new twist on monkey-wrenching
Guerrilla Warfare and Counterinsurgency
Traditional guerrilla activity such as bombings, snipings, and kidnapping complete with printer manifestos seems like so many ecologically risky short change feedback devices compared with the real possibilities of portable video, maverick data banks, acid metaprogramming. Cable TV, satellites, cybernetic craft industries, and alternative lifestyles. Yet the guerrilla tradition is highly relevant in the current information environment.
So goes the opening lines to Paul Ryan’s little discussed 1971 manifesto, “Cybernetic Guerrilla Warfare.” The text is of its time and place: nods to Maoist insurgency, filtering through to American television screens from Vietnam, abound the writing; experimentation with LSD is casually referred to as “metaprogramming.” That euphoric rush of technological saturation, today so closely aligned with the digital explosion, comes not from the personal computer but by the cheap availability of portable video recorders. The influences too, are those who had only then crashed into resistance…
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