[iDC] reading list // religious mediated spaces

John Hopkins jhopkins at commspeed.net
Mon Sep 11 11:40:42 EDT 2006

Hi Simon!

>This debate touches on one of the few things that keeps me awake nights -
>the conflict between phenomenologically derived relativist thought and
>material rationalism.

interesting interaction between intellect and embodied experience! 
Instead of using buzz words at the end of the sentence, can you 
circumscribe from your own praxis of living / experience what those 
highly-reduced phrases actually mean? (i.e., not using more 
buzz-words and isms and ists...)

>These are not necessarily polar opposites as this depends on how extreme or
>purist you take either of these positions. Nevertheless, it is a tension.
>Perhaps this represents a necessary stress that contributes to creativity.

they are both models, points-of-view, which are taken on (or not) as 
a choice of the individual within the social system which spawned 
them -- they are NOT the 'thing' itself -- that is, they are not life!

>My usual fix on this (only a fix, not a carefully argued conclusion) is to
>accept a "good enough at this time" solution. That is, phenomenology
>suggests that no amount of verified data is ever going to prove anything due
>to our not knowing for sure that it (or anything else) is real. However,
>stuff seems to exist and science seems to verify this as, at the very least,
>a very convincing shared hallucination (at least better than any other
>method). To me that seems good enough at this time to be getting on with
>things - although I retain the right to say it was all in my mind.

A model is reductionist.  A model will never be the thing itself.  (a 
map is not the territory).

Consider an isolated individual -- he/she looks at the world, 
receives energy into his/her body system.  Recognizes patterns of 
flow, and behaves according to such patterns (over time). 
(Learning).  Building a model by which to interact 'successfully' 
with the flows around him/her.

OR, an individual is told the parameters of the model 
(non-experiential learning), accepting what an Other tells (because 
of the position of power-relation where the Other is more powerful in 
that social relation).

Science is a collective phenomena at the cusp between these two situations.

Which do we trust most?  Our own analysis of the energy flows 
impinging on our body-system, or the system of the Other?

I believe over-socialization -- which is the trend of the globe, 
perhaps based on the simple fact of growing population and lessening 
room -- is an inexorable force which demands the second example -- to 
the exclusion of the first.  The first is dangerous (to the social), 
unpredictable, unstable, and demands one to be living at the very 
front of experience, to learn in the moment, to exist in the 
momentary flow of being.  The second allows leisure, taking the word 
of an Other about survival parameters, 'good enough at this time.'

As a teacher I facilitate confidence in the first -- trust in ones 
own sensory input -- at the same time as acknowledging that we are 
products of the second system (more and more) which has interfered 
with the first process of immediate feedback from body system -- 
embodied learning.

Technology is a vehicle for a social system to codify the 
(scientific) model such that it may be literally im-pressed on the 
sensory system of the individual (the collective hallucination). 
Thus to have embodied learning, the im-pressions of technology need 
to be removed (for at least a moment) to allow the individual to feel 
their socially un-encumbered body, and the flows of life that are 
impinging on it -- without the intervention of non-experiential 
socialized models.

IN this description, technology is very problematic in that is 
socially codefies a point-of-view (world-view) which is them applied 
to the individual who is participating in that social system.

You can choose to participate in that social system and take on the 
collective world-view, or you can chose to trust the momentary 
sensory input to your system.

It's a sliding scale, but I believe we are sliding ever towards the 
second instance.  This slide precipitates the long-term denial of 
embodied and creative life in the stead of socially mandated 
'solutions for living' like Songdo City.  Uff..

So, coming back to Situated Technologies -- they seem to be the 
result of an (continuous) evolution of the social system -- which is 
now intricate enough to apply/deliever these im-pression systems at 
an ever more individual/granular level to insure socially 'proper' 
worldviews... yikes!


More information about the iDC mailing list