The Eye of Sauron

(Poking head in door…)

I am still ‘here’ dammit! (I quote Sandra Bernhard.) And I hope I am not the only one stuck in the thick of a spring semester. That’s the only excuse I can offer for not having posted more frequently recently, sorry! Random (no doubt unoriginal) thoughts associated with the ensuing guilt of not blogging enough:

1) What is the temporality of blog publics? Warner (Michael) suggests that publics always have a particular rhythm associated with the temporality of the reflexive textual form that constitutes them (e.g., a newspaper). What is the rhythm of the blog and its public? Is it even a rhythm? I think there is something to the constancy of the form, it’s 24/7-ness mixed with its instancy, that to me suggests something other than rhythm or even temporality. (I add that I think many blogs have a 9 to 5 daily work week rhythm that goes against what I have just written.) Mixed with this thought is…

2) Is the virtual-blog public like the eye of Sauron? Frodo and co. were not always seen, but that flaming eye was still always looking. My Imac’s strobing screen starts to take on Sauron-like qualities: always hailing me… always waiting. Connected to this is…

3) The problem of productivity, growth, and concealment. Melanesians not infrequently associate concealment with growth. As with the child in the womb, or the sweet potato in the garden, or the young woman before her debut, one way to achieve growth is to contrive its concealment. I was thinking about this in relation to the persistent ‘visibility’ of text-at-the-speed-of-thought, or blogging (in some forms). Anthropological ‘reveals’ once had very slow temporal rhythm, slower in fact than most other disciplines. This was or is importantly related to the time intensive nature of research projects themselves (ethnographic fieldwork).

Of course, in actual practice, the temporality of anthropology and its publics is multiple and complex. Books are still published. Students venture off for years of fieldwork (on Wall Street or in Thailand). Etc. I was just sort of free associating about whether or not the constant availability of the blog public could in some ways have detrimental effects in terms of the growth of thought. Are we hurrying?

And speaking of reveals, I promise more soon. Welcome Rena!!

3 thoughts on “The Eye of Sauron

  1. STRONG:
    “Melanesians not infrequently associate concealment with growth. ”

    A person who is clever with words on the screen may be read as a warm person, but in person may be perceived as cold and hostile. If he is concealed in cyberspace, is there growth or degeneration? Fantasy metaphors seem to work quite well, for example “(Poking head in door…)” — gives a warm flavor to the post, but its charm depends on time shifting: I can read the post when it’s convenient for me. In real life, it could be that when someone pokes his head in the door, I could say “go away I’m busy”, but in this cyber context, by definition, I’m not busy when I choose to read. So it’s safely always appropriate. So it would seem perhaps that it’s a NON-rhythm, or maybe notes to be read, melodies to be imagined….Oooops, did I read through your post too quickly and misunderstand something? I was distracted– I was dancing while I was typing and throwing javelins out the window…caught a bird with a boomerang…

  2. “Oooops, did I read through your post too quickly and misunderstand something? I was distracted—I was dancing while I was typing and throwing javelins out the window…caught a bird with a boomerang…”

    Hey, me too! Do we constitute a public, then?

  3. Adam,
    I don’t think we, as the written manifestation shown here constitute a blog public. There is a cacophony of voices that is only sampled in this domain.
          The posts are transforms in the frequency domain. The rhythms and tones of the BLOGGERS at the actual time that they compose their posts are a rhythmic periodic time function(the mob dynamic). The disembodied posts are point spikes(delta functions) representable by a Fourier Transform of the functions in the time domain.
          The posts have no rhythm. The inverse transforms do. The posts are graphic plots in the frequency domain.

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