Ed Harrison - Hiroden 651
posted by Keito
Neal Stephenson interview: Kickstarter, swordfighting, and the big novel's staying power
posted by Keito
2012-08-22 21:38:34'The first line in any story about Neal Stephenson will reference his massive, massively complicated, and massively successful novels. And for good reason. In Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, The Baroque Cycle, and others, the author has written genre-defining (and genre-busting) fiction. But Stephenson is more than a novelist; he's also a thinker and a doer.
Two recent projects exemplify these qualities. Some Remarks, a remarkable collection of essays, interviews, a brief work of fiction, and a single new piece, finds Stephenson delving into his archives – something he rarely does – to highlight older pieces that tackle the topics of today: the coolness of geeks, the relevance of science fiction, the ambition of politicians. One of his other current endeavors is CLANG, a video game that hopes to reinvent a longtime Stephenson obsession, swordfighting interfaces. In a sprawling interview with The Verge, the author offered up some of his many plans and thoughts, including a new “research-heavy” novel, his trouble with Twitter, and why Kickstarter might be superior to venture capital.
You seem like you're constantly working on different projects. You're writing in the morning and tinkering in the afternoon. Now you have CLANG, which just raised more than $500,000 in a Kickstarter campaign. How do you keep it all straight? Is it a product of your personality that you're doing so many different things?
The last year or so, since I finished REAMDE, I've been working on some projects so I haven't been doing a lot of writing. That changed now because I'm under contract to write a book so I have to refocus things and get back to work. When I am in that normal work mode, it's pretty simple. I get up, eat breakfast, write for a couple of hours, and then I have to go do something else to get my mind off it. That something else can be a lot of different things, but it's usually something more of a geeky, technical nature.
Can you talk about the book you're working on now?
I'm not ready to say much about it.
You're just at the beginning stage?
You write about things that interest you. Are you surprised by the level of success you've achieved doing so?
I am. I was sort of oblivious to what was going on about 20 years ago when Snow Crash came out. I was aware that it was doing better than my previous books had done but that was it. It was a slow building book because it wasn't launched with a huge book tour or lots of publicity. It was more viral, I guess. It took a little while for it to become clear that it was going to be a game-changer careerwise.
How much research do you do before you start writing a book?
This one is going to be comparatively research heavy. There will certainly be a few months where it's almost all research and little to no writing. But I think it's healthy to bring writing some kernel of story pretty early in the process because that immediately focuses the research effort. As soon as you start doing that, you can prune off a whole lot of unnecessary research that might have been done if you were taking a shotgun approach to it.
I can only imagine what this is going to be if you're describing it as "research-heavy."
Compared to REAMDE, which I had to travel for but it wasn't research-heavy in the sense of familiarizing myself with a different historical period or anything like that.
Some Remarks is an anthology of sorts. Do you go back and read your older work on a regular basis at all?
Never. I absolutely never read any of my stuff once it's published.
Was Some Remarks your idea or someone else's, and how did you decide what you wanted to include in the book?
It was suggested to me that it might be time to do this. I rely on people who know more about the publishing industry to tell me when it is time to do this sort of thing. They said it was, so we went around to scrounge up all the old stuff. It took awhile to remember all the pieces because a lot of them have fallen through the cracks. We slowly put together a list of everything that I've published. Some of them seemed palatable. Some of them just didn't make the cut. Some of them needed to be cut down and excerpted because they were really choppy. We put the book together that way, and I wrote a new piece about walking while you work.
Was going back through your work an interesting or fun process, or was it more a thing you had to do?
I think it's more a thing I had to do. I mean, it's not about me. [Laughs] We're trying to put something together that the readers would enjoy. I hope that people will enjoy finding all this stuff in one place, browsing through it, and reading the bits they want. In general, I'm always a little superstitious about going back and devoting too much attention to older material. On some level, I suspect I'm like a shark: If I stop swimming I'll suffocate.
CLANG hit its Kickstarter goal of $500,000. What was your reaction when you put the project up and throughout the process?
