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Friday, December 19 2014 @ 11:25 AM CST

CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE

News ArchiveExpect Resistance is not one but three books, each of which may be read as a complete work unto itself. The first book, printed in standard black ink, continues the inquiry into modern life and its discontents begun in Days of War, Nights of Love. Just as that book included improved versions of texts originally published between 1996 and 1999, this book draws on CrimethInc. material from 2000 to 2004, painstakingly refined and augmented with a great deal of new content. The second book, in red ink, is a composite account, related by three narrators, of the adventures and tribulations that inevitably ensue when people pursuing their dreams enter into conflict with the world as it is.

Together these comprise a third book, an exploration of the complex relationship between ideals and reality. Expect Resistance is a field manual for a field on which all manuals are useless, a meditation on individual transformation and collective resistance in disastrous times, and a masterpiece that raises the bar for radical publishing.

From the announcement on www.crimethinc.com:


They called us bourgeois for urging people to abandon bourgeois culture.
They called us anti-worker for refusing complicity in exploitation.
They dismissed our advocacy of plagiarism as unoriginal.
They mocked us for producing paper bullets,
Then cried foul play when those projectiles hit their targets.
When we subsisted on crusts of bread, they insisted it was the upper crusts;
When we discovered cornucopias of abundance, they preferred their sour grapes.
We’ve been branded militants and dilettantes, black bloc and b(tm)te noire, primus inter pariahs.

We reply, as Marie Antoinette might have, that they can have their words and eat them too—like Samuel Clemens, we don’t care what our detractors say about us, so long as they don’t tell the truth.

Long ago, we embarked on the greatest adventure of our lives: the total rejection of hierarchy, submission, and tedium, of status and status quo. Seceding from an entirely colonized world, we cast ourselves as crash-test dummies in a life-or-death mission to smash through the walls of capitalism.

Contrary to all expectations, we’ve survived. To our surprise, we are now able to present Expect Resistance, a coded account of our adventures hitting those walls and a full report on our findings beyond them.

Printed in stunning black and red and bound in the skin of corporate executives, Expect Resistance is the perfect coffee table book for anyone who lives out of a backpack. Our writers have spent years experimenting with every possible extremity of existence; our editors have spent months hammering out imperfections and adding sickles to the periods to turn them into question marks; our designers, as everyone knows, are the best in the business, not to mention the best against it. A thousand sleeper cells across the planet prepare to swing into action as this announcement is typed.

Concerned citizens may object that some of the raw materials from which this book has been assembled have yet to enter the public domain; we ask them to think of Expect Resistance as a book ahead of its time.

To enjoy your very own copy of Expect Resistance, simply commit to a project as ambitious and absurd as our own, blunder obstinately forward for several years, then send a few dollars to CrimethInc. Far East to defray printing and shipping expenses. Better yet, save your money and request a copy at your local library.

Still in love with all of you and the amazing things we have yet to do–

–your faithful ex-workers
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CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE | 33 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: HPWombat on Wednesday, December 12 2007 @ 11:58 PM CST
I think it looks cool, according to the chapter titles. I hope it has some practical suggestions involving its title that can give some sense of focus and direction for anti-authoritarian activities.

CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: bigg on Thursday, December 13 2007 @ 04:03 AM CST
as much as i love crimethinc and intend on reading your new book, i think that calling your own work "a masterpiece that raises the bar for radical publishing" and "a book ahead of its time" will probably just piss off those who already hold grudges against crimethinc. who knows, maybe that's the idea...

with that said, i'm looking forward to checking it out.


CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 13 2007 @ 05:15 AM CST

To be fair, the statement about being "ahead of its time" is clearly just a
joke about the quantity of plagiarized material (that won't actually enter
public doman for many years to come).

The "masterpiece" line, on the other hand, is a little over the top. I hope
those who don't approve of CrimethInc. projects will simply raise the bar
higher with their own.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Why on Thursday, December 13 2007 @ 06:45 AM CST
I'm looking forward to scanning it and putting it on eMule. :)
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: rechelon on Thursday, December 13 2007 @ 10:28 AM CST

I'll seed on OneBigTorrent.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: exworker on Thursday, December 13 2007 @ 11:03 AM CST
who wants to read a shitty scanned version of the book? they're very cheap and you can get your library to pick it up if you can't afford it. making it available online in that form is silly.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: crudo on Thursday, December 13 2007 @ 12:26 PM CST
I kind of agree but branching off the book into new forms I think is great.

