[iDC] Theory Thread

trebor at thing.net trebor at thing.net
Tue Jul 11 15:38:55 EDT 2006

The various list threads on gender inclusion, theory, and the politics of the
networked public sphere all integrate well with the intentions for the
symposium in October. Much of this is mysteriously missing from the general
debate about locative technologies and the city so far.

Theory has its place. However, the danger is what I call *oak panel theory* that
is build on professionally safe, and well-established nodes. Oak panel theory
can’t be bothered with the “plebeian” references that make up the daily
realities of readers. The problem with examples of online initiatives is that
they are frequently ephemeral (now you see them, now you don't), which may also
lead to a love for generalizations removed from actual projects.

Participants in new media discourse often complain about the isolation of the
dissing and cursing of this discourse from the rest of the world. Academia, for
instance, reinforces its own paradigms. Who needs to be surprised about the
exclusivity of theory? Readers that are poles apart engage depending on
language, style, humor, and tone.


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