Ming the Mechanic:
Independence Day Manifesto

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Independence Day Manifesto2003-01-25 23:01
picture by Flemming Funch

Greater Democracy quotes an Independence Day Manifesto that Allen Ginsberg wrote in 1959. It begins:
"Recent history is the record of a vast conspiracy to impose one level of mechanical consciousness on mankind and exterminate all manifestations of that unique part of human sentience, identical in all men, which the individual shares with his Creator. The suppression of contemplative individuality is nearly complete.

The only immediate historical data that we can know and act on are those fed to our senses through systems of mass communication.

These media are exactly the places where the deepest and most personal sensitivities and confessions of reality are most prohibited, mocked, suppressed.

At the same time there is a crack in the mass consciousness of America -- sudden emergence of insight into a vast national subconscious netherworld filled with nerve gases, universal death bombs, malevolent bureaucracies, secret police systems, drugs that open the door to God, ships leaving Earth, unknown chemical terrors, evil dreams at hand.

Because systems of mass communication can communicate only officially acceptable levels of reality, no one can know the extent of the secret unconscious life. No one in America can know what will happen. No one is in real control. America is having a nervous breakdown... " [more]
And, as David Weinberger poignantly comments:
"Now we have new cracks in the broadcast stranglehold on what we know and what we count as interesting. We have one another, unmediated, through the Internet. The Internet should be America's nervous breakdown. And not a moment too soon."
Yes, indeed. It is too late to put the genie back in the bottle, so it should indeed make somebody very nervous that we actually can sit here and share information at will, largely unrestrained. Some of us might even wake up and start thinking for ourselves.

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26 Jan 2003 @ 00:29 by strydg : it is incorrect to say
"We have one another, unmediated, through the internet." through the internet we have one another mediated by everything from the phonetic alphabet to the pc and digital-cable communication systems in fact. this is mediation to an extreme degree - but it is invisible mediation. we have one another unmediated in the presence of the other, beholding the other in Utter Silence. what is poignant about Weinberger's comment is its perfect irony, it is perfectly wrong, it is a perfect lie. but we don't want to put the genie back in the bottle - we just need to remind him who's boss and be certain that he abides all of his obligations.  

26 Jan 2003 @ 00:35 by ming : Mediation
You're right, of course, that the Internet is inescapably a medium, so it of course isn't unmediated in that sense. But I suppose what he means is that there's nobody in-between to interpret things for us, when we're talking to each other. Just technology.  

26 Jan 2003 @ 18:54 by strydg : yes. i'm aware of what
he thinks he means. this topic goes back to a previous discussion we had about blogs. still, whether human communication, information exchange, is censored, directed, manipulated by network programming or whether it is molded, contrived, and modulated by internet-work programs is, in my opinion and in the opinion of other guys who are smarter than me, not the important distinction. Weinberger speaks as if he knows but he has only bought - he is a consumer and is consumed by it. but i'm not complaining about this medium of communication - it's kinda fun - i'm participating in it. Weinberger's perception is faulty. i believe that shedding light on the fault in his perception is beneficial to awareness in general.  

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