It was fascinating. The part I didn't anticipate was the level of interactivity that was going to be involved. If the thing had just completely failed, then that would not have been the case. If it had blown through its target right away the way some of these things do, it wouldn't have been the case either. But when you're slowly building towards the goal and you don't know whether you're going to hit the goal or not, you end up paying a lot of attention to the thing and kind of gardening it. You're interacting with the community of donors quite a bit, trying to figure out what works, and answering questions. It ended up being a full-time job during those 30 days to try to keep it moving and find ways to push it over the finish line.
I thought it was really interesting that in the Kickstarter video you said something along the lines of, 'We're just using me as the figurehead to help the promotion but the gamemaking will be handled by professionals.' You were so upfront and honest about lending your starpower, for lack of a better term, to the project.
I think the process forces total honesty and full disclosure. In order to make this work, we needed to make a case that would pass muster with people who are very sophisticated about games and how games are developed. Anybody who knows anything about developing video games knows that it's a very significant engineering challenge. It would make us look foolish to have a novelist, even if I am a geeky novelist, asking for money to make a game. Everybody would know to some level that that's not real. Our approach was to tell it like it is all the way through and let the chips fall where they may in terms of whether people wanted to fund it or not. In the end, it worked, and we were able to make it work without committing to stuff that we wouldn't be able to deliver.
Did people say they had heard about the project because you were involved, but they wanted to know how your group as a whole was going to pull it off?
Well, that's obvious. We don't need to hear from people to know that. A lot of the feedback that we got was clearly from intelligent, skeptical people who were in effect doing a kind of due diligence. When you raise money the old fashioned way – through a VC or whatever – there's a due diligence process there, which can be pretty thorough. Looking at the Kickstarter process, you might think that it's people throwing their money away, but I believe that the community there does a better job of actual due diligence than actual private investors might.
I was just reading an article about Curt Schilling, who burned through some number of millions of dollars trying to make a video game. If a geek novelist has no chance to make one, I can't imagine a baseball player would.
I read about that. I have no idea what their failure mode was, but we figured that the best way to avoid a big failure like that was to pick a very small kernel. To pick a narrow goal and keep it narrow. We heard from a lot of would-be donors who said, "If you make it run on such and such operating system, if you make it work with the hardware that I have, or if you include my favorite weapon, I'll donate more money. It would have been very easy for us to say, "Oh sure, we'll do that." It would have gotten us to the goal sooner, but we would have made a bunch of promises that we wouldn't have been able to keep. Instead, we said we were only going to do one thing, take it or leave it, and that worked. If we can do what we said we were going to do, maybe we can go back to the well later and raise another round. For me, this way is a much saner and more comfortable project than raising a vast amount of money from someone and then trying to execute on an incredibly big and complicated project.
In a World Policy essay you wrote the following: "'You're the ones who've been slacking off!' proclaims Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University (and one of the other speakers at Future Tense). He refers, of course, to SF writers. The scientists and engineers, he seems to be saying, are ready and looking for things to do. Time for the SF writers to start pulling their weight and supplying big visions that make sense. Hence the Hieroglyph project, an effort to produce an anthology of new SF that will be in some ways a conscious throwback to the practical techno-optimism of the Golden Age." Can SF save the world?
It would be saying a lot to say that SF can save the world, but I do think that we've fallen into a habitual state of being depressed and pessimistic about the future. We are extremely conservative and fearful about how we deploy our resources. It contrasts pretty vividly with the way we worked in the first half of the 20th century. We are looking at a lot of challenges now that I do not think can be solved as long as we stay in that mindset. This is more of an "if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail" kind of thing. My hammer is that I can write science fiction, so that's the thing I'm going to try to do. If I had billions of dollars sitting around, I could try to put my money where my mouth is and invest it. If I did something else for a living, I would be using my skills – whatever they were – to solve this problem, but since I'm a science fiction writer, I'm going to try to address it through the medium of science fiction.
I would imagine the billion dollar "Save the World" Kickstarter is a little ambitious right now.
