[lit-ideas] Re: From today's fragmented paper

  • From: "Julie Krueger" <juliereneb@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2008 23:07:26 -0600

Re. virtual space.

There was a rather moving piece on 60 minutes tonight.

A relatively new technology which uses sensors directed at the brain, which
allows a person who is in "locked-in syndrome" (see The Butterfly And The
Bell) to say not only if their nose itches but what it's like being them, or
to write a novel.

I spent many years as an anti-tech person, content to reside in the trees
and grass.  But if technology allows someone to get outside of a body which
is truly a prison .....

of course it's a gnostic's dream come true

but that doesn't necessarily mitigate against any validity.

Does the individual who sends thoughts to the computerized system, which
reads it, which allows the thoughts to be typed on a screen, or (in the
monkeys' case) move a prosthesis arm to lift a bannana to its mouth, exist
(merely)  in  a state of virtual reality?

On Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 10:46 PM, Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Veronica: Maybe we are so fragmented because of the extremes in inequality
> by any measure: health care, education, income, etc.
> Certainly. Now ask yourself which political party is best served by
> increasing numbers of poor people? Who benefits? Republicans, the "party of
> the rich"? Who benefits from the resentment and envy of millions of people?
> Another cause is the purely technological drive to isolate people: keeping
> people in rooms with XBoxes and tapestry-sized TVs, keeping people from
> actually being in the streets by filling their ears with IPods and cell
> phones and their eyes filled with game boy screens and text messages. The
> replacement of real space by virtual, customized space ... a customized
> space like this List.
> Another cause is infrastructure. Outside decent cities, people can only go
> outside to shop in malls and have few non-purposive destinations. You cannot
> just go out and do nothing in suburbia ... the bored police become
> suspicious.
> Another cause is the cultivation of difference, of ethnic or tribal
> identity, due in part to laws that privilege groups over individuals.
> Probably many other causes for societal fragmentation. So far I'll stand by
> my opinion as to why socialism is a hot-topic: in a fragmented society, it
> represents yet another level of authoritarian control.
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Julie Krueger

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