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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:13 pm 
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A little late. I recently found out John Barlow died recently.

I knew him as a major contributing song writer for the Grateful Dead. He collaborated with Bob Weir. His songs were inspiring and he will be missed by many, many people who have heard the products of his work.

Beyond that, he is known for other works.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/02/j ... -1947-2018

Quote:
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.”


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Last edited by TheFox on Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:08 pm 
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A nice testimonial to the man, I think.

https://www.wired.com/story/mourning-jo ... -internet/

He had a unique and compelling credential—“junior lyricist of the Grateful Dead” was the way he put it—and he wielded it like an all-access laminate to the concert hall of life. His rock and roll bona fides was only one strand of a web of myths he pulled out of his suede jacket like a well-rolled joint: cowboy, poet, romantic, family man, philosopher, and ultimately, the bard of the digital revolution. He was an influential voice and an intimate participant in the early days of Wired, a co-founder and spiritual inspiration for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the guy who promoted cyberspace as deftly as Steve Jobs hyped Apple. By the time he was done, he was more famous for proselytizing the internet than he was for co-writing “Cassidy” and other Dead classics.

[snip]

Over the next few years, I watched with fascination as Barlow became a leading voice in technology. With no engineering experience whatsoever, he became a great explainer, turning his gift for bullshit into a force for comprehension. He could hang around a bunch of cryptographers for a while and two weeks later explain public key crypto (pretty much) to a room of bankers, diplomats, and corporate managers. Even more important, he grasped the soul of the technology, whether the transporting aspects of virtual reality or the glorious disruptiveness of friction-free distribution. In this current era of digital remorse, his Panglossian take on the net is sometimes mocked. But as he explained to Andy Greenberg a couple of years ago, he was all too aware that the possibilities he celebrated would be the artifacts of an ideal outcome, a scenario worth working for. One still worth dreaming about.

During the 1990s, Barlow worked his way into the center of big tech discussions, both through his writing and his activism. He convinced software entrepreneur Mitch Kapor to fund the EFF—a foundation devoted to preserving digital human rights that forged an admirable legacy over the next few decades. He became pals with Tim Leary. Barlow also found soulmates in the Clinton White House and the NSA. When one friend accused him of liking Air Force Two a little too much (yes, Al Gore was a Deadhead) Barlow professed to be hurt, and then admitted there was more than a little truth to that. Naturally, his epic manifesto of the digital age, “A Declaration of Independence for Cyberspace” was banged out on a keyboard during a World Economic Forum.

His big ideas and big personality often overshadowed what I thought was Barlow’s underrated power as a writer. Between 1989 and the early 2000s he created a series of operatic non-fiction pieces—on virtual reality, on the prosecution of hackers, and of course on the meaning of cyberspace—that matched the best in the business. I would often goad him to get into that business. Indeed he was forever planning to write a magnum opus on his technology views, to be entitled “Everything You Know Is Wrong.” But he never seemed to have the time or discipline to craft that legacy-making big book.

[snip][end]

I remember his early pieces back in the 90s, when I think he was one of the best voices arguing over certainly why the Internet makes everything we think is true about intellectual property at least slightly wrong. I also remember when, during the infamous "Hacker Crackdown" of the 90s, he (and the EFF) was one of the first people to defend some of these people whose only real crime was going places in cyber place where they were unauthorized (unlike certain recent Russians, who did much more).

The EFF was one of the first organizations to really articulate that people still have rights, liberties, and freedoms even in the digital world of cyberspace, and that just because "it's virtual" doesn't mean we don't need to figure out social norms - and digital rights. Barlow was a big part of that conversation.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:09 pm 
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All I was aware of before his passing, John Barlow was a cowboy living in Wyoming who wrote words for the Grateful Dead.

He may leave the most lasting mark in cyberspace, but Deadheads will find that hard to believe. He wrote some of the most memorable lyrics for the Grateful Dead.

Cassidy

Quote:
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.
(Repeat)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:38 pm 
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I once remember him giving a talk about music trading of MP3 files (back in the day, when Napster and other programs largely existed to facilitate this) and why the music corporations and the RIAA had the wrong idea, by trying to crack down in such a draconian way on this practice.

He pointed out the widespread cassette/bootleg culture of people who traded Grateful Dead tracks, back when analog ruled the roost. He mentioned how trading these underground tapes actually only built the numbers of people who went to Dead concerts, and bought their vinyl albums. His main point being, the music industry might have the wrong idea about MP3 trading. It might actually help instead of hurt their business if they took the long view.

I think he was right. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:29 pm 
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thanks.

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