Look how many people got to hear Days of War via audioanarchy for free.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Admin on Thursday, December 13 2007 @ 12:35 PM CST
Making the book available on eMule is not going to cut into the sales of the book, in fact, the exposure will probably bring more readers to this book and others.

I just wish our infoshop had the money to stock up on Crimethinc books. People may think that as the person who runs Infoshop, I get to see all of the anarchist stuff being published. In fact, few publishers ever send anything, so I have to wait until anarchist bookfairs in other cities to see what people are doing.

I'm hoping that a year from now, our infoshop will be well-stocked with all the best new (and old) anarchist material.

At least we got heat this week! Internet next week!

CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Why on Friday, December 14 2007 @ 05:01 AM CST
pfm seems to think otherwise, that making the book available will keep people from purchasing the full version, and that they won't even read it, etc.

Interesting discussion I was alerted to after someone had read about my book scanning project: http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2007/11/07/proofs-arrive-for-new-book/#comment-7305

At least they don't care if we pirate it ("we encourage people to disseminate everything we publish in whatever ways they see fit"), but I guess they'd be stupid as fuck to complain. ;)

BTW, still planning to post Liberty to the wiki, just haven't had the time or energy to do it yet (I only OCR'd half of it), and I think Expect Resistance will take precedence unless someone else beats me to it.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Admin on Friday, December 14 2007 @ 09:26 AM CST
It may be that making the book available online could hurt Crimethinc's ability to recoup the costs of their project given that the audience for this book is so small. That's why it is important for anarchists to *buy* books published by anarchist presses and to *support* anarchist websites with financial donations. While much of this stuff can be done for free, at some point money is required to pay the bills and costs associated with these projects. We all live in a capitalist system and that means that money is needed to pay for shit. I don't like it, but those are the cold hard facts. If anarchist publishers, websites and infoshop aren't supported, then they will all disappear.

CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, December 14 2007 @ 01:05 PM CST
The discussion "Why" directs us to does not seem to be about whether
CrimethInc. can recoup its costs at all. That's not surprising, since
CrimethInc. has one of the most impressive track records of any North
American group for offering free material.

The focus is on whether people such as "pfm" who volunteer their
efforts at CrimethInc. Far East have a responsibility to put the book
online. Their case seems to be that the internet, and digital
media in general, tend to discourage careful consideration and reflection
in favor of immediate gratification and truncated attention spans. They
condone others using such formats, but don't want to personally put
energy into distributing the book that way, not least because earlier
versions of many of its texts are already available on their website.

If the strange interpretation of the discussion offered by "Why" is any
indication, their fears are not unfounded. Personally, I'll defend any
anarchist who wants to act in accordance with his or her critique of
technology and mediated communication without being accused of
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Why on Friday, December 14 2007 @ 02:18 PM CST
How could you get to the "digital media tends to discourage careful consideration" part without reading the "we're afraid it'll detract from our sales" part? I covered it all biofilo, I was just short and to the point. I'm sorry if it came off "strange," to you.

"You say, &#8220;I can&#8217;t help but get the impression that you are afraid you would *make less money* if you put them online for free.&#8221; And you are right, this is a concern, and we feel a very valid one."

I'm not accusing anyone of being consciously "economically minded." I think the systems that we have in place can perpetuate these scenarios whether we like them or not. Information wants to be free. According to the information I have (don't have the book yet), it will be a lot harder for me to edit the text so that it is viewable at different font sizes on different machines. Had I the source material it would be trivial to make it highly accessable, but they insist that their version is the way it's supposed to be. OK, fine, but I'll have to interpret it my own way so it'll be readable on a $20 10 year old laptop or a $30 PDA. There *are* arguments for making the original content available, don't think that there aren't. As it stands now the backgrounds may have to be hand edited in fucking photoshop so that they can be recreated in their actual form in thumbnails for viewing on a very small screen. The text itself since it spans two pages (as far as I understand) is going to be a *nightmare* to edit. But it'll happen, with the original scans available to those who want to reproduce the work.

