Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The last lines of this post
If you won’t be in Austin for the conference, you can follow along online in Second Life. See NNinSL.org for details. All the main events will be streamed and they also promise inworld parties and special events. And, unlike the meatspace version, this one is free.
I won't bother linking to a definition. At this point everyone but John McCain knows the word or understands the meaning. The question concerns not what the word means but how it does so: its history and genealogy and the implications of its use, the terms of it's defining the relation of the psychic world to the material one.

Let's be clear: "Meatspace" isn't the language of dualism, it's the language of dualism and disgust. At least Lawrence Lessig has an excuse: he was molested as a child.

What is Futurism? What's defined it in the past? [and it has a past.] What changes in society does "geek culture" represent? [it doesn't have much of a past at all.] What does it manifest? Rationalism is never without a context. What's the definition of knowledge for those for whom self-awareness -awareness of one's own body, of one's presence as a body among bodies and of your own as a sensing organism- is for whatever reasons out of bounds? What's the rationale of geekdom?

I'll quote an old friend from memory about Warhol:
"People say that Andy said he was a machine. But he didn't. He said he wanted to be a machine and that's not the same thing at all."

What gives you pleasure and why? These are the foundational questions of any intellectual life. What is preference? What do I prefer and why do I prefer it? Tools can't help you with these questions; tools come later. You choose your tools after you choose your preferences. And tools are for adults not 5 year olds.

Geeks dream themselves as asexual preadolescents -constructing a fantasy of preadolescence as asexual- armed with enthusiasm, certainty, and tools. What do they prefer? Why do they prefer it? The model of intellectualism as expertise elides the earlier questions of preference. The myth of individual self-invention renders such questions irrelevant, renders history irrelevant. The subject imagines himself founded not on preferences developed in infantile experience, as reaction and response, but as something generated solely by himself, godlike, and yet impersonal, objective, Platonic.

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