Found this old posting of mine at
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 97 08:21:08 -0800
From: "Niels P. Mayer" <mayer-AT-netcom-DOT-com>
Subject: NRR Re: BRITS: Wise to Wired and Death on Libraries (fwd)
Willard -- I think you hit the nail right through the saviour's hand on this one. I've been thinking about Wired (US) in exactly the same way ever since they sold out to the major US media conglomerates (e.g. Time/Warner). (This happened around the time that most of my friends&acquaintances left Wired for other careers, so it's not like i'm dissing my friends.) Fortunately, you were able to sum up the problems with Wired in a much more poignant fashion than I. I see Wired as being the computer-wanker's version of Playboy magazine, wowing us with the digerati's version of the silicone breast implant, and making us long for the day when we could have the cohones and cash to have a bit of digital perfection implanted in our own bodies, or at least humming nearby as we plug-in to download the latest groupthink. As if we should denigrate/ignore the results of millions of years of evolution and heap praises on the shoddy engineering that got squeezed in between cappucino's and marketing meetings at Intel and Microsoft.
Actually, the comparison to Playboy is a bit unfair, since, beyond the airbrushing, implants and exploits, that magazine has at least had some groundbreaking reportage on issues of freedom/politics/repression in our society. Wired, meanwhile has this sick attitude that the benefits of the crypto-libertarian utopia should be bestowed only upon those Wired enough to be on the invite-list for all the cool corporate/media parties at big national computer conferences... everyone else can rot.
That's why I'd rather be "Tired" than "Wired". It's good toilet reading, or airplane-reading for when I'm too braindead from business travel to read something with real content. It would be wonderful if there was a "humanist" centered version of Wired -- an "Utne Reader" for the digitally inclined.
I personally get a lot more out of reading the Communications of the ACM, ACM SIGCHI, ACM SIGGRAPH, or IEEE Computer or even Byte. This is where the real futurism lies. At least those magazines/journals have the substance and rigor to *TEACH* the populace about the cutting edge, rather than just namedropping and constantly reminding us about how lowly and falling-behind we are compared to the inner-circle of really-cool/hip people that comprise Wired and it's wankerati following.Posted by Niels P. Mayer in Technology at 20071105 Comments
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