Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reading: Ritual

Update from my end on the research. Some notes from Erik Davis's "TechGnosis" that apply to the Ritual category:
  • The speed & mutability of current technoscience times evokes supernatural qualities.
  • Technology has "demystified" the world, but this mysticism is actually hiding in cultural, psychological, and mythological areas. It comes back as well, perhaps without our knowing (ex: how Christian myths have framed technological/economic growth)
  • ICT shapes the human self by encoding thought & experience. Partially reconstructing this self and world leads to new interpretation. These constructions of our reality consist of (1) form (medium, crafted/constructed) and (2) content (transmission of mind & meaning). This content can be further divided into two parts: soul and spirit. Soul is analog, continuous, and entrenched in social context. Spirit is characterized by clarity and discrete signals (digital).
  • People are now cut off from their analog souls by science & technology, and try to recreate it with these digital versions - technology is not a mere tool.
The "Great Divide" from Latour's "We Have Never Been Modern" is also mentioned: nature and culture were once interwoven and indistinguishable (ex: how an Inuit experiences his dreams and hunting the following day), but the Modern Wall has wedged itself in between. Now culture is struggling to develop independently of nature, through new technologies, even though these spiritual needs are re-manifesting themselves.

Also starting to read up on Debord's "Society of the Spectacle," and the Situationists, don't know exactly where this will lead.

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