The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

answering no one's critique +

To the criticism that my approach to Second Life is naive, apolitical
ahistorical, and so forth: let me say this in my defense - that if one
desires to study the phenomenology of any grouping of organisms, before *
the overt socio-cultural issues are analyzed, it's necessary to understand
the basics of their way of living, their space-time comprehension of
whatever might pass for the real. To understand primates, for example, one
might study their groupings (nations), customs, and conflicts in relation
to strained resources - but one might study, first, their mode of being in
the world, of which groupings, customs, and conflicts are at best only a
developing part. ** The culture, the intrinsic and extrinsic political
economy of Second Life, *** or any virtual world, are critical, but first
comes the phenomenology of being-virtual in relation to the structural
basics of that world. I realize I'm begging the question, that one can and
does argue for political economy and culture, for that matter, all the way
down - I've done that repeatedly myself. **** But the phenomenology and
reach of virtuality is far greater and deeper than these institutions,
***** although entangled and inhering within and without them; I want to
look at what's possible, what a user might extend or expand towards,
should she or he inhabit the psychological, physical, and phenomenological
limits of a space. ****** Physiology, neurophysiology, psychogeography,
topography, sexuality, for examples - abjection, debris, edge phenomena,
server phenomena in relation to all of these. Later, although simultane-
ous, construction, configuration, intrinsic and extrinsic economies,
corporate and political affiliations and hacking, community and commun-
ality, interfacing with other worlds including the physical. ******* It's
the latter, institutionalization, deterritorialization, and so forth, that
constitutes most of the analyses I've read ******** - issues of the
rational or at least psychoanalytical and normative subject, *********
however defined. Problematizing these in relation to delirium, frisson,
dirt, flight, coherency, primary identifications and narcissisms if such
exist - these are areas I scuttle about, beneath the surface of the
_thing._ As example, _I, Avatar_'s description of sexuality in terms of
groups, wars, dialogs, narrative, but not in terms of arousal, ejacula-
tion, sexual triggers, uneasy dreams, worlds falling apart. I know, here,
I'm not expressing myself clearly (I'm writing under severe depression and
a kind of mental chaos), ********** but the distinction's there and more
than lip-service is needed in relation to what humans are doing to them-
selves on a fundamental level within the concretization of fantasm, the
uncanny, the untoward. *********** My site attempts ************ experien-
cing and thinking through these things by circumscribing what's recogni-
zable, navigable, accountable, and unaccountable, in both the physical
world and these fully-inscribed worlds (protocols and code all the way
down ************* ) that surface and run (are refreshed, refresh-rate
************** ) in the midst of potential muck that may, for the parti-
cipant, *************** problematize that very inscription (purity, in
other words, towards impurity, acceptance towards stigma, clarity towards
loss). (Don't worry, no one can do everything; the problem of course is if
what's done bypasses or occludes inherent and necessary connections to
what isn't. **************** ) high jpgs - anomalous negotiated spaces

to access the SL space -

+ small caps = false humility!
* as if there were a sequence here!
** "only"? begging the question!
*** there's a difference?!
**** irrelevant call to what history?!
***** absurd! this sort of qualification/quantification is nonsense!
****** again, a false mathesis, false geometrics here!
******* what is this "later"? why these levels, sequences, excuses?!
******** specious and suspicious lack of references!
********* seriously implying a relationship here?!
********** first, making excuses! second, bad analysis of _I, Avatar_!
*********** bad analysis - how and why are these things "concretized"?!
************ false humility, the worse sort of rhetorical trope!
************* here we go again with false geometrical analogy!
************** absurd extension based on similar roots!
*************** why? another red herring!
**************** another excuse! footnotes, self-condemnation!


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