One of my favorite bits from Jacob’s post on “seapunk” was this bit about keeping subcultures “sub”:

It is an impossibility for a subcultural style to be “owned”. Sub-culture exists when gazed at by mass-culture. The only way to ensure that your aesthetic is not going to become used by others is to never share it with anyone. Another approach is to protect your aesthetic with physical violence (see: gang colors). Otherwise, once you allow your presence to be seen, it can be consumed.

Most communities protect their culture through some form of obfuscation: hiding the meaning of their communication by making it hard to interpret.

This is a practice I’ve been studying for some time and some of it is incredible.

If you want your subculture to go undetected, all of these techniques are moderately effective at keeping your activity away from people and their machines. Until they *want* to find you. Then they’ll find ways around the gates you throw up.

update #1:

We see a lot of people posting whole posts in tags, so that they’re only visible in the dashboard and not their external-facing blogs, too.

Brilliant.

update #2: Alex Leavitt points me to this First Monday piece by Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum, ‘Vernacular Resistance to Data Collection & Analysis: A Political Theory of Obfuscation

207 notes

  1. intherainyseason reblogged this from by-strategy
  2. margoyle reblogged this from jaysonscottmusson and added:
    kenyatta: One of my favorite bits from Jacob’s post on “seapunk” was this bit about keeping subcultures “sub”: It is an...
  3. modern1st reblogged this from by-strategy
  4. aliciadreams reblogged this from kenyatta
  5. theideafactory reblogged this from kenyatta
  6. eitan225 reblogged this from kenyatta
  7. friend-lovah-tmillions reblogged this from kenyatta
  8. enchaussettes reblogged this from betaknowledge
  9. crushallhumans reblogged this from kenyatta
  10. digiture reblogged this from oreillyradar
  11. jonjohns65 reblogged this from oreillyradar and added:
    Way to be clever, Tumblr!
  12. oreillyradar reblogged this from kenyatta and added:
    Nat linked up this post in Radar today.
  13. gareth-price reblogged this from kenyatta
  14. stopmoving reblogged this from by-strategy
  15. by-strategy reblogged this from hautepop
  16. betaknowledge reblogged this from kenyatta

COMMENTS