Their efforts aren't more valuable than mine, and I won't ask for monetary recompense. Hopefully infoshop will allow the link to OneBigTorrent to be posted.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: exworker on Sunday, December 16 2007 @ 01:44 PM CST
I don't think it's so much about retaining printing costs as it is valuing the advantages of a physical copy vs. an electronic one. If you haven't read the book, there are many ideas that rely on the layout [being read in two-page spreads.]

Of course I'm not saying you can't do what you want, I just think the effort of anyone putting the time into getting this online or reading it online for that matter(72dpi vs. 1200dpi people!) would do best to take 5 minutes and fill out a request form at their library--they will get it[that is, if you can't scrounge up $8].

CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Why on Monday, December 17 2007 @ 12:01 AM CST
Yeah, because what they value represents what others value in totality. Layout is asthetic, ideas can come in many forms. From being chiseled into a piece of stone, to being sprayed on the underbelly of a bridge. The original work of course has its own nostalgia to it, but I never knew anarchists to be against change to the point that any work cannot be modified, and indeed, enhanced by another. I personally do not value paper over digital. Paper is exorbantly more expensive as it pertains to my own consumption. With a $20 laptop you can have thousands of books at your disposal. And they can be read without "losing the ideas."

Anyway, DPI is largely irrelevant when you're talking about resizable fonts, I've read many many books on my $20 ten year old laptop. (And many more on my stolen laptop.) Reiterating to get the book in libraries is all well and good, but fuck print, and fuck anyone who would tell me that print is "the only way" for me to access ideas.

Soon all anarchist related material will be scanned and online, after that, we'll move to other areas (anarchist material takes precendence for me, because there are so many books and ideas that are essentially locked up in monetarily restricted print, unable to be downloaded for free*) and if anyone doesn't like that, well, then I suggest you sue Infoshop to get my IP address so you can hunt me down or something.

*and if you don't think you can download something for free, with a solar charger, and a wifi capable laptop, it is certainly possible. With a one time fee, the 'cost' of a given piece of material being thousandths if not millionths of a cent in the end.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: rechelon on Monday, December 17 2007 @ 02:45 PM CST
I'm not going to go over again the ridiculousness of declaring that even in today's economy people should EVER pay for information (in any form), or the reinforcing power dynamics behind Crimethinc's economic model. I think I already covered this adequately in the linked thread.

I just want to say, in passing, that

The tone of this whole "scrounge up 8 bucks" talk really drives home the class privilege going on here.

I have never heard anyone in the communities I come from ever speak so dismissively of the value of 8 bucks.

It's just so fucking alienating. Every time. Now, I Am Not A Left Anarchist, but that sort of militantly privileged and militantly exclusionary talk/assumptions always leaves me feeling horribly sick inside and questioning whether I should have anything to do with this movement.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Admin on Monday, December 17 2007 @ 04:26 PM CST
You are going to leave the movement over a minor annoyance?

The price of this new book is very affordable to most people. Even the homeless I know could afford an 8 dollar book, in fact, they get very adamant about paying the cover price of books.

CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: rechelon on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 12:06 AM CST
Just because you might ride the rails and play at being "homeless" doesn't mean have a fucking clue what real poverty is like. That the crimethinc kids see 8 bucks as spange is alright, I'm glad they've never experienced life where the value of 8 bucks was known as intimately as most people I know know it. No one should have to spend every second of their lives making fierce economic calculations with the smallest bit of money over and over again in their head, so that every bone in their body constantly aches with dread.

But just because you live comfortably buffered by extensive safety nets of social and economic capital, doesn't mean everyone else does. What I object to is the militancy by which they defend the memes and supposed "universal norms" of their socio-economic class.

When a group of anarchists starts does things like talk about how "we're all working-class or middle-class", and aggressively speak for the experiences of others they perpetuate a norm--subconsciously perhaps, but viciously nonetheless--that further excludes the poor or those who've experienced true poverty from inclusion and creates a hostile environment. Same with the "oh, come on you whining asshole, it's only 8 bucks". (This is reflexive of our everyday life where commonalities or perceptions of near-commonalities are militantly stated and reinforced to create bonds and power structures.)

