magazines. 1982 began my novel writing and my regular contact with name publishers and agents.
Still, 1971 contains the only instance of pk being published in the normal, old-fashioned way: contacted, commissioned, edited, published, paid.
1970 had begun my period of self-publication on a printing press, I myself learning and doing the printing: borrowed machine, borrowed plates, ink, paper. That was all deschooling literature and is what led to the single commission of 1971.
In 1970 I was proposing a local cybernetic data base to replace the need for a school (or university) system. I saw it as also replacing any need for the New York Times, for Albany, or for Washington DC. By 1971 I was answering mail from other burgeoning learning networks, proposing that we cooperate as we developed, forming an internet. I didn’t use the word: it was the thing, not the word that I conceived.
Almost immediately imitations abounded. Computerized dating services amassed capital, offering only a percentage of my databased services and at as high a price as possible, not at all my offer of as low a price as possible. I wanted to encourage society to pool resources for essentials such as information storage and retrieval. I wanted the information, like the resources, to be voluntary: the exact opposite of government, and school.
Amazing. Illich and I had actually moved the beast at its center: only a tad, but still, we’d moved it: to counter measures. By 1971 NYState was offering Schools Without Walls and academic credit for life accomplishments … These were clearly anti-FLEX maneuvers.
FLEX was militating against coercion, against certificates, against degrees, against state-directed curricula … in favor of individuals, of families, of communities … information gates with no gatekeeper and no censor. The state defended itself by slightly liberalizing its fascism. But notice: I was trying to free us of the school system altogether; the state was rounding up the loose sheep and turning them back toward the center of the pen.
In 1970 I found the society receptive to my deschooling fliers. By 1971 institutions were contacting me to help publicize my work. By 1972 the institutions’ defenses were up. Illich’s books weren’t getting reprinted, copies were disappearing from bookstores, libraries. TV appearances were cancelled without announcement … And FLEX literature ceased getting passed on by the institutions. Time had prepared an interest in FLEX, then altogether cancelled it. My free listings on cable TV were sabotaged into indecipherability.
The government does not want to get off our face, to get its arm out of our pants. The schools do not want to be obviated, dissolved.
But that’s all trivial, compared to this: the public does not want to be free. It talks about it, but won’t do it. Given a real choice to swim in the real ocean, it retreats toward its owners, its protection racketeers: church, school, media, government.
Anyway, I wrote little between 1973 and 1982, trying to stay alive, to pay rent and bills. But wrapped up in my first novel, by the mid-1980s I was further impoverishing myself to get a word-processor. In 1983 I trained myself to write without electricity, but spent 1984 running toward wall sockets: not to write, but to edit, to revise, to print readable MSs …
Appreciate the irony: I’d offered an internet in 1970. My family was destroyed, my son kidnapped (by his mother!) The public wanted the service, but didn’t want to pay for it. So I starved. But by 1988 the kleptocracy had figured out to make ideas parallel to Illich’s and mine profitable to a few, rather than like mine, profitable to all. World Wide Web got written. CERN … MIT, SRI … were enjoying email. By the time my son was in college dirty jokes from Paris were being passed further in Israel, Pennsylvania, Toronto …
My internet, without my freedom, my cheapness, my democracy … and most of all, without me!
Having offered a cheap internet, having sacrificed any shards of my career, I embraced my pariahdom, but somehow wound up with a nice woman who financed me to venture back toward business and normalcy. By 1992 I had a Mac and had launched PKImaging.com. By 1995 I added Knatz.com, though initially it was just a homepage as they came as part of the service from my ISP. But it grew and grew. So, in that sense, pk has been e-published, self-published, i-published … since 1995.
Published to no avail: still no one gets it. Still we are not free. The fed’s internet only magnifies our servitude. My internet would have been financed voluntarily: without anyone volunteering much more than a couple of dollars, it wasn’t financed. My internet would have provided any participating resource with an ad, cheap, revisable, updatable 24/7 … But like the 3×5 cards in the library card catalogue system, no one gets a 5×7 while everyone else has a 3×5. While a browser is reading your 3×5 stating that you can teach children to wipe their nose, and all you want in return is a Thank You, NBC can’t intrude a waving flag, a nude girl, a blinking billboard … between you and your potential client: like the dictionary: I look up a word, there are no pop ups, no sudden blare of trumpets. No: just plain information: the information sought, that’s all.
Your attention has been sold to the highest bidder.
No one gets it. I’m getting older. I spend a decade talking artists into letting me represent them online. As soon as there’s a sale or two, they go and open their own websites. I slowly build up a little income, then it rapidly evaporates. The artists want all of what I’ve taught them to themselves. Why should they pay me a royalty when they can cheaply use the internet stolen from me? And no God has yet billed them for the theft.
My patron dies. I’m losing my hearing, my sight. Nothing I’ve written has done anything that I can tell for sure but get civilization further and further from sustainability, from “salvation,” as it were.
So I launch AgainstHierarchy.org. I will move my many files on unhealthy social organizations — politics, business, education — to this new domain and in particular I will emphasize how NYU’s defrauding me in graduate school drove me to be the one to invent the internet: only to have it stolen, decades later, by NYU among others.
AgainstHierarchy.org was launched in the summer of 2006. By September there was enough material there for me to begin emailing NYU English professors to try to catch their attention. I’d been speaking for universities, within universities, through the 1960s. I began speaking against universities, from outside universities, in 1970. But, as I had begun discovering in 1962, universities talk, and talk some more; but they don’t listen. They are geared to send, not to receive.
Bucky Fuller used to turn his hearing aids off, once he got wound up. But he had something to say. He was the great teacher whose quality could only be degraded by interruption. More and more, universities are like the Church of old, their quality could only be improved by interruption.
Anyhow, 2006 Oct 13 I open my door and get assaulted by the Sheriff’s men tag teaming with the FBI: all flack jackets and assault rifles.
Oct 16 I’m dragged in chails before a federal judge. My public defender assures me that he is not there to help me introduce truth into the court. Everything he says echoes what a fellow detainee had advised me:
Anything you say that’s noble will get years addded to your sentence.
The public thinks the government is actually doing some of the things promised in school, enforcing justice, seeking the truth; no, no. No one in a federal detention center thinks any of that. It isn’t that they’re all censored philosophers; but they know perfectly well that the fed functions by framing more efficiently than by impartially sifting evidence.
My public defender, who privately confided to me that he might
Burn in hell, forever
once he saw that I really was a disciple of Jesus, and really had offered a cheap internet in 1970, earned a $3,000 bonus for terrorizing me into pleading guilty.
Dave Lee Brannen, Esq. forecast a grim response to any attempt I made to discuss deschooling, to accuse my society of kleptocracy. Even the jury’s bread is buttered by fascism. By fraud. The poorest slave, most of the time, will defend his owner against his liberator: in slavery, at least he has the rat-infested corner; free he has only the unknown: and a rapacious species to try to thrive amidst.
Please note: since 2000 I’ve been writing for my own pleasure as well as for public salvation. Until 2000, since 1969, my writing had been exclusively about God, god, evolution, survival, sustainability … about devising the best mental maps of existence to give us the best chances.
The writing that publishers expose us to is seldom of that character. No, profit lies with soporifics, not with stimulants. The publishing industry, like the school system, like the government … wants us asleep.
And they’ll violate their own most sacred laws to keep us asleep.
The crucifixion happens everyday.
But it’s not our permanent condition: we won’t live that long.