13 august 2002

or how to broadcast decentrally

(a part of the post-industrial revolution)

15:06 In a disused town hall (a remnant of central control) several people are sitting at a round table...

In the middle is the globalised King Arthur with a microphone that is webcasting worldwide via the internet. That is the setup for today's broadcast...

King Arthur, alias Mikey the man in the middle, tells us that we are here to talk into the mike. He will provide some questions to get us talking but as soon as talk is flowing he will simply keep the mike moving to whoever is ready to talk next...

Like the knights at the round table we need our king only in emergency. When all is flowing well the one of us who is talking is king and the rest of us are to Listen! Listen! Listen!* to what is being said... That is the essential - the new basis for living without hierarchy: that each one thinks of what the others are saying and of the whole - and takes responsibility for coherence and quality and humanity and silence. Yes. Yes.

If we wish to speak (or to broadcast some silence) we have only to catch Mikey's eye as he rotates on the swivel chair in the middle (the table is an annulus with an empty centre in which he sits in the midst of his invention) ... But he asks us to speak only when sensitive listening tells us that what we have to say is we think going to add to, and to enhance, the webcast that we are composing together... or otherwise keep quiet

...It's up to everyone to do what in former times was the prerogative of the king or the queen or the god or the goddess...

...of whom the industrial boss was but a shadow, ruling in commercial blindness and deafness to higher things and to what was happening at the periphery. That's why life became limited to imposed rules and to the predictable forced harmonies of mechanisation... but now no one knows what may happen. Mikey's job is 'to keep the centre empty'... one of the vital skills of the post-industrial culture (see overviews).

...yes this is talkaoke says Mikey as he replaces the batteries ... and we succumb to his magic and become more than we were, simultaneously...

(at this point the theory of it is sufficiently complete as we wait for a recording of the talkaoke at the old town hall... or else link to the talkaoke website)

* from Jackson Mac Low's Little Sermon for the Performance of Simultaneities in Stanzas for Iris lezak, Something Else Press, Millerton, New York 1971, page 419. (for the text of the sermon see overviews)

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© 2002 john chris jones

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