Well, you never know. There are worse ideas.
Do you feel like your fans have grown up with you?
More and more frequently, I'll meet a reader who will mention a book that to me is a pretty recent book, something that I just finished writing, and he'll say, "I read that when I was a kid." It would seem that that is happening. I'm not as conscious of the passage of time, but that seems to be happening.
You originally wanted to make Snow Crash an interactive graphic novel but it was too early. Is the Mongoliad project the next step?
I wouldn't say next step, but I have been interested for awhile in trying to figure out how new tech is going to change the way we tell stories. My ideas about that change along with the technology. The Mongoliad was the pilot project for a larger effort that we hope will make use of the Internet and a lot of modern media production technology to tell stories in a big world in a number of different media. We chose prose first because it's the easiest and quickest thing to produce. We chose the Internet as the distribution channel for the same reason. The other stuff we're working on including CLANG are efforts to expand that into other mediums, in this case video games. We're just going to keep picking away at that, sort of like the guy in The Shawshank Redemption with the little hammer. Eventually, we may hit a stone wall and have to give up the project, but as long as we're allowed to keep tunneling, we'll keep doing so.
Do you think there will always be a place for the big novels that you write?
Oh yeah. There's no doubt that the medium is here to stay. People like big stories. You get unmatched bang for the buck writing stories. The bang in this case is being able to plant a big universe and a lot of powerful images inside a reader's head. The buck in this case is that there's one person working alone without needing any special tools. That's not going to change. They may be delivered in different ways, on e-readers or whatever, but they will be around for a long time.
How do you prefer to read?
I go back and forth between e-readers and paper. If I'm at home, I tend to prefer paper books. There's no logistical hassles, and they can be read in any light, except total darkness, of course. If I'm traveling around at all, I'll use an e-reader.
You have 25 tweets since 2010 on your Twitter account. It seems like you start, you stop, you start, you stop. Why do you keep coming back?
We set that up when The Mongoliad got started. It seemed like we should have that social media presence. I didn't take control of it and start writing my own until a few months ago. I've put up maybe half a dozen tweets of my own since then. From now on, anything that shows up on that channel is going to be written by me, but I'm just not a habitual checker of it. It may be that I'm following the wrong people but all the stuff that I see is just gibberish. It's big, long strings of links to things that I don't really feel like clicking on because I know it's going to take me off to some website and I'm going to lose a bunch of time browsing that website or watching that video. If all it's doing is giving me links to other places that I might be interested in, it's not useful to me. I prefer people who tweet funny or interesting remarks of their own without embedded links. There are a few people like that. Matt Ruff does a nice job. I just don't go to Twitter that often, and because I don't go there that often, I don't tweet that often.
Are there other social media sites that you use more?
I follow Facebook. I have a number of people who I hear from on there, but I don't really use it. I don't have many outgoing posts.
Do you still read reviews of your books?
I tend to wait until a long time after the book has been published. Then, I go back and read a few. A lot of times, the publisher will put a bunch of them together and send them to me. I tend not to read them at the time the book comes out.
Alvy Ray Smith once said of you: "He's on the shy side. A strong ego, but nicely hidden." Is that a fair description?
[Laughs] I think that you have to have a certain kind of strong ego to be a writer. If you write things with the expectation that other human beings are going to read them, that's a certain kind of statement of self-confidence in and of itself, right? I think it's necessary to have a little bit of that in order to write at all, or in order to attempt difficult things. I would say I have a certain kind of stubbornness that causes me to do difficult things or things that make not work, and I guess you could think of that as ego.
Do you think you hide it well? It sounds like you do if you put that much thought into it.
Well, I mean, I guess that's for other people to decide.
Why Anonymous Cannot Be Stopped
posted by Keito
Atari Teenage Riot Goes for the Lulz With Anonymous
posted by Keito
2012-07-27 22:24:08"In mid-February, Alec Empire of the iconic digital hardcore band Atari Teenage Riot got a call from Sony. The company was creating a commercial for their new handheld game console, the Sony Vita, and they wanted to use the song Black Flags from ATR’s most recent album Is This Hyperreal? for the score.
