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Tag Archives: Church of Scientology

Radical Politics

SERIES ON COMMU(O)NISM: OPEN PROCESS, THE ORGANIZATIONAL SPIRIT OF THE INTERNET MODEL

Abstract: The desires and the sources of emancipatory potential of the commons for the cooperative and egalitarian global togetherness, for a new communism born through the new generation of tools and organizational practices, have temporarily been appropriated and hi-jacked by capitalism under the Open Source and to an extent Creative Commons movements. Through and with the Open Process methods of the founding Internet communities, we can make a significant step towards claiming it back. Commu(o)nism, we could call it, is a new emerging form of communism hacked with open process and new commons. The small (o) in the middle stands for open.

Tuesday 16th March, 14-16.00hrs
Room WB117 (Whitehead building, opposite Ian Gulland)
Goldsmiths College, University of London

Gabriella Coleman

”Old and New Net Wars over Free Speech, Freedom and Secrecy, or How to Understand the Hacker and Lulz battle against the Church of Scientology”

Abstract: Why have geeks been compelled to protest the Church of Scientology vehemently for nearly two decades? This talk starts with this question to present a cultural history and political analysis of one of the oldest Internet wars, often referred to as “Internet vs Scientology.” During the 1990s, this war was waged largely on USENET (a large scale messaging board system), while in recent times it has taken the form of “Project Chanology.” This project is orchestrated by a loosely defined group called “Anonymous” who has led a series of online attacks and real world protests, often using a variety of media, against Scientology. I argue that to understand the significance of these battles and protests, we must examine how the two groups stand in a culturally antipodal relation to each other. Through this analysis of cultural inversion, I will consider how long-standing liberal ideals take cultural root in the context of these battles, use these two cases to reveal important political transformations in Internet/hacker culture between the mid 1990s and today and finally will map the tension between pleasure/freedom (the “lulz”) and moral good (“free speech”) found among Anonymous in terms of the tension between liberal freedom and romantic-Nietzschean freedom/pleasure.

Bios:

Gabriella Coleman

Trained as a Cultural Anthropologist, Gabriella Coleman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU. She researches and teaches on the politics of digital media with a focus on various genealogies of hacking, including Free and Open Source Software, the hacker ungrounded , phone phreaking, trolling, and cryptography/encryption. Between 2001-2003 she conducted ethnographic research on computer hackers primarily in San Francisco and the Netherlands, as well as on the largest free software project, Debian. She is completing a book manuscript “Coding Freedom: Hacker Pleasure and the Ethics of Free and Open Source Software” and is starting a new project on peer to peer patient activism on the Internet.

Toni Prug

Toni Prug is currently a PhD student at the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary College, University of London. With ten years of software and network engineering and hacking behind him, he is working on organizational forms, hacking existing practices, ideologies and state-forms. Along with working with academic journals on implementing aspects of open process cooperation, he is working on a book, “The Objects of Communism”. His work can be followed at http://hackthestate.org/.

Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London: http://www.gold.ac.uk/cultural-studies/

Location: http://www.gold.ac.uk/find-us/

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski