Date: Tue, 8 Aug 1995 06:09:19 -0800
From: (Justin Hall)
Subject: RonR return, book recommendation, new links...

UnderWord Update 1.1 -
RonR return, book recommendation, new links...

I just returned from Humbolt county, 'bout four hours north of San Fran. The best marijuana in the country is grown up there, amidst redwoods and winding mountain roads.

Couple of those types o' folks threw a little party for 15k people this weekend, Reggae on the River. $80 bought you access to camping, as well as bands from 8.30am to 11pm both Saturday and Sunday.

Set in a valley, the Eel river snaked along the far wall (most places no more than a foot deep, with a few decent swimming holes). Between the river and the other wall, a big pile of rocks mostly, this weekend covered with miles of flesh and steel - campers and transport.

A big Grateful Dead parking lot scene for three days.

Lollygagging was the operative verb, nothing more than hanging around and waiting for nothing. The sun and heat were oppressive inspiring tranquil naps and maybe a dip in the river.

Oh yeah, there was music too. Pato Banton, Maxi Priest, Spearhead, the Wailers. A big pahr-tee, yah mon. Feelin' irie.

I was with a few Cyborganic folk, Caleb the witty one-liner from Wired, HotWired, and now c|net, kept us provisioned and fed. Tricia, red headed and ever spunky kept us looking on the bright side. Emily, Caleb's brilliant Aries sister reminded me of my adolescent years, the trials and tribulations of being confident and unsure about it. David interacted so well with children, and in his half-smirked, half-naked silence was a quiet reminder to continue the fun. Last but probably not least was Nadine, a woman with too much LA art scene on her mind.

Anyways, I had a good time once I stopped smoking pot and started talking to people. Unfortunately, that was Sunday afternoon.

Book recommendation from Howard to me to you:

Resisting the Virtual Life, edited by James Brook and Iain A. Boal.

A collection of essays examining sociotechnology - the unforseen and often underplayed downsides to continued information technology worship. Different authors are harping on different things, I haven't read very many of them yet, but the first few made me think about the business I am in and the business I am not it.

I'm not gonna sell out man! Never fuckin' sell out!

Somethin' like that.

Onbe author discusses some stuff I've been thinking about with reference to Exon vs. SurfWatch: which is the more pernicious censor - business or government? Government is ostensibly beholden to the folk, whereas business is beholden to the almighty dollar. When you think about the amount of privitization goin' down, seems like we are going to have a lot of greedy folk with no responsibility save that of continued consumer delusion...

Either way, whichever side of the fence, these are good ideas to be absorbing. Even the NYT and Time is giving pleasant passing lip service to the net these days, it is fast becoming part of the major media super structure.

Good to read beyond the hype; who isn't wired, who won't be wired, and why they maybe shouldn't be.

Speaking of which - sometimes I think about getting computer resources out to people who don't have access - lower income folk. Pretty daunting proposition when you think about an internet accessable computer, with a modem, phone line, dial in net access, and accounts and all that.

or is it not a daunting proposition?

I'm lookin' for tales of the unwired - anyone know any inner city internet success stories? Small towns without a library with access to the virtual library of congress?

What I'd like to do is come up with a guide for people who are interested in performing this kind of community service - either donating equipment, or time, or money. Either organizations people can support, or even better, a guide on how to do it yourself. How to extend the power of personal publishing and virtual community to the other end of the information spectrum.

I guess the best way for me to learn will be to dive in and wire up one of the schools in Chester, Pennsylvania. I'll give a whirl, and I'll let you know.

Anybody out there had any experience with this kinda thang?

I'm headed to Siggraph in about an hour, shit, gotta call a cab.
If you're gonna be in LA for the conference,
look for the guy with the long blue hair.
Maybe I'll see you there.
New Links:
A few pictures here and there, Sonic, Jennifer, my biggest addition of late is my extended Howard Rheingold area:

it's been a long time coming, I've been writing about his house and family and our collaboration for a few weeks, finally developed some pictures for it yesterday. I recommend the greenhouse, wait 'til you see his altar.

What's on your minds?

Thanks for your bandwidth,

  Justin Hall                              Links from the Underground            

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