The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

November 27, 2005

... because I can

... because I can

Missive from

This missive, having once been written and already destined for /dev/null, is 
written, once again, reinforcing the direction of the original, that the Net, 
our Net, as we know it, or as it is own, is not only ephemeral, but that our 
communality, communitas, so dependent upon it, might well disappear - replaced 
only as dreams, of alterities in other places, likewise dreamed. What might be 
cauterized, what finality, is nothing less than our own interiority: limbs 
become phantom limbs, voices become phantom voices, and the social matrix 
itself becomes figurative ectoplasm. Not only is this a real possibility; it is 
fundamental that our ordered socius tends towards the disorderly - addresses 
and url will disappear, permanently, and that communicable touch we take for 
grant will turn towards a state of unacknowledged, because uncommunicated, 
mourning. This may happen tonight; it may happen tomorrow; or a century from 
now - but it will happen. And with this happening, technology reverts as well 
towards the hyper-personal - out of touch with anything but those loops of 
secondary narcissism that carry, first and foremost, the effluvia of identity - 
the rest is nothing but cultural superstructure, dependent on capital, which 
may have collapsed as well. Or not collapsed - capital never collapses - but 
turned local, regional - a xenophobic capital like homeowner's associations, 
owing nothing anywhere - no international debt for example, which is alterity 
raised to an incandescent degree.

Equivalence, that primordial condition of the duplicated file, breaks: all 
typifications, standardizations, disappear, and no textual instantiation may be 
compared to any other. The condition is diasporic; only the diachronic remains 
as re/constructed memory, synchrony itself such a memory, useless, uncanny, the 
materiality of dreams, the dreamwork.

This will happen. All of this will happen. On one hand we witness again and 
again the fragility of the material-real, which is both inert and always 
already unique; on the other, equivalence and the Net are destined to cease as 
processes, becoming nothing than other disconnected, scattered artifacts. We 
should prepare for this. We should recognize this future as certain and 
(in)coherent within our present own. We shall not own it. We shall not 
recognize 'own.'

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