Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reading Response

The thing that strikes me about Terranova’s Network Culture is that she seems to diagram the phenomenon/trends/concepts that she is discussing in paradoxes. It begins in her discussion of communication, “the signal is always identified in relation to what threatens to corrupt and distort it”. In her discussion of meaning, meaning is made possible by information but is also threatened and made impossible by too much information. In information theory she discusses how by statistically mapping out the probable it invariably invokes the improbable. Later, her discussion of free labor, it is at once free and exploited, it sustains itself and also exhausts itself, capital attempts to manage it, but it at the same time needs to be open. That technology can be inspired by nature to enhance nature (tools as appendages to humans), that human intelligence is what moves things along but is also what we are trying to technologically replace through replicating.

I don’t really know where I was going with this; I just found it interesting that the idea of dichotomy and paradox, where the very thing allows it to exist is the same thing that derails it, seems to be the way to conceive of many structures and interactions in the “digital age” (I am not sure if this is the correct term). I mean, I just wonder what is productive about looking at things this way, what exactly does understanding that everything is at once big and small, different and the same, simultaneous and instantaneous do? I suppose I am asking "now what", as in how do I apply this and what do I apply this to? 

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