If I lapse back feel like I'm still a six year old huddled against concrete, who at best will always be an outsider to their world, well that's my own shit to deal with. But that sort of aggressive economic presumption is still just as abusive as it is disconnected. Very few people I know would ever even dream of spending 8 dollars on a BOOK. How fucking preposterous.

Of course I could give a crap about how much crimethinc charges for their paper books, that's their look out and I've never said otherwise. 8 bucks is pretty low, comparably. But that's not what I objected to. What I objected to was 1 their attitude about money (with a "you must share in my perceptions or be inferior to us" slant), and 2 their failure to live up any modern semblance of supporting freedom of information (which has real world consequences in terms of inter-movement power dynamics).

...and by the way the whole "into libraries" thing is a cop-out, I think the numbers crimethinc bandied about clearly show if you take a deeper look that the majority of libraries--where copies are most needed--turn down buying crimthinc material. Really, all this discussion has been about is analyzing and critiquing crimthinc's reasons for refusing to spend five seconds of uploading their *already composed* PDFs.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 12:34 AM CST

Your presumption about what "the CrimethInc. kids" have or haven't
experienced is really ridiculous. I'm sorry you've had some hard
experiences--perhaps harder than I have--but that's quite a large
number of people you are presuming to describe, making all sorts of
guesses about their life experience, on the basis of just a couple
statements from at most a couple individuals. You're not contributing to
productive dialogue by doing so.

If you want the book free online, chill out--people are bound to put it
online. As for "analyzing and critiquing crimthinc's reasons for refusing to
spend five seconds of uploading their *already composed* PDFs"--we
never even got to that discussion here, it seems to me. Otherwise, we'd
be having it out over issues like mediation and technology.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: rechelon on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 01:14 AM CST
I wasn't referencing the whole crimthinc network in absolute terms, but rather addressing those at hand. Far East has helped shape a lot of the network's culture, so, yeah, while obviously no network is uniform, there are still some centralized trends and the like.

As to mediation and technology, Why is continuing a discussion here that started on Crimthinc's page, see his links.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Why on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 01:35 AM CST
Actually, only Days of Love is really available anywhere (in audio form), so I grabbed all their books on their online because I didn't know where else to really get them.

You'd think that anarchists texts would be readily available, that anarchists would make sure that their texts made it onto a medium where anyone could access them, but I'm finding that increasingly this is just not the case. There is just a pathetic level of anarchist related material online, you are expected to go to the "book fair" or whatever to get your shit. That's the whole thing that has motived me to make this shit available. The only thing even remotely close is Audio Anarchy, imo.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Admin on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 01:35 AM CST
Right on. I'm really, really fucking tired of this "I'm poorer and more real" than you mentality which goes around the anarchist movement these days.

Fuck that shit!

The writer bell hooks and others have smartly criticized this "hierarchy of oppression" bullshit that goes around leftist circles. People who go off about how poor they are and how others should shut up are fighting the wrong people. This self-righteous game gets old too.

People who talk like this make glaring assumptions about the lives of people they've never met. You don't know anything about my family, my current or past economic situation. Nor do you know anything about the other poor and working class people I know and what they think about these things. I happen to run an anarchist bookstore in a neighborhood with lots of homeless. Most of the homeless can't afford some of our books, but I've been surprised at what some homeless and poor will buy, or what they say they will buy when they have the money. If you are truly a poor person, you should understand how important it is to poor people to have control over their lives and their finances. They (or we) want to have the choice to splurge on some item, such as a book, when we have the money.

8 dollars is not asking too much for a book. That's two hours wages for somebody with a minimum wage job. That cover price is probably lower than what other publishers publish.

Jesus Christ, the fucking shitty attitudes that anarchists have towards each other often makes me wish I wasn't a fucking anarchist. We're supposed to be IN THIS TOGETHER, not cheapskating each other over a few dollars.

CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Why on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 02:21 AM CST
Chuck0, check out this part from what he said:

"8 bucks is pretty low, comparably. But that's not what I objected to. What I objected to was 1 their attitude about money (with a "you must share in my perceptions or be inferior to us" slant), and 2 their failure to live up any modern semblance of supporting freedom of information (which has real world consequences in terms of inter-movement power dynamics)."

He understands that $8 isn't that much. He just thinks that they should make the source material available. Hey, so do I, it'd make my job infinitely easier. I don't think they have that obligation, of course, but I'll refuse to listen to their arguments for not having that obligation. It ends at "we don't want to," any other attempt at reasoning other than just won't work with me. They can do what they want, and I hope rechelon understands that.

From my perspective it seems that rechelon is upset with the sort of monetarily focused approach that exists within anarchists circles. This frustrates me, too, mind you. I'll never get over the irony of anti-capitalists texts being sold in Barns and Noble, and it's not a rejection of hypocrasy, or puritism, it just, is silly. I'm not telling anyone how to be (though rechelon may be to an extent). I'm only saying how I want to be.

<3 you too rechelon. I'll send you an email when I got it.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Admin on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 11:51 AM CST
I have no problem with selling anarchist and anti-capitalist books through Barnes & Noble. I'm all for the idea of getting these books out to as many people as possible.

Barnes & Noble isn't exactly the best option for selling anti-capitalist materials. For starters, the chain just isn't that interested in selling these materials, except for a few things like Chomsky, Klein, and the latest Banksy book. Secondly, anarchist publishers know from first hand experience how B&N and Borders screw over small publishers. I won't go into detail, but these chains tend to make it not worthwhile to use them as distro points.

I really don't get that any anarchists are obsessed with finances. I hate money and fundraising, but they are necessary evils in order to do the things I want to do as an anarchist. Keeping Infoshop News running in 2008 will entail a new $50 monthly charge for Internet connectivity. That charge can't be scammed.

CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: -a-scribe on Monday, December 17 2007 @ 09:53 PM CST
When it comes to this sort of discussion a lot of people end up seeming
rather uncreative, so I thought I would quickly brainstorm some ways of
acquiring this book for people who don't want to pay $8 for it.

--As already mentioned: ask your local library to buy it. (Mine, in a
conservative town, did right away.)
--Locate a local radical bookstore that will be carrying the book, and
volunteer for them.
--Gather seven of your friends who also want to read the book. Now
you only have to spend $1 a piece to purchase it. Even if you are
strongly opposed to paying anything for anything ever, I think there's a
good chance there are things you have paid $1 for in the past. If you'd
like, you could pull a receipt scam at barnes and noble to get the one
dollar. As a bonus, reading it as a group with your seven friends will be
-Send a package to Crimethinc. Far East containing cool stuff you have
made that, if you did not believe in the gift economy, you might
conceivably charge $8 for. I think the chance they will send you the
book in return is high.
-Create a persona and travel to a small-town law enforcement office
near you. Tell them you are a concerned patriotic American who has
reason to believe the evil anti-freedom anarchists have begun to take
root in [insert community here]. To help protect the community, you
would like to research the literature of these anarcho-terrorists;
however, because you donated the last of your savings to Ron Paul's
presidential campaign you are short on funds. If the law enforcement
agency would provide a small amount of money to purchase the
literature in question, you will share your findings with them.
-Or, you could just pay the $8, even though you don't want to. I don't
want to, but I do happen to have $8 to spare, and I would much rather
it go to Crimethinc. than most other places it might end up.

Brainstorming that list was not difficult. As you can see, virtually any
book can be acquired using a diversity of tactics - even when those
tactics don't include shoplifting! For that reason I am finding this whole
discussion pretty lame, to say the least.
CrimethInc. Unveils New Book, EXPECT RESISTANCE
Authored by: Why on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 12:57 AM CST
Here are some creative ideas that are very hard or impossible without the digital medium. :)

--Make high resolutoin printouts at the library of certain parts you've edited for your liking and drop them in perplexing places.
--Make it as a background for your blog or MySpace, with a link to the book so many many people can access it, even those people who think you're "weird" for having anarchist stuff plastered everywhere.
--Make it accessable to everyone in the world, even people who can't read the language, so that they can translate it into their native tongue and distribute it locally, either via printout or the digital medium.
--Convert it with a braile reader, or direct to audio for people who cannot see (with nice descriptions of the images to go along with it).
--Make an artistic collage of the book, print it out, and then paint it on a mural under a bridge somewhere using predefined color coding outlines.
--Etch parts from it that you like onto metal plates (using CNC) and screw them on authoriarian statues or symbols of the state.
--Display your favorite parts from the book on large structures with laser projectors at all hours of the night, making people wonder who the fuck did it.

