Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Being my Random and Poorly Connected observations on new media, because if all the other kids jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge I SO would too.

Ms. Betty's Utility Room made a comment about oldschool diary type blogging and the concept -and the phrase- ran 'round my darlings faster than pasta d'oglio through a colostomy patient. "Hm," is what I thought. This is what I did: I took a gallop 'round the WWW to re-introduce myself to the tenor of the virtual times. Lo and behold, I discovered that NOW is so bloody immanent, among the technosceti, that it's 'then' before the author hits 'post'.

As soon as I hit 'post', it'll be so last week.

What will this mean to you and me?
Absolutely nothing.

The impact of new media on people socially, from what I've seen, is not very evident here in rural Whatcom County. It is primarily a leisure entertainment medium for folks here anyway. People may be more cognizant of things like yiffing and whatnot but they certainly don't discuss it over coffee at Dutch Mothers. They take it as seriously as they take anything else they encounter in media, which is 'not very'. Like the Jerry Springer show. It isn't very nice.

It's impact on business is real, though. Around here it's common to see grungy old farmers driving their tractors while yakking away into a cell phone, and those same sitting in the Dutch Treat cafe, eating their appel pannekoekken, wearing wooden damn shoes and tapping at their wireless laptops as they monitor their investments. Honest to God, I shit thee not. The internet means speed and speed is money in the agriculture business. One thing a dutch farmer is not is stupid. Thats why we still have so many successful family farms here as opposed to the rest of the United States. Ain't that a trip?

Speaking generally, where there is meat community involvement, there is less interaction with any type of media. Outsiders around here resort to the net (IF they have access; some idealist groups forbid it) for a sense of community unconstrained by personal history. Online you get to be a new you, but none of your status, accomplishments or creations follow you offline. Offline you still have zits and smell and everyone still remembers when you peed yourself in first grade. All you have is a very detailed fantasy life with a killer 'random' option. What can you do when the electricity is OFF is still a very real measure of success here. How many saleable game objects you have doesn't mean jack shit while you're watching the doors and windows freeze over and trying to keep the fireplace going...or keep your log truck on the road, or keep the cows milked when it's 20f.

It certainly brings the migrant kids and the poor kids into the library, though, and thats always good. The library is free. During the day you cannot get online. Each terminal has a bunch of kids huddled around it playing games or doing homeschool work. And the ones who have to wait their turn? Read. All these kids are red hot, self-taught technogeeks who are (and I'll make a leap and say they're growing up pre-radicalized by) coming along on the margins of society. They are going to be the ones running things in ten years. Fuck YEAH.

The internet was supposed to create a new human.
Yes, well. It was supposed to create a paperless society by the year 2001, too. I don't see any new humans (although I might not know one if I saw one. If you are a new human, do the 'comments' thing and let me know will you. We'll chat.)
Now posthuman? I really like the idea of 'posthuman', even though it sounds kind of...prosthetic. I know one person who claims to be posthuman. But no new humans yet. Meat constants continue to define the paradigm.

Crap; I used the word 'paradigm'. Someone stop me NOW.


  1. YAY I AM FIRST (sorry, Beast).

    "as soon as the baby sticks a fork in the cuisinart you're back in the land of meat."

    Or at least the baby is...

  2. FECK I AM SECOND....harumph.

    Dont you find tho FN that online successes start to boost you confidence offline , particularly if you find your voice.....if you see what i mean.Where else would I have had the chance to meet all you lovely lot

  3. I work from home for a company that's based in London, they've never met me and (if I have anything to do with it) they never will. F works from home for companies that are based worldwide - they send him a brief, he sends them a tune. For much of his time he’s also keeping abreast of programs and plugins that are coming out
    - for the simple reason that (as you said) "Now is so bloody now, among the technoscenti that its 'then' before the author hits 'post'.

    All of our working day is spent in front of a computer and a good 60-70% of our leisure time is as well - whereas once I would have got the paints out or scrawled into a notebook now it's easier and faster for me to get it all down on the computer (and without the mess.) F no longer needs to travel to practice or recording studios - tracks can be emailed to and from him. We communicate to our friends via email, our families via skype (F and his brother in law are jamming together as I write), our bills and bank balances are sorted out over the net. The majority of our shopping is done via online stores (apart from food shopping - we tried that once and it just doesn't work).

    I don't know about "posthuman" or "new human” because I don't know what the definition of these are (I hope we aren't though) but we probably (definitely) do spend more time in the virtual world than we do in the "real" one.

    I was going to suggest that, at the end of the day, we (F and I) aren't defined by computers or the internet - but that's bollocks. Of course we are. The very fact that the internet exists is what enables us to earn our keep. The reality of…well…reality is unchanged. Bills will always need to be paid, the cat (or child) fed, the shopping and the washing done.

