On a day when U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton gave a major policy speech about Internet Freedom,, it’s worth revisiting the Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, a libertarian rant delivered at the 1996 World Economic Forum in Davos by John Perry Barlow. When I went looking for the full text, I came across this 2008 video mashup. The stereotypical computer voice is a little hokey, but I like what it adds to the artifact effect. I’d love to hear Barlow ranting it, if anyone knows of an open-source recording.
In their book Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom, Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta ask this rhetorical question of Barlow’s rant: “Is this just bombastic, over-the-top, neo-hippie, cyber-Utopian
lunacy?” Well, maybe. Barlow was a lyricist for the Grateful Dead once upon a time. He later helped to start the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Now some of his ideas are sneaking into U.S. foreign policy. Roll over, John Foster Dulles. What a long, strange trip it’s been.