Took me, what, two minutes to think of things to do with it? Note how this is a distinction from "having" and "being." You talk about how you can "have" the book. Having the book is irrelevant. It's what you do with it that is important to me. And there are some behaviors that are precluded or made far more difficult outside of the digital medium.

The price of the book is really, really, really not the issue. It's clearly quite affordable, anyone could scrounge up enough money for it in a few hours walking around with a cup in their hand. It's the implication that the only way it is "worthy" to be had is via the print medium. I think it's ridiculous.
Regarding the "free downloads" debate raging above...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 12:16 AM CST

Much of the material that was revised to form this book is freely
available online. Go to http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/ and check out
just how much is freely available. If that's not enough, go to http://
www.crimethinc.com/tools/downloads/zines.html next.

This is not a question about whether or not CrimethInc. offers projects
freely online. CrimethInc. projects are freely available online, in vast
quantities--one can download the entire first issue of Rolling Thunder at
http://www.crimethinc.com/rt/, for example. The only question here is
whether the people who did the work to produce Expect Resistance have
a responsibility to make it freely available online DESPITE their
ideological misgivings about doing so, EVEN THOUGH they've already
made a lot of it available, and INSTEAD OF others who think it should
be available online doing the work.

That question is pretty easy for me to answer. The longstanding
anarchist principles of autonomy and freedom of association indicate
that if someone doesn't want to do a certain thing, they're free not to.
Others can do it.

Let me ask another question, one more interesting to me: if Western
humanity was infected by a pathological desire to shift everything of
value from the real world to the virtual world--so that instead of books
we had pdfs, and instead of warm conversations around fires or in hot
tubs we had online disputes like this one--wouldn't that pathology
express itself in young anarchists using the rhetoric of liberation and
entitlement to insist that everything must be available online regardless
of the politics or philosophy of those who produce it?

As an anarchist, I use this medium, but I admit I have some profound
doubts about the ways it influences our experience of life. I respect the
choices of others who act on their doubts. And as for those who wish
for the book to be available online, it will be, shortly, thanks to the
efforts of those who believe it should be. That's as it should be, yes? So
everyone should be happy.
Regarding the "free downloads" debate raging above...
Authored by: Why on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 01:25 AM CST
18 zines / phamplets and 64 (erm, if I counted right I'm not counting again) essays. libcom, and infoshop, and the flag and infoshop forums have, oh, I dunno, about 10k times that much various material all covering those subjects and more. I never found their library very enlighting. I don't believe in 'just' listening, I value those "internet arguments" far more than sitting around a campfire listening to someones speil without there being any real discourse. When Liberty is posted to the Infoshop wiki (and I swear I'll get around to it), we'll have more of a given zine than all of Crimethinc combined.

I am not "chastizing" Crimethinc for not making it available online. I'm pointing out the benefits of the digital medium. I don't buy into the scarcity of material items. I think value is created and maintained by these items. 20+ million people are, at this very moment, downloading material that they did not pay for (outside of their internet connections which compared to the content that they recieve is hundredths if not thousandths of a cent compared to what they're getting). 20 million people. There exist absolutely no other example of human societal organization that even comes close to this outright rejection of capitalist monetary restriction. None.