It was a call so wrong, so profoundly ill-advised, that it could only end in epic internet lulz.
To begin with, Alec Empire has a history with Sony — he’d sued them for copyright infringement after another song was included in a Sony ad without permission, and he settled, still feeling ripped off. Part of his dissatisfaction was hearing his music in a commercial at all.
“It was this kind of situation… when you feel your whole work has been compromised. We are really and only about the political message,” said Empire in an IRC chat with Wired. “So when something like this happens it is damaging to our credibility and can’t really be repaired with paying some money.”
But there was more: the song Sony wanted, Black Flags, was originally written about Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks. But the video was dedicated to Anonymous, who were mentioned in the song as well — the very collective that had mercilessly and repeatedly targeted in Sony in 2011.
Now Sony was back in Empire’s life — and asking this time. Empire knew at once what he wanted to do.
“I was actually on the phone and had to slow down my pulse and breathe… so the excitement wouldn’t be audible in my voice.”
Empire knew a participant in Anonymous, and got in touch with them about his idea. “Alec comes to me asking where to donate to support anons,” said the anon, picking up the story. “I remembered right around the time of the Paypal 14, and other raids on anon members, there were a team of lawyers devoted to defending anonymous members… I know a couple of the lawyers, so I asked them where the donate page was, (and) I handed the link to Alec.”
The moment the ad money came in, Empire sent all of it to Freeanons.org — a legal defense and support network for people arrested for participation in the collective. He announced it on his blog immediately, declaring “I did it only for my own amusement!” — the lulz hard at work.
Many in the community of Anonymous who had already contributed material for the Black Flags video cheered this announcement, and Empire and some anons started a dialogue. Sometimes Empire would interview anons, and sometimes they would interview him.
Wired sat down for a chat with both a cross section of participants in the Anonymous collective, and the digital hardcore rockstar. The wide ranging talk touched on internet freedom, the music industry, the future of Anonymous, Sony, Germany, and even living on the edge of self-destruction, as an artist or a hacker. While this transcript here has been edited for length, topicality, and clarity, the casual style of IRC, which often omits conventions of written language in favor of conversational speed, has been preserved.
AE = Alec Empire, Anons are 1-6, quinn_ = Quinn Norton, Wired
Alec Empire on getting to know Anonymous, and his native Germany, and the rise of global surveillance
quinn_: so… anon… how do you know AE?
anon: Sometime around the end of #opBart and before #OWS got into full swing (September 2011), I got a message from this open-source ecologist, brokensidewalkfarm.
anon: He sent me a link to AE’s black flag video, and said Alec wanted to dedicate the video to Anonymous
anon: so I pinged AE to talk to him and I wanted to help find as much video as I could to send him
anon: I might have yelled “Winning!” that day
quinn_: AE: about that political voice… how does anonymous work into your political ideas?
AE: First of all I like the sense of humour that Anonymous has…it reminds me of true punkrock in a way…
AE: then there is the thing about having no leaders, which I think is very healthy (a seen with the Sabu thing, it can go very wrong too but people have to constantly ask themselves what they think, why they should act or not etc…you can’t hand that responsibility over to a leader , then blame him/her later)
AE: having grown up in Germany, this is very important to me. The majority of Germans elected Adolph Hitler, but then pointed the finger when the War was lost.
