Thursday, June 5, 2008

While listening to Ihab Hassan

Against the hypothesis of inner life, which is the epiphenomenon of signal processing: my inner life is no more relevant to my life as a medium than is the inner life of a TV set. We are more complex than TV sets only to the extent that what we process becomes part of our circuitry. This is also why we delay processing inputs, with outputs sometimes only emerging after decades of processing. In an increasingly ephemeral mediascape, however, where reflection (processing) is instantaneous and affective rather than pondered and intellectual, we are less translators who mutate our inputs, and more like the telegraphic signal repeaters with which young Tom Edison started his inventor's career: booster stations who merely amplify signals, as when we forward an e-mail we have scarcely glanced at. Under such conditions we are more transmitters than translators. The difference between these positions concerns the greater or lesser possibility for misunderstanding, the misunderstanding on which evolution is based, the misunderstanding in which a phrase, an image, an idea mutate into something other than what they were when they arrived.

4 comments:

lao lao said...

Yes, I can agree with you on this one Seany and provide more details of the inner lurkings..
It is amazing what one can amplify through electronic misunderstanding.
For example, imagine not actually having produced a testable doctoral thesis and then catapulting oneself towards head of research at a research university whilst citing a one line poem from one's own website as a publication.
Possibly a sterling effort but this type of behaviour gets the bronze medal.
Thru the interweb it is possible to become a professor at a universitas 21 campus at the age of 31 without even doing honours, faking a PhD or publishing stream of consciousness drivel.
About 5kms from this campus the first printed books were pressed. If you are now thinking Gutenberg, you are way off the map.
Voila!

Sean Cubitt said...

well if it isn't the importunate Dr Rat! Welcome back! How delightful to be unmasked by an anonymous chewer of candle-ends. If only I were 31. And how is Beijing?

lao lao - Mr Marsupial Mouse said...

What they dont tell you in the job description:

There was a humanities lecturer at unimelb in 1970s who was apparently tying up and raping female students in his office, he ended up in jail.
His estranged daughters used to type my essays, they still work in the same extended department. They never said anything about this at the time, I found out about it through the old grapevine. I reckon Greer era students may have framed him, so take care when and if you reject them or let them down gently.

Yet, in Confucian Korea heterosexual rape was impossible and the printing press was invented. At that time, women could not legally resist the advances of any type of man. This had some impact on architecture for married couples who wished to contain their relationship.

Probably the dodgiest department in Australia is anthropology at Sydney. Historically and through somewhat covert politics, they make Melbourne seem communist and radical rather than conservative as you might perceive it.

Cerry On

betão said...

Sean, you are the medium, life is the message...