Negate This

A future that could've been

What Is Old and What Is New

Published on by Negate This

Every once in a while, I partake in interesting interactions between what is old and what is new.

What is old: Apple Macintosh System 7.5.3

What is new: The Internet Archive webpage which allows us to run Apple Macintosh System 7.5.3 straight in our browsers.

I found this page in my search for running MacPaint on my machine, an endeavour I ended up abandoning because I couldn't figure out how the fuck to install the MacPaint software in my newly-created old system. That's okay, GIMP works fine for the "work" I do anyways.

What is old: Mechthild of Magdeburg's The Flowing Light of the Godhead

What is new: Having to hop onto IRC of all things just to pirate a 700+ year old book because apparently someone owns the rights to a work older than some existing civilizations. Seriously, why isn't this available for free as a PDF?

In the middle of this little struggle to pirate information which should be freely available is the pesky vectoral class and its weapons of choice: the factory that is intellectual property, the fence that is DRM, and the propaganda that is the anti-pirating sentiment.

But on the opposite side we have the hacker class, that band of lovers of information and its free expansion for all, who've come together around their somewhat-antiquated but ever-useful IRC protocol and built an entire network to easily 1) disseminate humanities store of information and 2) give a huge middle finger to the vectoralists.

What, vectoralists, do you plan on doing once you've gobbled up every single idea and are left with nothing more to satiate your hunger? There's only so many ideas written down throughout human history; surplus of intellectual property is not infinitely sustainable.

The hackers, those on IRC, those artists, librarians, creators, have on their side the infinite potential of information and the vector. Bring down their IRC networks, tape down their mouths so they can't pass along a story, stop their hands from holding a pen and writing down things they'd like to share. It's an impossible task.

I will say, at least it's entertaining having to look for a book on IRC. I never have much reason to hop into an IRC server, but this gives me one and makes me feel like I'm some kind of graybeard or something. And to get a book written 700+ years ago through a relatively recent, yet in my mind old piece of software makes me feel a mixture of nostalgia, pride, excitement, and wonder.