AE: In Germany everyone is about big government – they love it. Even the Pirate Party. I completely disagree with most Germans on this issue.
quinn_: yeah, the horror about hitler comes through a lot in your work. i’ve never understood why i don’t see more processing on that in germany
AE: My grandfather died in a concentration camp. So I grew up being very aware of these things. The Wall was up when I was in school, I grew up with it.
quinn_: japanese culture is doing massive processing on the war. still the media is kind of all about it, but so much less of that seems to come out of german art, and i can’t tell if that’s because there is less of it there or i just don’t see it
AE: Many Germans think that I throw dirt at the ‘fatherland’…while I think it is very important to confront these topics and don’t sweep anything under the carpet
quinn_: see, germany just needs a cathartic godzilla moment. :D
AE: that would be good…but they would never do films like that…:) it is brutal but necessary… So when we talk about a modern surveillance state that is being set up right now, Germany’s past is important to look at
AE: I don’t think we still need nation states…(it’s also part of the ‘Black Flags’ track)
anon: surveillance and censorship state.
anon: AE, I’m with you. I think it takes a patriot to criticize your own country.
anon: otherwise, a dangerous level of nationalism will rise up and crush us all
quinn_: why do you (all) think the surveillance state is rising right now?
anon: because the users are starting to fight back.
anon: arab spring, OWS, ..who knows what’s next.
AE: I think those in power love the technology…. it just invites them to use to spy on people etc
anon 2: we’re likely on the verge of a huge cultural change. states don’t like change, and they will use new technology to keep things under control as much as they can, as long as they can
AE: However technology is just a tool
AE: same goes for music instruments etc
AE: I think this is also why us electronic musicians can identify with hackers – coming out of the 80ties (which mostly used synths in a horrible way – apart from some rare ‘cool’ stuff), we all needed to find ways to bypass the rules..and early Acid House, Rave and Techno was born…(or Hip Hop)
AE: for example I did an album in 1994 called Generation Star Wars – heavy copyright violation, we had to change the album artwork…a google search shows you what I am talking about ATR Star Wars
AE: When I gave one of the last vinyl copies to ioerror /Jacob Appelbaum at the Anonymous conference in Berlin earlier this year, I think he immediately saw the similarities
quinn_: reminds me of negativland
AE: You’re right Negativland (and the Residents were a huge influence on us…not necessarily in terms of sound though)
AE: back in the day our records worked like memes…there were no big marketing budgets and the internet was not used to distribute music like we do it now…so the moment in a record store where a Dj showed it to another and went “WTF???!!!” – that was what sold and spread this music
quinn_: so when you talk about tech for surveillance or music, you’re saying it cuts both ways?
AE: I just wanted to make clear that I don’t demonize technology at all…right now many people do that. and that is the wrong path
quinn_: Kranzberg’s 1st law: Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.
Anons talk with Empire about Hackivism, legislation, and the problems being Anonymous
anon: activism vs Hactivism
AE: (I read and shut up)
quinn_: where they both fit, if they do, how the anons see them
anon: I think we’re seeing hacktivism drive activism.
anon: and maybe activism driving hactivism
anon: I think they feed off of each other
anon: but 2011 was a great success in having people online organize for protests in the real world
anon: and it was good to see members of parliament in europe wearing the Anonymous Mask anon: hactivism win =0
anon 4: Activism Vs. Hacktivism.. In my opinion on the ‘large scale’ i think hacktivism is more effective and productive.. in activism — at least online activism, you get a lot of ‘clicktivists” as was evidenced by the whole Kony debacle.. People posting all over facebook something they really knew nothing about, and paying online organizations such as invisible children, millions of dollars for a manufactured issue that wasn’t really a problem.. The whole falling whistles thing.. UGH that still pisses me off.
AE: I think that many people will discover that it will feel good to actually get involved and become active. It’s very depressing to just moan about how bad the world is or to keep putting on a happy face as if nothing was wrong
anon 4: but unless you’re doing your activism in the real world, online activism does very little, unless its on such a huge scale its impossible to notice.
AE: a click might just be a click but for many it’s the first step in forming their own opinion
AE: @anon 4 of course you’re right…and I am very oldschool on this…
quinn_: AE: do you think things like anonymous will spread?
