[iDC] Downtime & Play

John Hopkins jhopkins at neoscenes.net
Sat Nov 19 13:50:48 EST 2005

Much to comment on, having done the hard-core nomadic thing for more 
than a decade of no home base...  the null space of airports, ach!

but I wanted to make a specific Saturday morning comments on the last 

>But network technologies cannot be reduced to instruments of oppression and
>casualized labor that squeeze every last drop of genuine energy and creativity
>out of the worker. Cooperation-enhancing technologies are not by default
>networked assembly lines. The Treo is not the beast. Laptops are not merely
>locative Wall Street furniture. Cell phones are not the pervasive 
>enemy. Groups
>of protesters at the Republican convention used them to escape police tactics.
>But at the same token networked technologies are also not inherently linked to
>a deviant life style or oppositional cultural practice. Technologies 
>define us.
>We are conditioned to relate to them in predefined ways. Using technologies
>changes what we know and how we know it. But we do have a say in this. We can
>shape the technologies that we are using.  Networked technologies do not have
>to stand for servitude. We can imagine  human uses. We can support emerging
>alternative socio-technical networks by reflecting on technologies without
>utopia-glazed eyes. Critiquing the vicious nature of networked, neoliberal
>managers is vitally important. But don't stop there. Don't leave the discourse
>about human uses of cooperation-enhancing tools and networking to them (or to
>them inside of us.)

Yes, WE DO HAVE TO SAY THIS, but more than that, we have to 
understand it, and be able to decode the affect of the attenuative 
force that any technology applies to human relation.  After decoding 
it, we need to articulate it in a conscious praxis which, at the same 
time it acknowledges the affect, pushes through the affect to reach 
out to a human Other.  And, if the attenuation applied by the 
technology destroys our perceived abilities to humanely connect with 
the Other, we need to drop the technology.  period.  If we persist in 
modifying our own idiosyncratic needs and expressions indefinitely to 
be able to fit into the technological landscape, we inevitably suffer 
a very real alienation.  It is an individual who must make this 
appraisal (first knowing deeply their own expressive and impressive 
needs.  This in itself is not a simple task, as we grow up being 
literally 'impressed' (and deeply re-formed) by the affects of the 
technology that is part of the social structure.

Technology is a social determinant which maps its structure and 
attenuations onto the life of individuals irrespective to their needs 
for expression...

How to be aware of the alienation inherent in the use of a mobile 
phone?  How to be aware of what has already been lost in the 
technologies that we have no conscious memory of it NOT being part of 
our social system?  Not so easy.  But, by identifying the principles 
by which this process of social determination takes place, and by 
which we each are changed, it is possible to tease out the mechanism 
and move to a more powerful position of a (radically?) modified lived 
praxis to reflect the knowledge of these principles.

A critique is a weak response -- an altered life-praxis, based on 
principles, is much more powerful!


tech-no-mad::hypnostatic:: with a shattered spine on a slow mend
domain: http://neoscenes.net
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