cj#457> Sitting Here in Limbo (fwd)


Richard Moore

To: •••@••.•••
From: •••@••.•••
Subject: cr> Sitting Here in Limbo

Dear C-R,

"The Committee", a legendary San Francisco comedy team, had a little skit
that captures the mood of this (post Deform Act) day:

        The spotlight comes up on a TV on-the-scene reporter (recognized by
        microphone prop in hand): "Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a test...
        World War III has just started.  Missles have been launced by both
        sides and will begin reaching targets in about 20 minutes.  More and
        pictures, after this word from our sponsor..."

I feel a bit like the "sponsor", using the net to talk about cyber rights,
knowing that open cyberpace as we know it has been ordained to crumble, at
someone's "own chosen speed", so to speak.

        Congress has launched the missiles, armed with multiple warheads,
aimed directly at our open-accessible-affordable netizen cyberspace
infrastructure.  Clinton can press the big black "VETO/ABORT" button, but
has expressed no such inclination.  In any case, Congress can press the big
red "OVERRIDE/PROCEED" button.  The courts _might_ press the emergency
Bill-of-Rights button (experts argue both ways on this), but that would
only disarm the CDA warheads.  No one with access to a button is
questioning the virtue of the deregulatory robber-baron warheads.

Imagine the feeling of doom you'd have in the World War III scenario --
what would you do during limbo time?... go out and see your neigborhood
while the trees still stood?  Hug a loved one?  Whatever you did, it would
be an interval of heightened awareness.  And you would reflect...  on - How
did this come to pass?  How precious is/was the world, all things
considered.  What will the impact of the missiles be like?

        I'm reflecting now on our cyber-rights list, which has existed
almost exactly a year.  3Feb95 is the date on the Declaration of Cyber
Rights, which was a collaborative effort of the original core of the c-r
list.  1Feb96 is the date the cyber death warrant was drawn up.  In this
year of cyber-rights, we've watched closely how the Deform Act came to
pass, we've come to appreciate and count on our cyber world, and we've
speculated on what the impact of the bill will be like.

In retrospect, and after seeing how lopsided the vote was, I'm wondering
how closely we were involved in the process, after all.  If only there had
been a way to engage some relevant caucus of legislators in dialog about
cyberspace and the effects of unleashed "market"-forces.  If only
____________ .
(Fill-in-your-own-blank.)  In the final analysis, all was sound and fury,
signifying nothing, or so it seems today.

Remember the scene in the original Star Wars where the princess says "I
have a feeling like a whole world was just destroyed."?  Cyberspace is such
a world, but we don't know yet the speed of the shock waves.

        From this limbo sense of immanent loss I want to say -- stay online
while you can, keep those reports coming in as long as we're on the air,
and you in the undergoround listen for your coded messages.

This is 04.51 Greenwich Mean Time, and our broadcast day is ending,

Your Moderator,

 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
   Cyber-Rights:   http://www.cpsr.org/cpsr/nii/cyber-rights/
   CyberLib:       http://www.internet-eireann.ie/cyberlib
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