AE: I think that Anonymous should be prepared to get a lot of new supporters soon. People are naive about giving out their personal data on facebook etc…but when it gets too much, and it will, then there will be a big desire to get off the grid
anon 4: AE: God I hope your right…
AE: (To anons) when you look at Anonymous…does ego screw up the whole thing? It’s almost impossible
anon 4: even in anonymous, somewhere everyone is supposed to be ego-less, you see rampant displays of it, people inherently want to be known for what they do and it seems like they have a hard time releasing that power, because if no one knows who they are, they wont be known for it. We all want to make our mark.. Some people unfortunately cant let the collective be their mark, and they try to make one themselves.
anon 4: Yes, ego screws it up a lot.
anon: there are times i want to just walk away
anon 3: ^ (Sign of agreement)
AE: yes, that is typical childish behaviour – BUT it goes away when you actually achieve something that you wanted to achieve
anon: and you definitely need someone who can act as a check and balance against growing narcissism.
anon: it’s a frustration brought on by lack of movement
anon: sometimes I feel like things aren’t changing fast enough
anon: no progress is being made
anon 4: I have.. taken breaks.. And thats the other thing thats kind of nice about anonymous.. There are lots of places for an anon to go, and there are places where being anonymous is still held to what its supposed to be.
anon: Other times, I feel like we’re being assaulted from all fronts
anon 4: anon: we are.
anon: for my laundry list of things to care about, anyway.
anon: surveillance, censorship
anon: acta, sopa, pipa, C11, ITU, UN
anon: everyone wants a piece of the internet
anon: everyone seems oh so willing to fuck it up
anon 4: and don’t forget CISPA.
anon: yea, cispa =)
anon: then things like TPP. corporate interests are desperate to hitch a ride on the legitimacy train that governments and treaties can afford them on their path to internet domination, and I want nothing more than to derail the fucker
anon: I want to see more people in power offering up “online bill of rights” type bills
anon: things that bolster privacy online
anon: things that keep the network neutral
AE: I have taken a lot of shit from fans and people because of the song and Anonymous…but of course I don’t care because I knew that when I was writing it that it will piss some people off
AE: But then the topics that we speak about in our music always make some people ‘uncomfortable’
anon 4: isn’t that the point?
AE: I think certain things need to be addressed… and it’s almost shameful that not more musicians speaking out
AE: It is always easier to go conform and not say anything
quinn_: anon 4, is that the point, between political music or anonymous? to deliberate make people uncomfortable, or to just not care if that’s on the way to another goal?
anon 4: I think that both SHOULD make people uncomfortable a little.
anon 4: When people are uncomfortable they ask questions. They’re more receptive to information.
AE: look at the music industry…it’s biggest problem is the hierarchy of asskissers that has been put in place over the past decade and NOT ‘piracy’
AE: Dazed & Confused (A magazine featuring some of the Empire/anon interviews) is not a magazine that is specialized in those topics…but they gave this attention, and to me this is a sign of people who had not much to do with this stuff earlier becoming more aware
AE: people CARE and more people start to care – I see it at our shows… out there we faced the problem that almost none of the music critics understood what we were talking about. Pitchfork thought we are ‘against the internet’ for example
anon 4: Hahaha. indeed.
AE: it took a few months until even our own fans understood…
anon 4: And to touch on what AE said about people joining anonymous.. There are several barriers that will turn a large number of people off, and in a hurry, unfortunately.. One is the culture itself. There is an intense paranoia in anonymous, due to the fear of law enforcement. New people are questioned quite intensely, and looked at suspiciously. You never know who’s just new, and who’s a fed.
anon 3: ^ true and =(
anon 4: As far as anonymous and law enforcement.. Its a very love hate relationship on both parts.. Ive helped out some of the groups that go after people who host child porn.. One of them had an FBI liaison. They relayed the message that what we did made us almost heros in their eyes. Because we did what they couldn’t.
Empire and the Anons on self destruction, the music industry, and how the collective should evolve.
quinn_: AE, how do you feel about a group that’s so overtly self destructive?
