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posted by martyb on Thursday February 08, @12:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the they-don't-come-better-than-this dept.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/02/john-perry-barlow-internet-pioneer-1947-2018

With a broken heart I have to announce that EFF's founder, visionary, and our ongoing inspiration, John Perry Barlow, passed away quietly in his sleep this morning. We will miss Barlow and his wisdom for decades to come, and he will always be an integral part of EFF.

It is no exaggeration to say that major parts of the Internet we all know and love today exist and thrive because of Barlow’s vision and leadership. He always saw the Internet as a fundamental place of freedom, where voices long silenced can find an audience and people can connect with others regardless of physical distance.

Barlow was sometimes held up as a straw man for a kind of naive techno-utopianism that believed that the Internet could solve all of humanity's problems without causing any more. As someone who spent the past 27 years working with him at EFF, I can say that nothing could be further from the truth. Barlow knew that new technology could create and empower evil as much as it could create and empower good. He made a conscious decision to focus on the latter: "I knew it’s also true that a good way to invent the future is to predict it. So I predicted Utopia, hoping to give Liberty a running start before the laws of Moore and Metcalfe delivered up what Ed Snowden now correctly calls 'turn-key totalitarianism.'”

Barlow’s lasting legacy is that he devoted his life to making the Internet into “a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth . . . a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.”

In the days and weeks to come, we will be talking and writing more about what an extraordinary role Barlow played for the Internet and the world. And as always, we will continue the work to fulfill his dream.

https://w2.eff.org/Misc/Publications/John_Perry_Barlow/HTML/barlows_lyrics.html

Cassidy

With Bob Weir, Recorded on Ace (Warner Brothers, 1972)
Cora, Wyoming, February, 1972

I have seen where the wolf has slept by the silver stream.
I can tell by the mark he left you were in his dream.
Ah, child of countless trees.
Ah, child of boundless seas.
What you are, what you're meant to be
Speaks his name, though you were born to me,
Born to me,
Cassidy...

Lost now on the country miles in his Cadillac.
I can tell by the way you smile he's rolling back.
Come wash the nighttime clean,
Come grow this scorched ground green,
Blow the horn, tap the tambourine
Close the gap of the dark years in between
You and me,
Cassidy...

Quick beats in an icy heart.
Catch-colt draws a coffin cart.
There he goes now, here she starts:
Hear her cry.
Flight of the seabirds, scattered like lost words
Wheel to the storm and fly.

Faring thee well now.
Let your life proceed by its own design.
Nothing to tell now.
Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine.

'nuff said.


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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @01:27PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @01:27PM (#634890)

    All the negativity and antipathy comes from the people that need "liberation" the most! And they are all trying to coerce each other into silence and conformity! Is this what is meant by 'turn-key totalitarianism'? Or is it 'bootstrapping'? If the internet reveals anything, it's that all the suffering is self inflicted. We build our own prisons. It has been that way for a long time. The internet just made it obvious.

    • (Score: 2) by pdfernhout on Thursday February 08, @05:07PM

      by pdfernhout (5984) on Thursday February 08, @05:07PM (#635024) Homepage

      Yeah -- all too true how much misery is self-inflicted including now via networked computers. Thus the meme I promote: "The biggest challenge of the 21st century is the irony of technologies of abundance in the hands of those still thinking in terms of scarcity."

      --
      The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
    • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Thursday February 08, @05:22PM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @05:22PM (#635040) Homepage Journal

      Brilliant guy, he was no fan of Obama's FCC. Because he saw the net neutrality rules were VERY HARMFUL. RIP!!!

      --
      Text TRUMP to 88022 to join the #TrumpTrain [facebook.com]!
  • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Thursday February 08, @01:49PM (18 children)

    by CoolHand (438) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @01:49PM (#634912) Journal
    It hurts to write that.... Sad days indeed. I love "Cassidy" and think its very fitting here... Bobby Weir seemed pretty torn up on twitter about it, I hope he does ok..
    --
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday February 08, @02:23PM (17 children)

      I'm more a Mexicali Blues fan but, yeah, the world is a bit poorer now.

      (I know. Me being a Dead fan? I dig making fun of hippies but it's all in fun. Most of them were pretty decent people back in the day and they had some damned fine music. The specific implementations we can argue about but I can get along with anyone who fundamentally believes in liberty and equality.)

      --
      My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday February 08, @03:53PM (10 children)

        by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday February 08, @03:53PM (#634966) Journal

        A stoner can't make too much fun of hippies.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday February 08, @06:28PM (7 children)

          Man, I ain't been a stoner since a little bit before I enlisted at 17. Or was it 18? I've slept since then. That particular variety of stupid, as opposed to the alcohol induced kind, just lost its attraction for me. I never did care for the smell or potential jail time either.

