[-empyre-] Memory Errors

Madeleine Reich Casad mir9 at cornell.edu
Sun Nov 18 15:58:32 EST 2007

Hi John,

On Nov 17, 2007, at 3:48 PM, John Hopkins wrote:

>>> I like John's metaphor of amplifying wave interference patterns  
>>> to describe what we might make of this relationship, too.
>> me too! though do you think he's presenting it as a metaphor? John?
> nope, not metaphor, this is 'real' energy -- you have to make a  
> rather radical world-view shift for this to make sense, however,  
> absorbing the implications of Quantum, for example, mixed with some  
> other energy-based world-views...  I'm always a bit daunted in the  
> mailing-list sphere to raise these issues, because of this  
> necessary shift for my comments to make sense, and I find that it  
> usually takes several days of f2f discussion in a workshop setting  
> to come to a general understanding of the consequences of an energy- 
> based world-view...
> but, yes, I am talking not about metaphoric energies but very real  
> energies --

I'm all for this descriptive model.  And from my lit-inflected  
perspective of the virtual, it doesn't really matter if the energy in  
question is metaphorical or real.  But I don't think I follow your  
argument here...

> for example, when you spend some life/time in the service of  
> supporting a technological system that you are using, you will  
> never get this time back, and in this time, you have expended a  
> very real amount of energy to maintain your bio/energy system which  
> you will absolutely have to recharge before you can continue on to  
> the next activity...

or earlier, when you wrote:

> The higher the technology (i.e., the larger the techno-social  
> infrastructure necessary to support a particular medium), the more  
> life-energy an individual must expend into that techno-social  
> system to maintain their participation in and use of that medium.   
> This is maybe the most profound affect of increasingly complex  
> technologies of documentation... that we are ever more deeply bound  
> to that techno-social system in the fact that we have to give more  
> of our life-time-energy into the system in order to participate...   
> We become hyper-socialized and lacking much autonomy.

I think the technological system becomes enmeshed with life such that  
our energies ebb and flow with and through it.  We invest energy, but  
then the techno-social system becomes one substrate of our life  
itself.  If we're dependent on a medium whose infrastructure is  
massive and unsustainable or 'selfish' , that's a big problem, but a  
techno-social-material-economic-systemic problem, not a problem of  
the medium in and of itself, conceptually isolated from its modes of  
deployment.  So I'm reluctant to draw such a conclusive link between  
'high' tech or representational complexity and the reduction of  


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