Tuesday, September 14, 2010


On the internet most often now we rely on a large services to provide the alternatives we select from, we make ourselves dependent on a center of information. But we ourselves, holding onto one of the ends of the net of information, can create new ways to use the pool of connections that is the internet.

Centers provide information in the form of selective recommendations and offer highly developed operations, but at the same time remove access to other information and kinds of operations by becoming monopolies. They are in some cases state sponsored monopolies, where they have been successful in misusing intellectual property law to stop innovation and protect the status quo, but more importantly they are monopolies because we chose to be consumers of their services rather than provide ourselves our own services of organization. But is that practical?

Could we, not boycott the centers, but incorporate them by becoming creative users from our position at the boundaries? Become innovators in the project of using in new ways the connections and organization that are already out there?

My family has a center that like Time Warner, Amazon, Microsoft, Hollywood movies both restricts access to information and provides the service of organization. I have a whole set of nephews and nieces, out of contact or never even met. I want to see what I can do to open up access to information, reorganize the flow of power in the family. My project is to use the connective possibilities of facebook to get around the center, to throw a net over the collection of individuals of a family, and see what I can draw out.

Last night I chatted on facebook with the oldest of two daughters of my younger brother, the executor of my mother's estate who paid the entire value of the estate to a lawyer to prevent the single beneficiary of the estate (me) from getting anything. She got angry when I asked whether she and other nieces and nephews had a idea that I was evil. She said she didn't want to talk about the subject, that I was selfish and rude to bring it up. She buys the family line, in other words, and doesn't want to get involved.

She said to me that I should talk about the disputes with the people directly involved, that is, her father. I answered I had tried, both he and my other brother refused to meet me. She answered, am I asking for her sympathy? I answered, yes, why not, why shouldn't members of a family care what happens in their own family? She said she had to go back to her school work, she is studying architecture, and that was the end of the chat.

It is a question of family ties, how real one wants to take them, how real one wants to make them.