          --
          My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @08:31PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @08:31PM (#635178)

            What a fun personal anecdote!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @01:41AM (5 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @01:41AM (#635342)

            You're living in the wrong state, dude.
            ...and don't be surprised if a bunch more states pass laws real soon legalizing weed, just to spit some Beech Nut in the eye of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

            lost its attraction for me

            7 Reasons To Smoke Marijuana Every Day [alternet.org]

            1. It Can Give You A Healthier Liver

            2. It Can Help Your Brain

            3. It Can Treat Migraines

            4. It Can Aid In Weight Loss

            5. Weed Helps Promote Creativity

            People credit smoking weed with getting their creative juices flowing, and it's not just talk. According to The Fresh Toast's Al Olson, the link between marijuana and creativity is legit. He points to a 2010 study [thefreshtoast.com] that showed THC's ability to increase "hyper-priming".

            6. It Will Help You Sleep

            7. Lighting Up Can Lower Your Risk Of Diabetes

            I've slept since [I stopped using dope]

            Weed gives you insomnia??
            Your physiology sounds weird. See #6, above.

            ...and if Sessions, et al. ever pull the sticks out of their butts, it's a pretty sure bet that the millenia of use of cannabis medicinally will be corroborated by above-board studies and that list will look like just a footnote.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday February 09, @03:37AM (3 children)

              "I've slept since then." == "Time has passed and I don't remember for sure."

              Unfortunately you left out one rather major effect. It makes you fucking stupid. No, I don't just mean while you're stoned. That's pretty much the desired effect. I mean prolonged, regular use will cost you a goodly chunk of your IQ points permanently. I've witnessed this happening multiple times with my own eyes.

              --
              My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @06:49AM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @06:49AM (#635425)

                I've witnessed this happening

                Just imagine how much the stoner Nobel Prize winners would have accomplished if they hadn't done dope!

                Smart Stoners [thirdmonk.net]
                Francis Crick - Nobel laureate
                Richard Feynman - Nobel laureate
                Kary Mullis - Nobel laureate

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday February 09, @11:36AM (1 child)

                  Al Gore also got one. Of course he invented the Internet, so I guess that's okay.

                  --
                  My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @01:52PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @01:52PM (#635498)

                    ...for peace.

                    That would be the thing that O'Bomber got (before he's done anything--except defeat Dubya).

                    Kissinger got one after he'd had millions of people murdered.
                    That was the day that irony died.

                    -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Friday February 09, @10:12PM

              by t-3 (4907) on Friday February 09, @10:12PM (#635744) Journal

              Sativas have never helped me sleep, and indicas only made me sleepy during the comedown, and it was shitty unrestful sleep. Plus, using anything as a sleep aid is a sure path to psychological dependency. Use weed because it makes you feel good, don't try to justify your habit with bs.

        • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday February 08, @10:51PM (1 child)

          by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday February 08, @10:51PM (#635264) Homepage Journal

          Richard Stallman smells like feet.

          --
          "MICHAEL DAVID CRAWFORD IS A LYING MOTHERFUCKER."
          -- Anonymous Coward
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @01:42AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @01:42AM (#635343)

            Sucks to be you, the hippie girls smelled nothing like dirty feet (MUCH better smelling).

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @04:13PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @04:13PM (#634977)

        Here's one of Barlow's TED talks, in the middle he briefly tells the story of the start of EFF --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYpB1NzCO6g [youtube.com]
        It's good that he was there in the right place, with the right friends...and that he said Yes to the challenge.
        I have a feeling that a lot of people would have said No if they were presented with a similar set of circumstances.

        Not surprising that you (TMB) like the "cowboy" Dead tunes...

        Personally, I go more for the "farming" songs,
            https://w2.eff.org/Misc/Publications/John_Perry_Barlow/HTML/barlows_lyrics.html#grow [eff.org]

        In the 70s, hitch-hiking was a viable means of student transport (I was broke) and this was a favorite,
          https://w2.eff.org/Misc/Publications/John_Perry_Barlow/HTML/barlows_lyrics.html#wind [eff.org]

      • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Thursday February 08, @04:26PM (1 child)

        by CoolHand (438) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @04:26PM (#634984) Journal
        Mexicali Blues, huh? we know you just like for the "and a girl that's just 14" line.. hah
        --
        Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday February 08, @06:18PM

          Well, I do think that I've almost got enough life experience and wisdom now to do being a teenager as it should be done. The problem is, no 14 year old girls do. They'd get on my last nerve before I could get their clothes off and if I did manage they'd be shit in bed. That's why I've been chasing chicks in their thirties since I was old enough to drive.

