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Old 12-13-2009   #1
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The Internet as Reality

The internet - the world wide web - is not only an electronic web, but,
psychologically, spirituallly, terrestrially, globally, cosmically, giving
connections by some oblique conduit to everything physical as well as mental???

Not so much Lovecraftian as Truth-from-Fiction.

As a rider, 'Only Connect' is from HOWARD'S END by E.M. Forster who also wrote,
*exactly* 100 years ago, the brilliant SF story about the internet entitled THE
MACHINE STOPS

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Old 12-13-2009   #2
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Re: The Internet as Reality

The Internet is a latrine. This site and one or two others excepted, of course.

We can thank the Internet (together with the corporatisation of the media industries) for the swift and violent death of bookselling, literary publishing and literacy in general. For me as a lifelong, passionate enthusiast of literature and an aspiring writer, the Internet is one of the worst things that has ever happened. It has quite literally destroyed the things I live for.

Sorry, Des. If I could make the Internet go away through ritual magic, there would be many fewer goats in the UK.
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Old 12-13-2009   #3
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Re: The Internet as Reality

The thrust of my reference to THE MACHINE STOPS is to encompass your view, Joel. My view, too, somewhat.

However, on the other side of the coin, disregarding, for a moment, my more mystical brainstorming thoughts on the matter, the Internet *arguably* seems more of a socialist commune, denying collectables and ownership???
Spreading literature in serendipitous waves and wheels...

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Old 12-13-2009   #4
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Re: The Internet as Reality

Des, for me the Internet represents 'libertarian' deregulated capitalism a competitive, profit-driven pseudo-anarchy in its purest form. It's 'crack' capitalism (to use the metaphor of crack cocaine), instantly addictive and violently destructive.
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Old 12-13-2009   #5
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Re: The Internet as Reality

I should have added 'potentially' after 'arguably'. Of course, you're right in the perception of the Internet's current Reality.
I,too, by human nature, yearn to see my work in collectable print rather than electronic pixels.

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Old 12-13-2009   #6
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Re: The Internet as Reality

If you get the chance, read Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Message. There is also a great CBC Documentary on his life. I believe it's called The Life and Times of Marshall McLuhan.

Anyway, McLuhan's ideas related to the nature and effects of literature, film, pop-culture and so on were so far ahead of their time that it's almost frightening. McLuhan addressed the concept of connectivity, the "global village" and its effect on culture and human consciousness. He "predicted" the internet and speculated about what it's effects might by long before its conception. Just look into McLuhan and you'll see for yourself. He was a unique, brilliant and extraordinarily insightful man. The Medium is the Message is a seminal work in media studies, to say the least.

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying. ~Charles C. Finn
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Old 12-13-2009   #7
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Re: The Internet as Reality

I hate to cite Wikipedia, but in this instance, it was convenient and effective;

In
Semiotics Semiotics
and
Postmodern_philosophy Postmodern_philosophy
, the term hyperreality characterizes the inability of
Consciousness Consciousness
to distinguish
Reality Reality
from
Fantasy Fantasy
, especially in technologically advanced postmodern cultures. Hyperreality is a means to characterise the way
Consciousness Consciousness
defines what is actually "real" in a world where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter the original event or experience being depicted. Some famous theorists of hyperreality include
Jean_Baudrillard Jean_Baudrillard
,
Albert_Borgmann Albert_Borgmann
,
Daniel_Boorstin Daniel_Boorstin
, and
Umberto_Eco Umberto_Eco
.
Most aspects of hyperreality can be thought of as "reality by proxy." For example, a viewer watching
Pornography Pornography
begins to live in the non-existent world of the pornography, and even though pornography is not an accurate depiction of
Human_sexuality Human_sexuality
, for the viewer, the reality of "sex" becomes something non-existent. Some examples are simpler: the McDonald's "M" arches create a world with the promise of endless amounts of identical food, when in "reality" the "M" represents nothing, and the food produced is neither identical nor infinite.[1]
Baudrillard in particular suggests that the world we live in has been replaced by a copy world, where we seek simulated stimuli and nothing more. Baudrillard borrows, from
Jorge_Luis_Borges Jorge_Luis_Borges
(who already borrowed from
Lewis_Carroll Lewis_Carroll
), the example of a society whose cartographers create a map so detailed that it covers the very things it was designed to represent. When the empire declines, the map fades into the landscape and there is neither the representation nor the real remaining just the hyperreal. Baudrillard's idea of hyperreality was heavily influenced by phenomenology,
Semiotics Semiotics
, and
Marshall_McLuhan Marshall_McLuhan
.


Wikipedia-

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying. ~Charles C. Finn
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Old 12-13-2009   #8
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Re: The Internet as Reality

Oh -- who cares about the smelly old Internet?

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Old 12-13-2009   #9
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Re: The Internet as Reality

Quote Originally Posted by Odalisque View Post
Oh -- who cares about the smelly old Internet?
Before anyone picks me up on it, I don't mean literally smelly. Of course, if we drop too many bits of sandwich between the keys with which we input, our experience of the Internet might become literally smelly.

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Old 12-13-2009   #10
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Re: The Internet as Reality

It has an interesting context within phenomenology, as Ascrobius' comments attest.

Smelly - that's one thing it doestn't seem to do. But my laptop needs cleaning.

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