What you call a "pathological desire" I call a "optimistic sign." 1/3rd of ALL internet traffic, biofilo. Happily rejecting capitalist monetarism. I believe we need more of this, not less. You can have a book or two around a campfire, you can't have a library of congress there with you, allowing you to search for that novel you read as a kid because the conversation triggered a memory. Not without the digitial medium. Everything *must* be available online. Even if Crimethinc and others don't want to put it there, *we* will. As you said, others will, well, we're them. Or at least, they're us. Now there can be walls which will make it harder, people refusing to lend a helping hand (by, for instance, keeping the digital source material locked up in boxes), or people rejecting the absolute freedom of information because it offends their sensibilities, but it will happen. It's been a long fucking time coming.
Regarding the "free downloads" debate raging above...
Authored by: Admin on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 01:41 AM CST
You have a very extreme position on this, even for an anarchist. I really wish you would have more respect for anarchist publishers and their needs. We skirt on the financial edge constantly. Infoshop.org would publish more books and other materials. We can't because we don't have the money. This attitude that anarchists should *only* give their material away for free REALLY HURTS the anarchist movement. Jesus H. Christ, anarchists already have a good track record of giving away content. My own articles have been anti-copyright for over 15 years.

If you really want to make texts available for free, please contribute stuff to the Infoshop Library.

Regarding the "free downloads" debate raging above...
Authored by: Why on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 02:09 AM CST
Chuck0! We've been over this, friend. Heck, even in this discussion itself (early on when we were talking about eMule not really hurting the bottom line, though I think you are uncertain about it, I believe it doesn't). I do not have a problem with selling material items. None whatsoever.

But I want that kid in Brazil who doesn't have any money at all to be able to get online with their $100 laptop (One Laptop Per Child program) and be able to read about Emma Goldman, and the Hay Market Maryters, the struggles of the Russian Anarchists, and those in Spain. I want them to have that ability, to be able to read some book that there's no rational reason they could ever access it any other way. ($8 here might not seem like much, but for the favelas of Sao Paulo it's a weeks wages.)

There was an experiment done in India. A researcher put a computer in a hole in a wall, that anyone could access. It was deeply embedded in concrete in the middle of a fucking ghetto. The results? That children 6-12 were able to walk up to the hole in the wall, and learn how to use the computer to the point of teaching themselves English, drawing, browsing the web. Street children, Chuck0.

Freedom of information, it includes us whether we like it or not. If you think it hurts your bottom line, then I am truly truly sorry, I do not intend to hurt. I only intend to encourage the exploration of ideas.
Regarding the "free downloads" debate raging above...
Authored by: Admin on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 11:40 AM CST
We basically agree on these issues. I just think that you should admit that it's OK if free texts coexist with anarchists charging money for books, magazines and other materials. I think that anarchist publishers should embargo release of their content to the Internet, but I would tell them that its in their interest to release most, or all, of this content sooner rather than later. The sharing of this content increases the number of readers, which leads to more people buying these books. After all, most people don't like reading books online, but online texts are useful for research and skimming.

I don't think that your scanning of books for eMule is going to hurt any publishers.

Regarding the "free downloads" debate raging above...
Authored by: Why on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 02:37 PM CST
I am not an absolutist, though it may seem that way. I see no problem with anarchists charging money for books. I have no "moral objection" to such behaviors. From my perspective though it can have results that are undesirable, perpetuating the systems which we are against. I don't call foul. I don't say that people are evil and wrong and so on for behaving within the confines of the systems that have been built for them. I've been getting what I believe are calls to put Crimethinc's heads on a platter, which is absurd at best, I completely agree with bifilo. I can only make arguments as to why certain behaviors are potentially damaging to us as a movement. If it seems that I'm "calling out" Crimethinc then that is truly not the intent.

BTW, there's a reason books are more 'popular' than the digital medium. Ease of access. It's hard to get a book. Book pirates don't pirate books unless they're popular. You'd be incredibly hard pressed to find a book that just came out unless it was by a very popular author. And even then it takes weeks or months for the book to become available. It needs to be scanned, OCR'd, then proofed. Often times in the book warez scene, you'll find books that are not proofed (with the scanner/OCRer asking you to do the proofing for them). It works out usually. OCR has gotten pretty good, so minor errors might even go unnoticed. In the end it is an incredibly arduous process, that has made the emancipation of print a very restricted field, requiring lots of time and patience.

