One idea, to bring a little more focus into this post, I would like to muse over is that of the relationship between the real and the virtual within networks. Terranova elegantly opens up the idea of the virtual as coming into being, into possibility (even if unlikely possibility) simply because it is in contrast to the "real," the transmission of information that is meant, expected, predictable... not corrupted. As she puts it:
"Information expreses the determination of probability, btu it does not exclude beforehand the occurrence of the extremely unlikely. It is because communication, as a political technique, attempts to enclise an informational milieu around the informational couple of 'actual/probable' that it also opens up another space - that of the fluctuations that produce the unpredictable…(26)"This idea of the virtual, of a creation of infinite possibilities (that though ephemeral, all leave their mark on the system once they have been imagined), is one that catches my attention. This idea seems similar, to me, to that of the infinite possibility triggered by the paradigmatic possibilities within the semiotics of language, i.e. the many different words that could be replaced for any given word and be syntactically correct but alter the meaning of the system/sentence. As someone interested in pursuing writing, this is a concept that has floated around in my head (both due the hammerings of literary theory and my own general exploits). It also feels connected to me, again within language, to the idea of line breaks and breath in poetry. A break in a line emphasizes the particular words which surround it. When you come to the end of an enjambed line, infinite possibilities are formed, there is a multiplicity of meaning implicit in the poem, unsaid, but still possible, leaving traces through the reader's mind. All of that being said, I do not know how that related to Terranova's idea of the virtual, other than the fact that it has existed, in different forms, throughout history. What is the difference between the virtual space opened through digital networks and those created in the past by other systems such as language?