[Air-l] Witchtrial

Lachlan Brown lachlan at london.com
Sun Mar 10 17:01:42 PST 2002

air-l at aoir.org 
Cc:  mcrobbie at gold.ac.uk,d.morley at gold.ac.uk,n.rose at gold.ac.uk, p.gilroy at gold.ac.uk,s.lash at gold.ac.uk 
Subject:  Witchtrial 
Date:  Sun, 10 Mar 2002 19:57:05 -0500 


 It is true that ad-hoc, learnt and 
taught techniques of WorldWideWeb search, surveillance and internet investigation 
have become normalised, but they haven't 
been normal activities for very long, and 
they remain normal practises only among a 

Competence in these techniques or practices are unevenly distributed even among those 
of us 'in the know' of Internet and its cultures, and are uncanny, indeed worse 
than the uncanny, among those unfamiliar 
with the technology and its cultures. 

The fascination of the social geographer 
for physical, urban, social and human 
mapping and interrelations is familiar to 
me - I can be content with a map of a city 
or a mapping of human interraction for 
hours - but it might not be familiar to 
others, and one can forsee how, during a 
time of 'emergency' where 'public safety' 
concerns override all other concerns 
including birth rights, paranoia 
produced by these uneven distributions 
could be articulated, opportunely, to 
advance a particular career, political 
or personal agenda as a ‘charge’ in public, 
a witchtrial, or, worse, imagine the case, imagine the consequence, of rumour, 
innuendo, defamation and lies, without a 'charge' ever being laid. 

I hope I have illustrated how.

Lachlan Brown


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