Thanks to folks who linked to, or posted thoughts on, this recent screed.
John Michael Boling said: "I'd like to propose a third non-gendered 'dude with computer' class of cultural practitioners." Thought I did that with the self-taught but OK.
Ceci Moss* at Rhizome.org tested the argument with actual examples of artists' work, something the original post avoided. Paul Slocum is of course that rare bird flying between the art and new media realms. Joan Leandre is comparatively mired in a particular set of geek assumptions. Go to his site and you find, for example, dozens of .exe files with the warning that downloading them can harm your computer if you don't "choose each file to a High Density fat32 and run New World's install program." Whether or not that is a joke, this is the essence of geekdom and most art world people will not go there, particularly any art world person with Windows who survived the Internet Exploder era. Leandre's "Velvet Strike" is more credible at least on an anecdotal level: the artist hacked into hard core war game nerd sites and put antimilitary graffiti on the virtual walls, pissing off many players.
cf. "New Media vs Artists with Computers" with Guthrie Lonergan's "Hackers vs Defaults" table. That table may have been read as two different flavors within new media, and therefore benign, but this blog would like to claim it as another example of "stark polarization," to use Moss's term. Also cf. Net Art 1.0 vs 2.0.
*Update, 2011: The Rhizome link above redirects but just for the record the new post is http://rhizome.org/editorial/2008/dec/3/thoughts-on-quotnew-media-artists-vs-artists-with-/