AE: @quinn self destruction? I consider this as an artform (that I mastered and am able to control at this point ;)
AE: okay you have never been to my shows I guess… where should I start….When I DJed at CBGB’s in New York with Merzbow (legendary noise artists from Japan), I felt that the vinyl was missing that extra hiss and cut my veins to cover the records in blood, which is then picked up by the needle and of course changes the sound…
anon 3: 0.o
AE: I have been through very self destructive phases in my life….which can also be heard in my music
AE: the album ‘Intelligence & Sacrifice‘ is a document of that for example
quinn_: so how do you figure out what works and what’s too far?
quinn_: and AE, i ask this as someone teasing out that balance for myself, possibly daily
AE: I think we are all people who love to drive the car in the red…..and sometimes….well… we come off the road…
anon 4: Fine line between genius and insanity, and if your not walking that line you’re taking up entirely too much space. Both can be equally self destructive.. But otherwise you’re sitting at home, watching tv, being programmed to be a good little consumer, and support the current cycle of consumption. People have been programmed to be wasteful and destructive. Things like planned obsolescence do not help, but the fact that someone who owns a 52″ big screen tv, that suddenly wont turn on one day, don’t have the desire to even want to A) try to repair it themselves if they know how (as it’s typically a 50 cent capacitor or two) or have it repaired at a shop for a fraction of a new one.. They just throw it away and buy a new one, and this behaviour is dumbfounding.
AE: That scene in fightclub describes that mentality well…when Pitt is on the floor and is getting punched and punched by that owner of the bar or whatever….and still laughs…
anon 4: yep.
anon 4: I am jack’s complete lack of surprise.
AE: I am up since 24 hours now…but you know that’s how we do things…
AE: I am absorbing the love
anon 4: AE: \m/ d[*.*]b \m/
quinn_: oh i thought that was regexp for a sec
quinn_: i was like “now it’s a partay!”
anon 4: hahah, no, its two rockfists and someone with headphones.
quinn_: anon 4: you have to admit it’s probably valid perl
quinn_: AE how do you reconcile what’s over the line in anon behavior?
AE: I think I come from another area – I make music on an Atari 1040ST computer… as I said there are similarities and I share the humour a lot for example but so far there has been nothing that made me regret anything
anon 4: At least as a whole.
anon 4: There are things individual anons have done I don’t agree with, like, or support, but as a collective.. Nothing i’d regret for the most part… Not anything that actually made public headlines, or made a splash of any kind anyway.
AE: okay…let’s put it like this …I met a few in person and their energy was awesome….everything that I miss in the music scene these days…
AE: The whole ‘Black Flags’ project made me meet many new amazing people…and that gave us the motivation to continue
AE: It’s like everyone knows this secret code…it’s a social intelligence thing or something… it’s powerful
AE: There are people in the music industry who won’t talk to me because of that association but actually I think that’s good… haha
quinn_: won’t talk to you because of the association with anonymous?
AE: oh yes…!!!!!
AE: Many people in the music industry see Anonymous as a threat to an old order that they need to survive (in terms of business for example)
anon 4: Exactly AE.
anon 5: we all steal music XD
quinn_: but is the threat in terms of what anonymous might do, or just what it actually is?
anon 4: Sony?
anon 4: lol
anon 4: i don’t know how many times they’ve been hit squarely over the head by anonymous.
quinn_: AE obvs question, but was sony pissed at you?
anon 4: lol, if we could have been flys on the wall during those board meetings.
AE: I got the usual “You’ll never work in this town again” thing
AE: people I work with got bullied just because they also work with me and were kindly advised to distance themselves from me
AE: I think some people understand that the evil shit they do in secret might come to the surface much faster than it did in the past
anon 4: Yes.
quinn_: AE: wow, interesting about the bullying. i don’t know the music industry, but given the whole cliche of badly behaved rockstars i’m surprised this is even rising up to notice
AE: there are no badly behaved rockstars anymore…not really…
AE: I see it like this….sales are so low that everyone fears about losing more sales…that’s why most musicians don’t speak out anymore..offending a potential fan can’t be afforded
quinn_: AE ah, the blanding of everything.
AE: the music industry reacted in a very conservative way to the changes
• quinn_ kind of misses the old days when rappers shot each other
anon 4: LOL
AE: yes, those types (haha ) of people don’t work in music anymore…
anon 4: for good reason
anon 4: they’re dead.
