What takeaways do you have from the week one readings?
What struck me reading these early musings was their conceptual grounding in our physicality while also placing the virtual in the forefront. This is a bit antithetical, but it is certainly not uncommon to take the familiar from the old and apply it to the new, even if it doesn’t graph well (I think about ebooks, which are still very much bound to the format of codices). In this case though, we still haven’t outgrown the language and imagination of the Internet as a landscape, a place, a community, a space—vocabulary that conflates the simulacrum with what we know.
Without getting too wordy, I started thinking about this with the clear colonial concerns in “A Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace,” treating the budding web as a territory; “Pandora’s Vox” thought of cyberspace as literature and masse; the “Surveillant Assemblage” uses concepts of matter and body in the digital realm. In short, it’s impossible to divorce these writings from the physical world—something the virtual one expressly departs from.
Coming back around, it’s a larger question about succession—whether you can revolutionize the old way with new technology or if you’ll always live in the shadow. This is just a long-winded way make the case for a new lexicon that moves away from viewing the digital world as a place because when we are immersed in it, we forget we are actually still in the physical world, and this muddles our understanding of privacy in both.