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VIRTUAL COMMANDMENTS OF THE DOT-COM FAITH


Norman Solomon

Inside

the temples of true believers, ardent faith has a way of prevailing. And so, in

the Dot-Com year of 2000, vast numbers of followers seem eager to fulfill a

sacred digital future.

Implicit

and largely unspoken, the virtual Ten Commandments of Dot-Comity are now

widespread:

  •  You

    shall have no other gods before media synergy.

  • You

    shall not bow to any image above those of the profits. Technology and

    venture capital are marvels that turn the Internet into a cosmic pathway for

    the commerce of life.

  • You

    shall not take the name of the Lord your Market in vain. It has little use

    for those who squander opportunity. It will not hold guiltless those who

    fail to appreciate Its transformative powers.

  • Remember

    the stock exchange and keep it holy. You may pause and reflect on the

    meaning of your labor, but for the long days and during after-hours trading

    — with the help of cable TV networks and online brokerage firms as well as

    some of the hottest investment websites around — the Lord your Market

    blesses every breath you take and hallows it, especially when earnings soar.

  • Honor

    your father and mother, for they made possible a balanced portfolio, taking

    into account the strengths of blue chips and Nasdaq, with careful attention

    to the most auspicious high-tech initial public offerings.

  • You

    shall not fail to make a killing, within the constraints of mortal

    fallibility, which must be reduced to aggregate the momentum of digital

    technologies and the markets. In the Canaan of the Web, you shall revere

    those who develop software to let there be cyberlight, making new fiduciary

    horizons dawn and rendering mere human form secondary.

  • You

    shall not adulterate the potential of Dot-Comity to raise our eyes to the

    heavens of capital formation, IPOs and long-term advancement of New Media.

  • You

    shall not steal. Above all, entrepreneurial fortunes depend on respect for

    intellectual property rights.

  • You

    shall not unduly cut corners for temporary advantage, lest you undermine the

    Dot-Com faith that rockets the blessed of us to seven figures and beyond.

    You should participate in all manner of fascination with interfaces between

    the technical and the financial, subjecting them to interminable media

    discourse, while bypassing qualitative evaluation of "content" and

    thus minimizing public debate about the cultural and political messages most

    widely promoted by centralized New Media power.

  • You

    shall not covet the trademarked, copyrighted, patented or encrypted products

    of competitors, but you shall be free to attempt capture of fabulous wealth

    available to a small percentage of adherents. Take full advantage of the

    Internet and satellite technology that was massively subsidized by the

    federal government decades ago, but do not hesitate to claim that the Lord

    your Market has made it all possible and therefore the private sector

    deserves all its divine profits, and more, if only government would get out

    of the way.

The

virtual commandments need not be belabored or even mentioned; they are mainly

internalized by the faithful. Every month, hundreds of hours on national

television and many large vats of ink go to prayerful meditations on how to

better understand and analyze the Lord our Market, seeking to assess Its will to

be done. Sanctified by an inexhaustible fountain of media reports and

discussions, the Lord our Market reaches new and transcendent levels, nearing

the iridescent light to shine on the human condition.

Some

fundamentalist believers in Dot-Comity insist that the literal words of the Lord

their Market include this admonition: "As for others who fail utterly in

the glorious quest for rich holiness of the techno-age, you shall not be

distracted by their misfortune nor attempt significant aid. For I, the Lord your

Market, am a zealous god, smiting each generation with inequities that favor the

best and lay low those who cannot glorify the Lord their Market. This need not

bother the followers who embrace me and with steadfast devotion keep my

commandments."

____________________

Norman

Solomon is a syndicated columnist. His books include "The Trouble With

Dilbert: How Corporate Culture Gets the Last Laugh."

 

 

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