AE: there is a lot of bullying of artists and young bands etc in the industry since a couple of years
AE: I wrote an article for German Rolling Stone about it
AE: It would take too long to translate it now…but I mainly care about creativity and ‘production’… anything that is stopping the two is dangerous
AE: this is something I spoke to some hackers about over the past months… if Anonymous, Pirate Bay, and all the others would focus more on the ‘production’ side of it (instead of justifying sharing Hollywood and Major Record label stuff), then it would radically change everything!
anon 6: AE anonymous is working on music file sharing tools as we speak
anon 6: to support new artist releases
anon 4: indeed. As well as new methods of legal content distribution.
AE: yes, but it’s all the distribution part of it. I mean producing a better ‘product’ (I am using the industry language on purpose now)
AE: All the regulations of the internet that those in power are trying to come up with, become meaningless when you produce.
anon 4: True, but there it is again, Pull… How does an artist generate pull? Exposure, how does an artist get exposure without the help of major labels? Time and dedication.
anon 6: and it is a natural progression but evolution is a slow process
AE: I come from a time when rave music (and me and AnonyOps speak a bit about it in the Dazed & Confused article) was a real threat to the established music industry…white labels played by a DJ sounded more powerful than the biggest rockband
AE: but we have seen it not really working over the past decade
AE: Otherwise Live Nation and Clear Channel would be out of business by now
quinn_: in the end, production is the real threat to the old institutions, not distribution.
quinn_: you can only supplant culture by making more culture
AE: I had a long conversation with Anon Broken Sidewalkfarm about this topic a few weeks ago… if Anonymous would apply the concept and start ‘producing’… THAT will win a huge battle
anon 6: it would take current producers to produce under the anon ideal
AE: exactly… I would do it…
anon 4: AE: Therein lies a problem. An anon starts producing, anon gains recognition and exposure, How does anon maintain anonymity, receive credit for their productions, let alone any royalties?
AE: Isn’t it time to focus on the music and leave out the ego bullshit (that is in the way) ?
anon 6: Ae ur preaching to the perverted :)
AE: you see I never cared about credits or bullshit like that…why? Because I do what I do only because I love it and want to do it. I think that’s the same mindset. Or does an Anon want to get elected and be endorsed by Apple?
quinn_: ok, but there’s a difference between the esteem of peers and of institutions. do they both belong on the chopping block?
anon 6: well your cannot block individualism all together
anon 6: so u will always has some form of recognition thrown towards some standouts
anon 4: AE: I said what i said about royalties, because, production as im sure you well know, can be pretty time intensive. Just because someone loves the music and thats why they’re doing it, doesn’t negate the fact that they still have rent, and bills to pay.. If what they’re producing is good, and produced for the love of music, and people would be willing to buy it, there needs to be some way for that money to find the pocket of the producer to help support THEIR efforts in production. (in) which content distribution plays a large role.
AE: think about it…. when the creatives and hackers (same thing anyway?) would join forces to come up to actually replace the old model….we have arrived in the new decade
quinn_: AE do you see yourself as part of that?
AE: yes, but that is because in my opinion you’re fighting the wrong battle because you love to share your Lady Gaga mp3s haha
anon 4: Sure, in the mean time, we have the old model with their old money lobbying for laws making us terrorists… trying to stop us at every turn, because they’re afraid of EXACTLY THAT, being replaced by something else.
anon 4: The battle is about freedom of information
anon 4: be it music or otherwise
anon 6: Ae the battle for me has always been the right to share
AE: yes, I understand that
AE: okay so where do you see it going ?
anon 6: one brick at a time man
anon 6: get involved
anon 6: that is all ppl have to do
anon 4: AE: but once the unconnected dots form a link, and we all figure out, brainstorm, what we can do, what we want to do, to make things better, then we can formulate ideas and plans on how to do so.. Thats how anonymous got started in the first place."
posted by Keito