Meretricious Internet

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: & / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschooling /

InfoAll blog, then @ K.

I’ve said it before, everywhere, but I must say it again today: Illich’s design for networking public information offered anyone, everyone, an ad, as many ads as they wanted; but no ad would be highlighted. My implementation at FLEX, my plans for further implementation as FIX, had no place for popup ads.
[Also see Scholar vs. Merchant.]

Just now I was doing some of my daily browsing and an animated ad for some current TV shows intruded right into the news coverage. I’d asked for selected Reuters sports stories, and an ad flashes under my nose telling me that Las Vegas is America’s Most Outrageous City: see it on some channel.
Any institution, even ideally, is supposed to channel human behavior somewhat. Imagine the bride coming down the aisle of the church. Guys are not supposed to be hitting on her as she walks. No whores are supposed to solicit the groom as he waits by the altar. Once they’re back out on the street, they’re on their own. But the church is supposed to give them a few moments peace.

In my offered internet of 1970 — FLEX was in NYC, but I offered to coordinate all the world’s FLEXes, expecting of course for NYC and the world to pay me. My habits were scholarly (as well as dissolute, indulgent). When I roamed the stacks at Columbia, at NYU, I took protection from whores, blaring radios, billboards, assault by TV ads … for granted. Sure, somebody could try to move in on you: more likely some queer than a chick, but mostly it was peaceful, quite: distractions absent. When I moved into the Shakespeare section, the contents of the books on the shelves were by Shakespeare. Nearby were books about Shakespeare: his period, the plays, etc. No porn ads flashed among the Tragedies. If there was porn, it was by Shakespeare, and in the plays. Nothing jumped out at me from the Comedies caterwauling about Ford trucks.

Do you see what I mean? You could have had an internet as quiet, as cheap, as non-intrusive as a nice dictionary. You look up the word “man.” There it is: alphabetically ordered, there for you, but minding its own business. No links blink at you for the word “woman,” or “dyke,” or “faggot.” What words there are are to the point, the point you’ve chosen, and merely in black and white. You don’t have such an internet; because you didn’t support it when it was offered.

Hell, I still offer it; but it’s too late now. And I’m so pissed off that if you did suddenly support it, I might just sell central, loud space on it to Las Vegas. I’m so pissed off, I might give it to Caesar’s Palace.

Keywords information, deschooling, FLEX, meretricious, internet

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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