[-empyre-] III arrival
Jonathan.Marshall at uts.edu.au
Tue Oct 9 12:55:51 EST 2012
However, despite these theoretical enthusiasms and preparations, when I arrived online there was, in contrast, only the surprise that people brought with them that which made them people offline. And that included, culture, bodies, place, pain and affect amongst other things. Online life was ripe with frictions, joys, pain, struggles with pain, struggles with potentials, and struggles with how to live.
It was intense, but it was not the space imagined in analysis. When I encountered the main list that was to feature in my life (Cybermind as moderated by Alan), it was still dealing with a death that had occurred over 6 months previously. People were still confused, hurt and lost in that death and how they felt about it. Michael Current was still a presence. As well, people talked about their own pains online, the nature of the places they lived in, their lives outside ‘cyberspace’, their sicknesses, their poverty, their difficult work lives, their alienation from the then ‘republican revolution’, or in a few cases their enthusiasm for Newt and others, their dismay at the online decency acts… this was all in the context of the official topic of talking about life online.
With a little more time, people came to talk either to me, or to list, about their online love lives, the difficulty of merging them with offline life, the disappointments, the bliss, the joy, the orgasms, the shattering humiliations. Then of course there were the fights, the flame wars, the trolling, the attacks, the sheer overwhelming hurt of what was occasionally being written. I also saw, the impotence of people to stop themselves from hurting and being hurt, from leaving either without notice or in fury. Deceit was present, but no more than it seemed (to me) to be in offline life – often the deceit undermined the deceiver, as people turned away from them on finding out (and they were found out if it mattered) - and people quested for the authentic truth about others, or said that they could be their real selves online (online life assuaged the pain of offline deceit). A quest for truth seemed fundamental, a problem of living online rather than just a deficit that spoiled research.
Then, despite the much heralded decline of the state when faced with the internet, the group demonstrated national groupings and conflicts, and the importance of nationalism to those apparently beyond it. The Bush Jr. Iraq war firmed the divisions, and I still have not really written about that, as I cannot without further hurt and imposition on others. Over time there were more deaths, more loss, and more dislocations.
In its life, the list made it impossible to take the mainstream early positions of theory seriously.
Some formal writings gathered at
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