From: Alan Sondheim <email@example.com>
To: Cyb <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Wryting-L <WRYTING-L@listserv.wvu.edu>
Subject: Is there a virtual ontology?
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2012 23:23:27 -0400 (EDT)
Is there a virtual ontology? Is there a virtual ontology? Think of the virtual as the promulgation of the image and its phenomenological retention. Such is the debris or cast-off of the real, no more or less virtual than any other sensory modality and its reception. This is an important point; we can no more live in the virtual now than we could, then, that is, at any other point. The image always carries its own imaginary which is a confluence and culturally-dependent, sensorially dependent as well. This imaginary itself carries a confluence of poetics, but at this point we're at a distance from the obdurate hardness of ontology. Now ontology is something one must be careful of, in relation to thinking through it. One need not be careful _of_ ontology itself, which characterizes existence whatever one might think, and here is where scientism enters into the picture: what is this carelessness? I think within the ordinary attitude, it is something that might well be abandoned, outside the aegis of technology. [...] So no, there's not a virtual ontology, or rather one might think of virtual ontology as equivalent to any other, fulfilling the same contracts, offices, and rules... There is 'an other hand' to this - for how can a snippet answer or re/consider such complex matters in detail? It's too simple and we might as well reverse everything: Think of the virtual as the harboring of the image and its constitution and reconstitution. The real might then be a production or cast-off of the virtual (which also includes the imaginary) - a real no more or less real than any other: think of mathesis, physics, cosmology, over-the- horizon of the holographic universe. Then the real carries its own obdurate, not dependent on the virtual, but co-habiting with it - and at this point we're at a distance from the suppleness of ontology, which may well be considered a flow or flux. One might be careless of thinking through ontology, but one need be careful _of_ ontology, particularly as suppleness lends itself everywhere and everywhen. Here is where poetics enters into the picture, and what is the care that poetics takes? I think within the ordinary attitude, it is something that must be tended, stewarded, inhabited beyond the aegis of the technology. Or rather the technological is pulled along with it. [...] So yes, there's a virtual ontology, or rather one might think of virtual ontology as _that_ ontology among others, abandoning contracts, offices, and rules... And have we really reversed anything here? Anything at all?