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Voices need to be heard despite the fact ICANN can't listen

James Seng <jseng@pobox.org.sg> wrote:

On Sat, 8 May 1999, Dr Eberhard W Lisse wrote:
>> Why are you whining about every post that doesn't fit your narrow
>> little views? 

>I think there is something known as the Freedom of Speech. If William
>decided that he wish to speak up his mind, even tho it may be whining to
>you, he is entitled to it just like you are entitled to express your
>opinion of him.

And the ARPANET and then the Internet developed because all those who
had a contribution were able to make them. The forms and 
processes of this new medium were created to make it possible
for all to have a voice, and by all having a voice it was possible
to create the Internet. The RFC's and mailing lists and newsgroup and the 
Acceptible Use Policy preventing commercial entities from interferring
with the freedom of speech of all others, made it possible to develop
the Internet and to have it grow and flourish.

ICANN is being created, it seems, especially to combat that fundamental
nature of the Internet process.
Now any who oppose the narrow set of commercial interests who are
trying to grab the essential points of control of the Internet via
the creation and development of ICANN, they are being disenfraschised.

Thus the users of the Internet are being told they are no longer
able to have any say over what happens in the development of the 
Internet. That the Internet is only a set of wires that are owned
by a narrow set of commercial interests and that they will post
their no trespassing signs along the way against any uses or 
activities that they don't agree to or determine should occur.
But the Internet is *not* only a set of wires or of routers etc.
The Internet is something very different.

Thus it seems that ICANN is the exact opposite of what it is 
necessary to continue to develop and nourish the Internet.

Clearly the Internet has its enemies and clearly ICANN has grown
out of and is the creation of those enemies.

But it also makes clear to those of us who understand the importance
of the Internet to the future of our society that the principle
of making it possible for all who wish to to speak, and in fact
welcoming all those who wish to contribute is the essential 
principle of the new concept and priniciple that the Internet 

>> Haven't you realized by now that nothing you, or I or anyone else for
>> that matter, has any impact?

To the contrary. While one can speak, one has to speak. While
one can protest, one has to protest, as loudly and as broadly
as one can. Once one gives up that ability and that right, one
becomes a slave. It is only then that those who have deemed that
they are the enemy of participatory processes and of the Internet
will have made any headway. Thus the more that ICANN's interim
board and the U.S. government who is empowering them deem
to ignore all views and try to dishearten users and netizens
from speaking out, the more they show their colors as the enemy
of the Internet. And the more they show that they are only functioning
to destroy the Internet.

How netizens determine to deal with this problem will be determined
by netizens :-)

>Geez, are you saying that we as Netcitizen have totally lost our ability
>to influence the direction of how things is going to be in future despite
>that these are the people who is going to CONTROL the net (and horrible as
>it sound, some of us live on the net like our second life).

And for those to whom living on the Internet is important, these are
the folks for whom the Internet was created. Fundamental to the 
vision of J.C.R. Licklider who was invited to head the first
computer science office at ARPA was the notion of human-computer
symbiosis. This meant that it was *not* the computer as a file clerk
to the human, nor was it that the computer was supreme and the 
human was only the extension to the computer. No. Licklider's vision was
that the human and the computer would be dependent on each other
and would form a new entity that was able to cooperate in a significant
way to make it possible to participate in the decisions making process
that it was too hard for either of the entities to be able to be part
of on their own.

ICANN is the creation of those attacking human-computer symbiosis.

ICANN is the old coming onto the Internet to destroy the new.

The *new* functions with computers around the world and people around
the world working together to solve the difficult problems of our
times. The *new* is where the hard effort to define the question
or the problem that has to be solved develops from contributions 
from people around the world who can communicate via their 
computers and networks that are part of this new human-computer paradigm.

Thus it is crucial to identify the problem that has to be solved
now. That is the challenge that ICANN puts on the agenda for
all Internet users and for all netizens.

ICANN is deaf, dumb and blind to the voice of computer users
and of netizens.

That is how and why it has been created.

But it is healthy for all those who have any critique of ICANN
to speak up, and all those who have any critique of the role
of the U.S. government in creating and supporting ICANN or
of the other governments around the world who are going along
with the creation of ICANN and in that way attacking the Internet
and the users of the Internet around the world.
>If the "Big Boys" are able to do what they like and we little guys have
>nothing, absolutely nothing we can do to prevent that from happening, I
>think we need a redefination of 'Democracy'.

ICANN is helping to clarify the importance of the participatory
processes that *make* the Internet possible, and that have grown
up as part ofthe Internet. And it is helping to clarify the
old ways of governments like the U.S. which just create an entity
like ICANN to determine in secret behind the scenes dealings who 
will benefit and who will be able to use their power to snatch this 

ICANN is showing the world the bankruptcy of the business model
for providing any rights to citizens. And it is highlighting the 
fundamentally different model that was created as part of the 
process of creating the Internet.

This stark comparison is helpful is seeing what is the future and 
what is the past. How we fashion the future is the challenge.
But if we don't take the challenge to clarify the principles by
the attack by ICANN on the principles, then we lose the right
to the future.

>-James Seng


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