    It's a strange dichotomy - that the thing that drags us further away from reality is the thing that enables our survival in it.

  4. I think we will have fog by teatime.

  5. I should point out that when I was referring to old school blogging it was said in a very silly and tongue in cheek way (about ninety five per cent of what I write is insincere, ill thought out bollocks). It was a response to a lot of pretty heavy posts I'd read about the "importance" of blogging. When bloggers start to talk about blogging at great length, it's a worrying sign that they're disappearing up their own lower intestine.

    Excellent post, as ever. I don't know what the "now" is in anything, least of all blogging, and I'm clodhopping behind in a clueless way as ever, as I suspect most of us are.

    Beast - don't know if being online has boosted my offline confidence. I'm still monosyllabic, socially phobic and borderline autistic when it comes to what is now referred to as meatspace.

    (there you go. "Meatspace". That's another sign of someone wanting to sound as if they're really "now" isn't it?)

  6. DaNator: in accepting my personal grossness i am already on the path to...something.
    beast: i find that i have an easier time coming up with words. as far as confidence, i dunno. gotta think about that one.
    hendrix: see, you just whipped that off. i spent all morning on this, and revised it once posted even, and you just whip off this erudite, wild ass comment. am so jealous. tell you what, your life sounds cool. it also sounds pretty damn real to me.
    frobi: thanks, ratso. now its foggy. no shit.
    betty: i know you did. we are on the same page, my darling. just about exactly the same page, in fact. still, have you given patroclus' paper a squint? she's posting it at her place in installments. very cool.

  7. Couldn't 'they' have come up with something better than "meatspace"? I don't like that. As if we live in small plastic compartments in the fridge.

  8. in the computing world we are referred to as warmware as apposed to hardware and software.....so it can be warmspace

  9. sorry FN,I'm just a regular old human.

    Great post and good to see you again. We have the same techno farmer phenomenom here. Weird.

  10. I am so not of this here cyber world, but I use it for my purposes. To blog and research for kids school projects. Read some news and take an odd iq test - that's about it.

  11. I guess you are right.
    Internet certainly doesnæt help with the living outside your doorstep, but it sure can help the person that is struggling within.
    Blogging for exampple...if you live on a farm a day-ride away from another town...you still donæt have to be lonely. You can meet online and play bridge with soem people you know.
    The outside world should affect us 8-10 hours a day...the working hours and than homelife takes up. Now if you are sweaty, ugly and spit while you talk, you still can chat with friends, and show the person that you are inside. No need for loneliness after hours...
    I am not saying it replaces actual people. but it sure is a step closer;)
    *wipes her laptopscreen free from all the spit*

  12. Great post FN.
    I think about this a lot too. Mainly because a lot of the time I like to be on my own in the real world, but I really like haveing friends in the cyber world. I think it just suits me better to keep people at that sort of distance.
    Also I am a lot bolder here than in the real world - I can speak my mind more and don't have to be polite all over the place, which is one of my worldly qualities/hang ups.
    New words learnt today - meatspace and yiffing (got to go google that one.

  13. Errrrm whats yiffing ?????

  14. ara: on the contrary i was delighted when it became the term of choice because thats always how i thought of the real world anyway. i am so dissaffected.
    beast: sounds....porny.
    kyah! kyah! kyah! kyah! you are back! yay! *rushes over to blog*
    g: thats about the extent of my use too, until i get a soundcard.
    minka: true. thats why i blog. i get to have my full unedited say. take care of the little flipper, yo.
    tom909: oh thank god you're here. i liked your blog and forgot your name and it's been bothering me ever since! now i'm gonna visit you. god help ya.

  15. so THIS is what a blog post looks like? interesting.

    this was a fabulous post, missy, and i find your train of thought fascinating, even as i salivate. what can i say, you're good with them thar food references.

    my older son spends way too much time on-line, and we used to worry about the people on the other end of the chat room. because you're so right: online you *do* get to be a new you, and so does the other guy (or girl).

    i will say that blogging has helped expand my thinking in this regard, but even now, i find myself wondering about some of the folks i've "met" on the net. being the forward-thinking person i think i am on any given day, i've managed to put a couple of faces and voices to the people behind the blogs i enjoy, in order to know that they are, in fact, REAL. it's been fantastic to find out they are.

    i think i gravitate towards folks who are as they seem (and that certainly includes YOU). i don't need a kajillion people reading my blog. hell, i don't *want* a kajillion folks nosing around my place. nor can i manage to read all of theirs. i have trouble reading the few i really *do* enjoy (which you probably know... gulp... since i don't get over here every day, much to my chagrin).

    what am i saying? nothing. i don't know what to say. but i find the idea of post-humans pretty interesting, and i hope you'll let me know if any of em drop by! xoxo