[-empyre-] the netopticon

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sun Jan 16 02:17:58 EST 2011

Hi Johannes & all,

I have been thinking about some of your comments ...

 >i probably (not sure what others here think?) will
 >need to reflect on my own behaviors vis a vis networked
 >communications, and whether it's sustainable to to be
 >online at all times, and why there is such pressure
 >to be accessed (by mails and information) at all times,
 >and whether it's good for the health to be
 >accessible at all.

Unfortunately, literalization of (perceived) personal freedoms, or 
rather socially engineered evolution through commercial means; has 
brought about a conflict between the (supposed) freedom of the 
individual, against self-discipline and advancement through 
self-education. Where people base their localized decisions and 
networked interactions as 'lifestyle' decisions. When I hear the word 
'lifestyle' on the television, newspapers or verbally, a shiver enters 
my spine. Because I am instantly reminded of where this phrase 
originally came from - the American public relations and propagandist, 
Edward Bernays. "Combining the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred 
Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his 
uncle, Dr. Sigmund Freud, Bernays was one of the first to attempt to 
manipulate public opinion using the subconscious." 

And if anyone has seen the excellent documentary 'The Century of the 
Self' by Adam Curtis, "a British television documentary film that 
focuses its attention on Sigmund Freud's family,‭ ‬especially his 
daughter and nephew,‭ ‬who exerted a surprising amount of influence on 
the way corporations and governments throughout the‭ ‬20th century have 
thought about,‭ ‬and dealt with,‭ ‬people." 
- they would immediately appreciate the issues we are all dealing with 
in respect of how we have (mainly in the western world) been mediated 
post-war onwards, in ways which spell out connections with the 
discussion around we are currently engaged with regading the panoptic 
state, and now the extra quandry, agreed as being the netoptican.

Another link - 

Reflecting on our behaviours - perhaps this can be expanded upon even 
further than 'whether we go on-line or off-line'. To where our inner 
psychologies can retune, re-purpose beyond denial of action, into 
refraining from the decision of 'negation'; into a more constructive and 
conscious enactment of pro-claimation; meaning that the 'materiality' of 
our lives can be reclaimed not just by virtual means but by physical 
means also. After all, shallowness is not stupidity, it is a decision. 
And if this is true, then in some sense we can make better decisions and 
change the 'materiality' of life at various levels, through our actions 
by incorporating an approach towards a sustainability of common values 
which are not reliant in supporting neoliberalist defaults. This 
conscious shift alone is like recognizing an addiction, a dependency 
which we all know in our hearts is not a nourishing form of consumption, 
mentally, physically or socially.

I am still writing another another post in response to some of your 
other questions.

Wishing you well.


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