Monday, September 14, 2009

Competence, not cacophony

[On the one hand, I am not the sole creator of Larval Subjects. There are all the programmers, the people that maintain the internet, the telephone lines and satellites that allow for this form of communication, the people that comment, the design work that Mel did, and so on. On the other hand, Larval Subjects enjoys all sorts of adventures of which I am scarcely aware. There are all the differences it provokes in others, whether they be rage, admiration, perplexity, new projects, rejoinders, and so on. Only a small portion of that traffic ever responds. The blog gets linked to by other blogs without me knowing it. It gets, if my tracker is to be believed, forwarded in email. And so on. These are adventures of Larval Subjects, not Levi. Moreover, it is not at all an unusual event for me to be utterly baffled and surprised by something I wrote a while back. I am as much an interpreter of what I write as anyone else. And this because anything I write is an independent object. Such is the essence of what Lacan and Freud taught us about the essence of that strange object known as speech and writing.
Yet what is more interesting than the ontological status of my blog is the question of the ontological status of blog collectives. We can ask, at what point do objects shift from being networks of relations among objects, to objects in their own right? We talk, for example, of the “theory blogosphere”. Is that an object? A network? Both? There is a sort of entity here but it is closer to a cloud or a mist than a rock. How do we describe this difference ontologically? And what is the process by which something passes from being a collective to an object?
When are Objects
from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects]

[Speculative Realism Wiki via Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects on 9/7/09 Speculative Realism has truly been the first philosophical movement that’s unfolded on the internet...
SR has been, perhaps, the first philosophical movement to take new media seriously, given the claims that certain variants of SR make on behalf of objects, it is important not to treat one set of objects as being more real than others. One of the most attractive features of the SR movement is the manner in which it has been a “grass roots” movement that has circumvented traditional power structures presided over by the academy. That could, of course, mean that it is a movement dominated by a bunch of cranks– certainly few of us are at marquis institutions –but I prefer to think of it more as a contemporary, digital version of the French Salons or the Greek Agora.
11:31 AM]

[Thursday, July 23, 2009 Interview with Levi R. Bryant Many of you will also know Levi from his excellent blog Larval Subjects.
However, it could be said that the more recent shifts in my thought have very much been a product of my experience with blogging. Blogging is genuinely a new form of writing, thinking, and intellectual engagement when done properly. This point and blogging’s difference can be illustrated in terms of evolutionary theory.
One of the primary ways in which speciation takes place is through geographical isolation. Two populations of a single species come to be reproductively isolated for some reason or other and as time passes their phenotypes diverge and the respective populations become homogenous. It is really no different in traditional academia. You talk to people who share the same interests as you, you attend conferences devoted to your particular issue or thinker, you publish in journals devoted to your privileged thinker, and you read texts on your privileged thinker or problem. These are all forms of geographical isolation that lead to “academic speciations”.
This sort of isolation isn’t operative in the world of blogging. While you certainly encounter specialists in your particular area, you also encounter thinkers from entirely different disciplines, practices, and orientations and you have to find a way to engage with them that doesn’t assume the daunting scholarly apparatus of your particular thought-framework. You encounter all sorts of characters like satirists and trolls, but also housewives, people in business, activists, artists, politicians and all the rest... Posted by Paul Ennis. Labels:
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[Larval Subjects July 28, 2009 Design Ontology Posted by larvalsubjects
My philosophical thought has changed fundamentally since I began blogging, as can be observed from the nature of my style when I wrote primarily on online discussion lists and in the early years of this blog. Part of this has been the evolution of my thought. Another part of this has been the nature of the medium itself. Discussion lists, for example, are organized around “master-thinkers”, so they tend towards scholarly discussion of the intricacies of that thinker or questions about where something might be found in the thinkers body of work.
Writing articles for journals tends to be a largely solitary exercise that involves careful engagement with scholarship and composition. Blogging, by contrast, involves a cacophony of voices, each with their own interests and backgrounds, hyperlinked cross-blog discussions, multiple forms of media, and so on. The medium in all these cases plays a formative role in the formation of content.
1:31 PM 11:42 AM]

It is competence, and not cacophony, that the blogosphere hoists like everywhere else. [TNM]

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