[Air-l] Re: is this internet studies?

salterl l.salter at unl.ac.uk
Wed Dec 24 05:21:30 PST 2003

I am glad to have had this opportunity to discuss the implications of military 
funding with you guys - we have heard a good number of interesting arguments 
and points. I think also, as a result of good old-fashioned dialectical 
reasoning, we have exposed some contradictions. Obviously the war/peace 
contradiction is an interesting one, and some promising ideas have been 
raised. However, the greatest contradiction exposed here relates to the form 
of a discussion that evokes "our" (homeland/military.security etc). The 
Internet is an international medium, and as far as I am aware AoIR is also 
international. Therefore, "our" military and "your" military may well have 
profoundly different understandings of whose security matters. Indeed, the 
wars servce "us(s)", whereas peace is really "ours" all. Perhaps then, in 
addressing both the hardly hidden nationalism of Internet studies and that of 
war, we ought to promote the role of the UN in securing peace, and governing 
the Internet, as war proposed at the recent WSIS. Perhaps this is a naive view 
of the UN, but nevertheless, it is a good starting point.

>===== Original Message From air-l at aoir.org =====
>A further difficulty may be in determining the boundaries of such a
>gesture, at least to a degree such that the preponderance of
>researchers could agree upon it. For example, a rejection of funding
>directly from the military would likely be a relatively easy pill to
>swallow, at least for some. While I am sure that there are those on
>the list who receive funding from, say, the US Navy or from DARPA,
>they make up a fairly small minority.
>But this is only the most direct connection. Do we also reject funding
>related to "defending our homeland," for example? For those with NIH
>or NSF funding, it would have been hard not to notice the change in
>funding priorities over the last two years. Do we reject industry-
>sponsored research from companies that profit during war and its
>aftermath? There are a number of sources remaining for funded research
>beyond these two, but this list becomes increasingly attenuated when
>you eliminate funding that is in any way related to military action.
>Finally, I think it is worth asking whether "the military" is really
>responsible for wars. Of course, they have the greatest proximate
>responsibility, but it may very well be that other sources of funding
>provide the impetus for such wars. I certainly do not think all wars
>are fought over profits, but most are fought over resources. In that
>regard, at least, I think Bucky Fuller had the right idea: focus on
>distribution and resource allocation, and you may find the leverage
>needed for peace. Indeed, the most effective way of providing for
>peace, rather than being more conscientious consumers of research
>funding, may be making the causes of war a focus of our research.
>With hopes for a peaceful new year,
>Quoting david silver <dsilver at u.washington.edu>:
>> just because militarization has always been a part of academia, esp
>> US
>> academia, doesn't mean we have to continue along this path.  if we
>> diverge, there will be of course certain losses (like $45 million
>> grants
>> from the US army) but those losses come with certain gains too.
>> david
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