[-empyre-] forgetting, oblivion

Norie Neumark norie5 at mac.com
Fri Nov 9 10:06:17 EST 2007

Hey John,
i think there's some rogue energy loose in the complex techno-social  
system of this list -- i'm fascinated by the way it rebelled over the  
discussion of digital error and went beserk at the mention of  
forgetting, oblivion --dumping Maria's IP address from its memory  
banks by adding "suspicious headers" to her emails --leaving her  
posts to float forgotten in oblivion for days. All very sci-fi (hi,  

On 08/11/2007, at 10:34 PM, John Hopkins wrote:

> Hallo Norie!
>>> That framework is generated by the techno-social system which  
>>> consequently filters the memory into what vessels that techno- 
>>> social system values.
>> but don't you think organic memory also gets filtered as it goes  
>> in -- by language, culture... all of which also helps shape that  
>> techno-social system? I wonder if the digital is more reduced or  
>> more noticeable and therefore more annoying in its reduction?
> embodied memory is definitely a reductive absorbtion of the  
> available energies that move in a situation -- because the body is  
> a filter itself -- in its selective receptive abilities to receive  
> energy. This 'natural' (evolutionary!) factor underlies the  
> implicit filtering mechanisms of the socia-techno-cultural system  
> that the body is embedded in.  There is a feedback mechanism, yes,  
> where memory is formed by, for example, looking at photographs, and  
> then one creates photographs to form (reify!) memories...
this makes me think of something my students told me about -- one way  
they use their mobile phones socially is to take photos of each  
other, look at  them, but not necessarily send them. seems to be  
something about taking the photo and making the memory.
> The digital, as a larger and more complex techno-social system,  
> demands more energy in a thermo-dynamic sense to maintain the order  
> of its production and dispersion -- it thus requires more energy  
> from those who participate in that system.  It thus is likely that  
> it is also more narrow in what is carries -- in the sense that it  
> flattens out the idiosyncratic differences between individuals by  
> limiting the form that the memory takes (i.e., photographs versus a  
> box of random trinkets that one might collect to form another  
> personal array of externalized memory).
flattening out idiosyncratic differences to save energy...  
interesting, but I do wonder if it let's the techno-social-cultural  
system off the hook a bit? seems to me that the culture has a lot of  
trouble with difference already and then embeds its narrowness in its  


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