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On the Political Origins of Digital Dualism: From Rousseau's Masturbating Habits to The Front Page of the New York Times - David Banks
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On the Political Origins of Digital Dualism: From Rousseau's Masturbating Habits to The Front Page of the New York Times - David Banks

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  • 1. On the Political Origins of Digital Dualism From Rousseau’s Masturbating Habits to the Front Page of the New York TimesDavid A. Banks @da_banks
  • 2. Facebook of Promethian Fire:Recognizing Logocentrism and Avoiding Digital Dualsim
  • 3. Plato, writing as Socrates: “In fact, it [writing] will introduce forgetfulness into the soul of those who learn it: they will not practice using their memory because they will put their trust in writing, which is external and depends on signs that belong to others…”Quoted from page 79 in, Plato. Phaedrus. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1995.
  • 4. Fap
  • 5. Rousseau on the Enlightenment:Academy of Dijon Essay Contest:“Has the restoration of the sciences andarts tended to purify morals?”
  • 6. Rousseau on the Enlightenment:A “In our day, now that more subtle studyand a more refined taste have reduced theart of pleasing to a system, there prevails inmodern manners a servile and deceptiveconformity; so that one would think everymind had been cast in the same mould.Politeness requires this thing; decorum that;ceremony has its forms, and fashion its laws,and these we must always follow, never thepromptings of our own nature.”
  • 7. 1 Rule of the Enlightenment st• We have to be predictable, uniform, and courteous despite our true feelings.• We are busy impressing ourselves with filler: we’re just replacing natural needs with artificial ones.• We’re not being real with each other.
  • 8. Colonial Context
  • 9. Post-Colonial Context
  • 10. “Digital Dualism”• The digital and the physical are two seperate “worlds.”• The Internet is an instrument. (And there is a right and a wrong way you use an instrument)• The spacial metaphors of the internet are taken literally. When you are doing something online you are not doing anything offline.
  • 11. logocentrism Privileging of speech over the written word
  • 12. Hyperlogocentrism Metaphysics of digital dualism. i.e.digital dualism occurs when someone commits hyperlogocentrism Privileging of speech Privileging over the writtenoffline speech wordor the written word, over online communication
  • 13. Why We Write, Why We Tweet.• “To write is indeed the only way of keeping or recapturing speech since speech denies itself as it gives itself.” (p.142)• Text stands outside of the presence and intentions of its author. Text lets our ideas be there when and where we are not.• Hypertext (social media) lets our ideas be where and when we are not, instantly given certain economic, social, and technical constraints.
  • 14. Rousseau using Chrome in ‘Incognito’ Mode• Masturbation is bad because it is not productive.• Entertainment and social media (and porn!) are bad because they are not productive.• This is a privileged normative critique of what people use social media to accomplish.
  • 15. How do we Prevent Ourselvesfrom Committing Digital Dualism? • We can learn by first doing a “double reading” of popular technology critiques. • The “logic of the supplement” should send up red flags. • Identify post hoc list of work that does not approach their topic from a hyperlogocentric perspective / does not commit digital dualism. • Works for Science fiction too!
  • 16. The Good Stuff
  • 17. boyd• “Those who adopted MySpace were from different backgrounds and had different norms and values than those who adopted Facebook.” (p.204)• Note the metaphor “adopted”
  • 18. Burrell• “This book offers a contribution to the way the user is conceptualized in STS by considering this special class of invisible users....In particular, this entails loosening up on the tendency to account for users in ways that are too narrowly circumscribed around their direct engagement at the human- machine interface.” (p.17)
  • 19. Chun• “...can Asian/Asian American as robots, as data, be a critical mimesis of mimesis itself-- a way for all to embrace their inner robot?” (p.52)• Race as technology
  • 20. Butler’s Dawn- “And yet I pleased you. I pleased you very much.”- “Illusion!”- “Interpretation. Electrochemical stimulation of certain nerves, certain parts of your brain… What happened was real. Your body knows how real it was. Your interpretations were illusion. The sensations were entirely real.You can have them again—or you can have others.” (Butler, 1997, pp. 188–189)
  • 21. Thanks!