From harel Fri May 31 19:59:50 -0700 2002
From: Harel Barzilai 
Subject: Media Activism Technology Advances: YOU can make a difference!

I haven't posted on our announcement list since
March 28 -- here is an exciting update...

Have you heard about Kima?

It's been on sale for a while now, and for $99 (last I checked..) you
can hook it up to your computer and it sends audio to your stereo,
which can be anywhere else in the house, or some distance away. [See
reviews for example at
and see also Pro Review at ]

Now, a catalog in today's mail shows something else: a slashed  price from $150
to $90 for portable speakers which, if you use them with your stereo in
combination with Kima means, of course, that you can carry a speaker
(or two) with you to any room in the house and listen to internet

By the way, technologically, in fact, one can do better today already:
namely, by getting "radio headphones", that is, headphones that have a tiny
FM radio tuner built into them.

This, along with Kima, means you can wear those (cordless) headphones
and walk around anywhere in, and all around your house and --if you
tune to the FM "station" (frequency) of your Kima-- hear internet
radio on your light headphones..!

One could point out that this is still slightly clumsy, but that
misses the point: I'm writing this in May 2002, a long way before 2006
(the date quoted in the Webcast article), and of course that latter
date is artificial; the point is that we're moving, at a good clip, in
the direction of those kinds of capabilities and if the movement wants
to democratize the media (which it had better do if we are to get our
message, and the truth across, which, in turn we have better do if we
want to avert global disasters), we'd better now be planning our
strategy and networks since it takes years to get such going anyway.

When I wrote "The Revolution Will Be Webcast" I knew that some
predictions will come faster, some slower, and this one's going to be
ahead of December 2005...But it was not an article about predictions
it was, instead, about showing what could be possible and a call to

When I wrote the articles "Electronic Activism" parts I and II in
1992/1993 I didn't know the WWW would come as it has, let alone that
something as dynamic as, for example, or
would come out, but the directions and general capabilities were what
I was outlining, and urging activists to give energetic thought to and
get involved in.  The same is true with the existing/emerging
technologies, and concomitant issues outlined in Webcast..

To paragraph Chomsky, questions about which tendencies in
the future (positive ones or destructive/suicidal ones) will
prevail, are not questions for "speculation" so much as 
question for action; it's up to us. Depending on how
we act, the future *could* be one in which powerful
tools for media democratization  are developed, rolled out,
and utilized.

Stepping back further still, for an even wider angle view,
the movement isn't really participating in enough long-term
broad strategizing.

You can bet that today's corporations are asking themselves, "how will
existing and emerging technologies affect the landscape in which
we operate, say, 5 years ahead? What can we do today to take advantage
of that?" There is absolutely no doubt that they are thinking along
those lines and trying to take maximal advantage. Why on earth
doesn't the left, the movement, whatever we call it, do so as well?
Obviously, it's harder for decentralized movements than for
top-down authoritarian profit-maximizing institutions to do so; but
that doesn't mean we're off the hook: we should be working hard to
develop networks of activists and organizations which DO engage in
long-term "strategic planning" linking vision, to specific tactics on
the (say) 5 to 10 years ahead timeline.

A quote from the Webcast article which I frequently cite states that:

"Just as an archer needs to aim her arrow above the target in order to
hit the intended mark, so too today's planning, outreach, organizing,
and coalition building for activist projects that realistically will
require not less than 5 years to realize, need to be informed by an
understanding of the [likely shape of the] media landscape of 2006 in
order to win the fullest victories possible in the struggle for media
democracy and empowerment."

So what can YOU do today?

1) Go to
and read The Revolution will be Webcast

2) Read "On Funding"  which is another strategic vision
article that explores the question of sustainable financing
for grassroots operations (such as, but no limited to,
democratic alternative mass-media institutions)

3) Spread the word far and wide; give the above URLs 
and the top page,
to friends, activists, and organizations

For more involvement:

4) If you can do so, try to have (or encourage) organizations co-sign
the statement at

or hook them up with me by having them email me
at info[at]

5) Email me yourself and let's talk.

A final word:

You may think it's impossible that small steps
you can take, could possibly make a difference,
let alone a huge difference in attaining very ambitious
goals like global media democratization.

But I can speak from my own experience that earlier
achievements (e.g. before the Web, of the creation
of UseNet's which
boasted 60,000+ readers per week, more than any
other progressive weekly other than the Nation, for a while)
were arrived at though such small -- but determined -- steps.

Just like this list: we may not have a post for 1, 2, or 3+ months,
but "Slow and steady wins the race" -- it is an on-going project
that (perhaps in some evolved form) will continue, so long
as you are willing to stay on the list -- to the year 2005
and beyond (To remove yourself from the list,
or to have others add themselves, go to and
PLEASE do not add others so I don't get flamed; have
them add themselves only, please..!)

Looking forward to your participation,

Harel Barzilai

* Co-founder ACTIV-L mailing list, 1990
* Co-founder, 1991
* Author,  "Electronic Activism" I (1992) and II (1993)
  circulated around the world and translated into Spanish, Dutch

* Faculty member, Z magazine's Left Online University (LOLU),
teaching a course on "Electronic Activism on
the Internet" (other faculty included Noam Chomsky and
Howard Zinn),  1993, 1994.

* Founder, (2000- )and
  strategic vision articles on Electronic Activism Revisited
including "The Revolution Will Be Webcast".