Digital Psycogeography

I’m really tired and am going to bed but feel bad for not blogging so here’s a quick something something – I’ve seen Jonathan Zittrain speak twice in the past week and he was awesome both times – his book The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It tracks the rise and perhaps fall of generative technology – its gotten me thinking a lot about access to the internet and coupled with the arrest of Chinese blogger Hu Jia, Mr Charles Frith’s blog seemingly blocked every now and again and the pressure on ISPs by the government and entertainment industry it seems as if Zittrain is absolutely right to be worried. I think a lot of us see the internet as a right but really its not and it wouldn’t be hard for the government to start censoring certain parts of the internet through ISP regulation. I keep finding myself picturing a world where most people have access to a heavily regulated, non generative internet, almost like WAP – here is the news, here is the weather but no you can’t download this or head off to that website. This of course wouldn’t do for a lot of us so people would find ways to create ad-hoc networks and dig around like we are used to – un-regulated and free to go where we want – whenever I think of this I think of Star Wars – the general internet would be like that planet this is one whole city, its all bureaucratic and to get anything done takes forever – then you get the ad-hoc internet thats more like Moss Eisley, a den of thieves, ne’r-do-wells and skullduggerers.

Aaaanway – I think through that and the fact that I love the figure of the flaneur and psycogeography I’ve been trying to think about what a digital derive (where’s my accent?) would look like or constitute. I did a quick google search and found a bunch of wordy articles which I’ll post later – but yeah, is it just aimless browsing? dipping into forums to find out what people are chatting about? maybe its popping open Firebug and checking out the code? or perhaps actually investigating WOW or Second Life in a virtual derive (again where’s my accent?) – I don’t know but I’m determined to find out.

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