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Stealing from Jesus, Mugging Santa
In 1970 God made it clear to me that he wanted me to offer the internet to the public. The internet, registries available to all, the infrastructure voluntary, had been occuring to me over the 1960s.
uh oh, revision, edition gaffs.
I’ve never seen this message on paper, on parchment, carved on blocks or chiseled on stone. It seemed to be in English: though it’s hardly my business to tell God how to communicate. Actually, I don’t think it was in any human language: or, it was in the human language most suitable for God to nudge pk in: mental English: the language of scholarship, literature, the Bible.
Or was it? Actually now that I think of it, it was in English, perfect scholarly English: the English of Ivan Illich: then literate in eighteen languages: since then, twenty-odd including oriental. Illich wrote Deschooling Society. A printed multiple circulated among his friends out of Cuernavaca. By golly there was even time for some of my own diction to influence his by the time the hard copy hit the market: but first Deschooling Society, three chapters of it, were published in NRB.
Feedback was sparked. A free society has no business compelling attendance: not in church, not in school, neither at a Nazi rally. No: the proper use of digital computers was to develop data bases of resources: and to share them; without comulsion, without control. Build in a feedback system, unsupervised except by the human population, and you’ve created the world’s first free store: free society: at least potentially free.
The system is good, now see wha people do with it.
The part of the human internet was 100% Illich-invented. It jibbed with mine — mine sketched below. It came purely from Illich’s mind (plus a few of his friends: Paul Goodman, Everett Reimer …) And that, obviously came straight from God: closer than the Bible to a divine manuscript: a prescription for freedom, a potential for equality.
I’ll scribble at this till it’s good, or till I’m dead.
What right do I have to talk about God? to repeat or to paraphrase, what God says to me? Same right Moses had, or Adam, or Noah … or Jesus … (or John …)
I’m a “white” guy. What right do white guys have to the messages of the Jews’ desert god?
No one disputes my claim to be white: do they? I’m American. That is, I’m 3/4 German, and 1/4 English/British/Scots. That’s what we mean by white, isn’t it?
Actually though white is one of those terms that doesn’t mean anyting except what people mean by it: and that, since it’s human really doesn’t mean anything very much very reliably at all. Right away we stumple at the Jews’ desert god. Jews don’t quality as white: not according to the racists that I know. Unless we mean American white. Americans mean whatever they mean, and don’t expect any critical close inspection.
When I was in the army and had to fill out forms on candidates for the draft, I was privy to an apaling list of “races” — other than white — went on for pages: most racist single document I’ve ever imagined.
But never mind all that. I’m trying to tell you what language God was speaking in, to Illich, and also to me.
Illich, realize, was a Roman Catholic priest: rank, monisgnor (till the Church defroked him: forbade him to say mass! So was it Catholic English he was transcribing in? Would he have said he was transcribing? No, that’s my claim: a matephor. Dammit, the writing is the inspired international “English” I’ve ever seen: the greatest of all writers.