But if you look at movies, or TV shows, the ease of access is much lower. Encoding a DVB capture of a stream only takes a dozen minutes on modern computers, uploading it is trivial, the cost of bandwidth is a joke, especially when you're stealing storage space on networks you hacked (we were sharing warez when a lot of the kids who post to the forums were still in diapers). This goes to videogames (general software) and music. Crackers will crack whatever bullshit encryption scheme you put on a game in no time. Indeed, it's even a competitive process. "Who can crack Bioshock the fastest?" Fortunately with kernel level debuggers it is physically, completely, utterly impossible to lock software out. It's a constant war, a war we're winning against the capitalists. Some might say they're not doing it because they're anti-capitalist, that they're pro-consumer. It'd be accurate to say that. But capitalism is anti-consumer at its core. This is another discussion, however.

The point is, when books are made available before they go to print, people rush to read them immediately. Consider the Harry Potter leaks. People aren't 'averse' to reading books online, they just can't wait the time to access those books online. With the proper reading technology (say, good low price thin tablets), the whole issue will be completely and utterly utterly moot. And that's exactly where we're heading, whether anti-technologists like it or not.

I plan to help make book scanning and OCRing as ubiquitious as TV downloading or movie/game/software piracy. Proprietary information *will* be emancipated.
Regarding the "free downloads" debate raging above...
Authored by: Admin on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 03:14 PM CST

BTW, there's a reason books are more 'popular' than the digital medium. Ease of access.

Actually, books are more popular because they are easier to read. The reason why people prefer books is a physiological reason. It's hard to read long chunks of text online and it doesn't help that most presentations of online text don't take into consideration how people read. I've followed the literature on this quite closely as a librarian, web developer and designer.

Like you point out, this could change if better e-readers and tablets become available. From what I've seen of the new Amazon reader, I don't think people will be reading novels from tablets in any great numbers anytime soon.

But I expect that people will use electronic devices more and more to read texts, so I'm keeping that in the back of my mind as I work on the Infoshop Library and our publishing projects.

I think that people will still be reading books when I'm an old fart.


Regarding the "free downloads" debate raging above...
Authored by: Why on Tuesday, December 18 2007 @ 04:37 PM CST
Is that why popular books like the Da Vinci Code get downloaded millions of times on bittorrent, or is that because people print them out or something? Do people who download movies and watch them on their computer screens likewise suffer from the lack of "theater experience"? Because that's basically the opposite of this argument.

"Actually, theaters are more popular because they make movies easier to view." I would argue that this isn't the case at all. When the Star Wars Episode 3 screener came out, tens of millions of people pirated it. Tens of million of people. That's huge compared to the numbers of people who went and saw it in theaters. Some of them probably did go and watch it in the theater, of course. But so what? The "theater experience" is happily sold as the 'better' experience, anyway, despite the negatives that one could easily find. Indeed, it's so much ingrained into peoples psyche that the "theater" is the "perferred medium" that the pirates themselves will suggest, openly and widely, "See it in theaters." Fortunately there are always others who say "Or wait for a better rip, lol!" :)

Online text is easily modifable with the advent of CSS. Indeed, I browse at a very high font and my own custom CSS file with Opera. Plucker is designed to allow PDAs and other viewing devices to change font sizes on the fly, allowing you to read just about anything on a small screen with no eyestrain whatsoever. So what your page isn't 600 points across. That has no bearing on the ideas which are presented.

Books will never go away, they started off as exclusively accessable material for the rich and never actually moved beyond that point (just count the number of people in the world, and the number of libraries and those who are literate and have access to books, it's abundantly clear that they have never become emancipating). It will remain the expensive process it always has been, and people will have their own collections of books long after the print medium is dead. I can only see the digital medium emancipating print globally. You put a kid in front of a computer, that kid will learn from it through trial and error. You put a kid in front of a book, the kid will stare at it blankly, because it requires a level of understanding that it simply cannot derive.

In any case, there's one very important thing to note here. These actions are not *for* the people who can buy books, or go to the movies. They're for those people out there who can't afford to do those things. As far as a bottom up approach goes, those people who cannot afford these things are, in my view, far more important. Because there are more of them then there ever were of us. And don't tell me someone in the favelas of Sao Paulo can afford our books. Or people in Africa, or the 40 or so countries that, well, simply cannot afford shit we have to offer. You know, the silent, oppresssed, majority. They deserve emancipating. Buy your books.