          --
          My preferred pronouns are wetback/faggot/cunt. Your move.
      • (Score: 2) by insanumingenium on Thursday February 08, @04:42PM (1 child)

        by insanumingenium (4824) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @04:42PM (#634997)

        I would expect no less of you, always Throwing Stones...

        • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Thursday February 08, @06:09PM

          by CoolHand (438) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @06:09PM (#635076) Journal
          Ashes Ashes all fall down...
          --
          Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Bot on Thursday February 08, @02:07PM (2 children)

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @02:07PM (#634921)

    Jokes aside, I commend the work of organizations like EFF. Ultimately it's all a matter of control. If you don't actively work to keep as much control as possible in your own hands, it will be seized from you. It does not matter in which name, left right religion atheism tribe region nation world, evil cares not about such details and want everybody else to conform to them.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by CoolHand on Thursday February 08, @06:11PM (1 child)

      by CoolHand (438) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @06:11PM (#635080) Journal
      Here's his story of the founding of the EFF [eff.org] with Lotus founder Mitch Kapor due to both being harassed by the FBI..
      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @12:06AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @12:06AM (#635298)

        Thanks for that.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @03:52PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @03:52PM (#634962)

    May you be rejoined with your beloved, RIP.

    https://www.thisamericanlife.org/74/conventions/act-three [thisamericanlife.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @04:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @04:26PM (#634987)

      Cool link to This American Life, thank you.

  • (Score: 2) by mechanicjay on Thursday February 08, @05:12PM (2 children)

    I'm quite partial to Black Throated Wind myself: https://w2.eff.org/Misc/Publications/John_Perry_Barlow/HTML/barlows_lyrics.html#wind [eff.org]

    Bringing me down,
    I'm running aground
    Blind in the light of the interstate cars.
    Passing me by,
    The busses and semis,
    Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars.

    But I'm here by the road,
    Bound to the load
    That I picked up in ten thousand cafes and bars.
    Alone with the rush of the drivers who won't pick me up,
    The highway, the moon, the clouds, and the stars.

    The black-throated wind keeps on pouring in
    With its words of a life where nothing is new.
    Ah, Mother American Night, I'm lost from the light.
    Ohhh, I'm drowning in you.

    I left St. Louis, the City of Blues,
    In the midst of a storm I'd rather forget.
    I tried to pretend it came to an end
    Cause you weren't the woman I thought I once met.

    But I can't deny that times have gone by
    When I never had doubts or thoughts of regret
    And I was a man when all this began
    Who wouldn't think twice about being there yet.

    The black-throated wind keeps on pouring in.
    And it speaks of a life that passes like dew.
    It's forced me to see that you've done better by me,
    Better by me than I've done by you.

    What's to be found, racing around,
    You carry your pain wherever you go.
    Full of the blues and trying to lose
    You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know.

    So I give you my eyes, and all of their lies
    Please help them to learn as well as to see
    Capture a glance and make it a dance
    Of looking at you looking at me.

    The black-throated wind keeps on pouring in
    With its words of a lie that could almost be true.
    Ah, Mother American Night, here comes the light.
    I'm turning around, that's what I'm gonna do

    Goin back home that's what I'm gonna do
    Turnin' around,
    That's what I'm gonna do

    'Cause you've done better by me
    Than I've done by you. . .

    --
    My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
    • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Thursday February 08, @06:12PM

      by CoolHand (438) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @06:12PM (#635081) Journal
      Truthfully, there aren't many Dead songs that I haven't been heavily into at one time or another.. Black throated wind is definitely counted among those.
      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
    • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Thursday February 08, @06:45PM

      by CoolHand (438) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @06:45PM (#635109) Journal
      Lost Sailor works pretty well in this case..

      Yeah the sea birds cry
      There's a ghost wind blowin'
      It's calling you to that misty swirling sea
      Till the chains of your dreams are broken
      No place in this world you can be

      You're lost sailor
      You've been way too long at sea
      Now the shore-lights beckon
      Yeah there's a price for being free

      Drifting yeah drifting
      Yeah drifting and dreaming

      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @05:42PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10, @05:42PM (#636070)

    Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

    We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

    Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

    You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

    You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don't exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

    Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

    We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

    We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

    Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

    Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge. Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

    In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.

    You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.

    In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

    Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

    These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

    We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

    Davos, Switzerland
    February 8, 1996
    John Perry Barlow

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