[iDC] reading list // religious mediated spaces

Saul Ostrow sostrow at gate.cia.edu
Sat Sep 9 12:31:04 EDT 2006

Technology is from this perspective the systematic application and replication  of
standardized knowledge  resulting in a mode of tool (tool being either intellectual or
physical) - the development of such technologies have internal logics that exist or are
circumscribed - to reify internal relationships result in an institutional and often an
essentialist/ determinist (self-affirming) view of the object under discussion -- in the
present case enforcing a readymade dualist opposition that does not from my perspective
does is not fruitful to our understanding of the object under discussion  -- I would
suggest that the path least taken is some times more profitable and sometimes
disconnects have to be investigated - this is not because the system we live in is
totalizing despite its drive to become such) it is only meant that it is necessary to
view things in terms of what they exclude not just what they claim is inclusive and
these must looked at in terms of their own a priori and posterior conditions -  this way
we may resist the linearity of creating causal chains that form their own context --
after all we are born into an always already made world - 

Such a approach might allow you to see religious faith as something other than mystical
- though it may be metaphysical - a scientist can have fervent religious faith in
science - yet not even be a deist

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---------- Original Message -----------
From: Simon Biggs <simon at babar.demon.co.uk>
To: Saul Ostrow <sostrow at gate.cia.edu>, idc <idc at bbs.thing.net>
Sent: Sat, 09 Sep 2006 16:00:57  0100
Subject: Re: [iDC] reading list // religious mediated spaces

> Of course things are interconnected. However, it might be that you are
> ascribing causality where it is not especially strong and employing a
> definition of technology that is too broad to be useful in this debate. I
> would accept that language can be portrayed as a technology but wonder
> whether an entire belief system can be regarded as one. Yes, a belief system
> is, in its formation, an aparatus and is concerned with systems of control
> but does that make it a technology? Conversely, I would agree that belief
> systems employ technologies of knowledge (such as how language becomes
> belief dependent) but again, this does not suggest that belief and its means
> are the same thing. The very concept of belief, of faith, whether in a
> mystical idea or in scientific rationalism, should always be held up for
> sceptical analysis.
> I was not suggesting that technology evolves separate to culture. It is of
> course produced within cultural contexts and in that sense is expressive of
> those contexts. I have written essays on just that point.
> My original post was focused very much on the distinction between praxis
> (technology) and ethics (science/mysticism). These things are different
> modalities. I was not seeking to critique the Marxist view of history (I
> broadly agree with it in its purer forms) and was quite tongue in cheek when
> I referred to Zizek's "confusion". My feeling is that Charlie was being
> ironic as well when he referred to Zizek's Marxist concern with preserving
> the Christian legacy. It is likely Zisek himself was being ironic!
> I was seeking to open out the sources for Modernity. It is often claimed as
> a Western product, but that can be shown to be only part of the story.
> Regards
> Simon
> On 09.09.06 16:03, "Saul Ostrow" <sostrow at gate.cia.edu> wrote:
> > You miss my point which may be thought of as straight forward Marxist view of
> > base and
> > supra-structure in the sense their is no autonomy or disconnected discourses -
> > technologies - everything from language  through to the digital (and beyond
> > can not) be
> > decontextualized (made into things in themselves circumscribed by a history of
> > practice)
> > - they exist within (are embedded within) cultural networks which effectively
> > generate
> > both the demand (prioritize the development) for their development and their
> > application
> > (the two are not inseperable except with in bourgeois (sectarian) ideologies
> > -- the
> > resultng techologies (inclusive of their theory and mechanics) in turn effect
> > (potentially challenge or re-enforce) those cultural values that give rise to
> > them --
> > the judea- christian belief system (which is also may be viewed as a
> > technology)  has
> > had in the west a significant effect on how we organize both scientific
> > thought and the
> > objects upon which it chooses to focus - rationalist thought (whcih is not
> > antthetical
> > to religious thought) is merely an attempt to regulate religious doctrine and
> > practice -
> > My point being that each society 9from huner gathers to ourselves) produce
> > both systems
> > of thought in accord with their operating systems - and while these in time my
> > may
> > over-write that program, they  do not merely delete sections of the program in
> > the 
> > believe that their is no residue of it in the operable in other words we are
> > dealing
> > with an integrated system, rather than a system of parallel constructs
> > Saul
> Simon Biggs
> simon at littlepig.org.uk
> http://www.littlepig.org.uk/
> AIM: simonbiggsuk
> Research Professor, Edinburgh College of Art
> s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
> http://www.eca.ac.uk/
------- End of Original Message -------

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