>> Cyberselfish lambasts the wired world
by JUAN RODRIGUEZ
“OOH, BABY, IT’S
A WIRED WORLD,” coos the current cover of Premiere, the “Cyber Issue” with
Sarah Michelle Gellar four-on-the-floor spilling out of a silver camisole.
Cyber culture is the Tits & Ass, the jiggle, of the new economy.
Pimps on Parade for “Progress.”
THINK DIFFERENT: “Change Is Good.” (BTW, buy the new upgrade.)
Round&rounditgoes, where it stops no one knows – but don’t
stop the music!
Borsook – who wrote for Wired before cyber dreams disintegrated into
silicon & mirrors BigBiz –
isn’t buying. Cyberselfish
is a rumble – facts, analysis, options, passion – refuting rampant
she observes, betray short memories (and the attention-spans-of-gnats they
breed): “Government was the source of the goodies that created the critical
mass” that spawned their richesee. That
was then, this is NOW? Borsook’s
not biting: “Quiz: Where would you want to do business in 2000?
In Russia, where there’s no regulation, no central government, no rule
of law…?” (Ideal for Napster!)
Yet, when the
Netheads squawk about unskilled workers, they can’t see that anti-government
mania led to the cutbacks that dumped California’s top-ranked public school
system of the 70’s among the worst (yeah, Mississippi’s).
It’s all about
BIONOMICS: Economy as Ecosystem, stupid. (The
original subtitle of Michael Rothschild’s seminal 1991 book was The
Inevitability of Capitalism.) The
message: don’t mess with unfettered rainforests/markets.
Borsook: “What about the fact that actual rainforests are now being
destroyed because of the free market?”
reallytruly want you to be connected. To
whom? The Boss & Big Brother
and, most important, THEM. Only
they let you do things faster but, guess what. You’re working
longer hours for stagnant wages! (Will wonders ever cease!)
Still, behold the perks: PORN, GAMES, and CHAT (without seeing a sould).
Isn’t that AMAZING!!! So when cyberhonchos receive surveys on What All
This Means, half of them – this is WAY COOL – don’t bother answering!!!
can save the world better, so you’d think they – at lease the 64 new
millionaires Silicon Valley generates daily 00 might dabble in philanthropy. But n-o-o-o! They’re
not sure their chump change would be “wisely” spent. Yeah, right: like the way we line their pocketbooks by buying
this year’s model for something we don’t need other than to keep up with it.
Duck, you sucker! Make way for The Perfect Scam.
TECHNOGEEKS are SEXY
and don’t you forget it. The arty
kids in high school “had no use for the nerds.
And now 10 or 20 years later, they are coming back and asking for money?
No way!” Besides: “Art
is precisely the human creation that lasts and lasts – a state of affairs
totally at odds with technologies joy of obsolescence… Who needs art
The human factor?
TECHNOLUMPEN work in what are “sardonically called veal-fattening pens:
places where the young are kept immobilized indoors to be sacrificed for greater
economic productivity. And ooh, they have such tender white flesh because they
don’t get out at all!”
are immigrants with “scoring-top-of-the-class desperation that would make them
so happy to be here, and so unquestioning of whatever high tech companies are
shoveling, that they are ideally docile workers.” Because they witnessed government brutality and corruption
firsthand they fit in with Silicon Valley libertarianism: “They know
for a fact how yucky government can be.”
The portals of
cyberpower are BOYS-ONLY playpens, despite the fact that more women actually
operate computers. The rationale is
a doozie: women are nurturers and just don’t have the psyche to make those
all-important split-second cyber decisions.
Then there’s ageism: if you haven’t risen up the ranks by 40, well,
maybe you were born to play oldies-rock lounges.
Borsook knows this
stuff from the inside, and that’s why Cyberselfish is such a compelling
screed: the perils of Paulina are our own.
BY PAULINA BORSOOK, PUBLICAFFAIRS/PERSEUS, HC, 279PP $36.50