[-empyre-] II (

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Tue Oct 9 15:26:01 EST 2012

Hi Jon,

I think some of these myths are true, that we're too much online and too close 
to the 'virtual' to see that.

You say
> In either case the virtual world was remote, ?virtualised?, different and 
> disembodied.
- but in fact at least from my experince in putting Being on Line and a special 
magazine issue together, the virtual world was seen exactly as the opposite - 
intimate, 'real,' entangled and embodied within the body.

The comment about the wires maybe refers to "I feel the wires" article I 
republished by Andy Hawks - and its basis was affect itself; it wasn't 
analytical, but talked about the pain and entanglement with the virtual.

Michael Current and the Walkers in Darkness list were living and dying 
embodiments of that as well, as you know.

- Alan

On Tue, 9 Oct 2012, Jonathan Marshall wrote:

> II
> I began living online with a thesis in mind, sometime in 1994. I had read 
> much of what was then available as analysis. This is ?ancient history? and 
> the amount of writing was small enough. But what was then available, struck 
> me as fundamentally misguided. Firstly people tended to write about things 
> which were not as if they were present day activities. They wrote about being 
> online as if it was Gibson?s cyberspace with immersive reality, with 
> translocation and working teledildonics amongst other things. They wrote 
> about being online as if it were one domain, which conquered or transcended 
> space, place, bodies and gender. They wrote about being online as if we were 
> enmeshed in the wires or as if becoming cyborg was somehow radical or 
> liberating. They said that nobody knew if you were a dog, and that free 
> speech rained and fertilised everything, so we would have worldwide democracy 
> and mutual understanding. They wrote that capitalism was now perfect, or that 
> socialism was natu! ral.  They wrote we were free of the chains of matter. 
> They claimed we would download our souls into the ether. They claimed that we 
> lived in an information or knowledge society, and that knowledge would arise 
> by compounding our opinions and research, and that networks gave superior 
> social morphologies. They claimed that people engaged in immaterial, or 
> virtual, labour. We even had virtual classes. Knowledge workers were central.
> The less triumphalist said that the internet would corrupt thought, would 
> corrupt presence, would corrupt relationships, would alienate people from 
> reality and responsibility, and was full of deceit. It was Heideggerianly 
> inauthentic or fake; a forgetting of being.
> In either case the virtual world was remote, ?virtualised?, different and 
> disembodied.
> Sometimes it seems that such statements are still made today, and I wonder if 
> we have gone beyond thinking the myths that we brought to online life, before 
> we had even had any such life?.
> jon
> Some formal writings gathered at
> http://uts.academia.edu/jonmarshall
> UTS CRICOS Provider Code: 00099F
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