Noosphere Blues

[ Thursday, October 30, 2003 ]

While it's obviously not the last word on the almost non-reported story of civilian casualties in Iraq, this is well worth study. And filing away as a reality-check the next time high-tech surgical precision is touted in support of an elective invasion.
Phil [12:25 PM]

[ Tuesday, October 28, 2003 ]

A 60s era memoir I'm looking forward to.
Phil [3:22 PM]

[ Wednesday, October 22, 2003 ]

For those of us who've missed the free-ranging intellectual insouciance of the original Mondo 2000 (or those who never got a chance to catch it way back then in ancient pre-wired 1989), there's R.U. Sirius' newest deal, Neofiles... an anti-dote to neo-con, and perhaps the flagship pub of Mondo 2100, ribo-funk and nano-punk.
Phil [7:35 AM]

[ Monday, October 20, 2003 ]

From David Weinberger, word that Chris Locke (aka RageBoy, aka one of the great originals of 1st generation webdom- is broke and needs some help. The prospect of RageBoy without his laptop, and blogastan without Rageboy, is culturally unacceptable.

Lenni Brenner has, so it appears from his ongoing series of reminiscences in CounterPunch, led a fascinating life, meeting usually in memorably eccentric circumstances, many of the most remarkable radical mavericks of the late 20th century. ( From Charles Mingus at acidhaven Millbrook to Huey Newton). And, what’s much more, writing mighty well and irreverently about them.

Phil [8:14 AM]

[ Thursday, October 16, 2003 ]

Free trade for thee, protectionism for me. Toni Solo explores the hypocrisy of neo-liberal "globalists", in this case proprietary software firms attempting to thwart global competition from open source software.
Phil [11:33 AM]

[ Monday, October 13, 2003 ]

Just because something's been relentlessly (and superficially) hyped, doesn't mean it's not really of major importance. As witness a couple of informed perspectives on peer to peer and how and why we've only barely scraped the surface of its (mostly positive) ramifications, technologically, culturally and economically.
Phil [11:09 AM]

[ Friday, October 10, 2003 ]

Never was a huge Trotsky fan, having spent too much time in college dodging not the draft, but recruitment by neo-trot sects. Even so, of late I've almost gotten to feeling sorry for the guy's memory. It's gotta be a karmic kick in the ass (perhaps, if you're inclined to believe in some sort of cosmic justice, payback for the Kronstadt massacre) to have been rescued from semi-cult obscurity only to become at millenia's turn- one of the guiding ghosts of neo-condom.
Phil [9:57 AM]

[ Thursday, October 02, 2003 ]

Why Johnny Cash’s Live from San Quentin is the greatest punk recording of all time.

Julian Sanchez excoriates The NY Sunday Times recent cliché-fest in the guise of a Man Bites Dog revelation about the rise of (yet another, as The NYT Sunday Mag seems to retread this lame meme about once every five years), insurgent new conservative generation, as well as a few other paens to same. This time they’re termed the “Hipublicans”, edgy rock n roll 20 year old reptile libertarian republicans out to shock the liberal establishment as represented by their 1960s baby boomer-generation professors etc. etc.

Much as Sanchez acknowledges he’d love to see such a genuine article emerge, he rightly rejects the hype. (As he puts its, “ In short it seems as though Millennials, the post Generation X cohort born after 1981, are leaning to the right with a strong libertarian streak. Alas, it’s not true.”

In so doing he does a nice and useful job in providing an encyclopedic early overview on the emerging, nay burgeoning, literature on “Millennials”, as the generation born between 1982 and the millennium has been tagged by authors and marketing consultants Neil Howe and William Strauss. Who, through books like Generations and Millennials Rising, have become the Marx and Engels of a generational model of history, which, though superficial in the manner of most one-dimensional models, I’ve often found fascinating and often quite insightful (as I bet have more than a few other pop culture history nerds).

As described (or perhaps better to say just predicted ) by them (and apparently seconded by Sanchez) the millennial style which the grade schoolers and high schoolers of today are on the verge of bringing to American culture over the next 5 to 10 years will be bound to e’pater baby boomer and Gen X expectations (liberal and conservative alike) of what a youth “zeitgeist” is supposed to be. With, the prediction goes,: libertarian instincts giving way to hyper-comunitarianism, individualism to collectivism, iconoclasm to conformism, the aesthetic exploration of dissonance to harmony, eclectic experimentalism to traditionalism, complexity to simplicity, rhythm to melody, sub-culturalism to nationalism, search for adventure to search for security, entrepreneurialism to big organizations.

One of the best things about history is that its one certainty is that all predictions will likely prove more wrong than not. Still, given that Generations, published in 1991, holds up surprisingly well, both for its sweeping narrative view of U.S. history as the cyclic interplay of four generational types, and for its good hunches about how the 90s would play out, it’s worth taking seriously.

What’s intriguing to me is how early images of the millennials are being shaped through the lens of our (boomer and X-er’s) increasingly misty memories of the World War 2 generation (born circa 1912-1926), now being enshrined via Brokaw as the “Greatest Generation”.

I’d love to see to some re-re visionist histories that show how much wilder, iconcoclastic, and yes, far more interesting the GI generation (that cohort of e.g. the Rat Pack, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, John Cage, Timothy Leary, Murray Rothbard, Lenny Bruce and Norman Mailer) was than their earnestly insipid nostalgia-mongering successors are allowing. Which, of course, is to infuse, a little more paradox into history, as I hope and trust the Millennnials will as well.

Phil [1:07 PM]