I find that although I enjoy looking at the technical, social, psychological, and political implications of internet communities, what keeps me coming back is a form of aesthetics.

The last and greatest art is to limit and isolate oneself.
What I worry about is our coming up with a concept, an analytic tool if you will, applying it to past occurrences, and being so damn pleased with the aesthetics and usefulness of the concept that we attribute to it a concrete antecedent existence among the facts we are looking at. Thus, ideas like rationality, denial, anxiety, group consciousness, self, soul, morality and virtue leap from being tools we use to analyze the past (as well as possibilities for the future), to being causal forces that live among us, unseen, but like ghosts and other spirits, instigating all sort of misfortune. I like a ghost story as well as anyone, but I don't want to get silly about it.
Shannah, the lurking social scientists and psychologists need something to study so I'm all for poetic and intuitive and feeling-full back and forth ended...clothed in the silks of intimacy, with love sneaking in and out.
Often I glean a sense of safety from the aesthetics--the symbols, vocabulary and syntax--that flows through the group and eventually establishes as standard.
I attempt to remain receptive to the aesthetic element in experience, because it permits me consumatory respite amid what is often goal directed behavior, and those respites are why I engage in the goal directed behavior in the first place. Goals are just means to other goals. If I don't have time to savor the value of the doing, then I am managing my time badly and become disoriented.
Kafka is definitely my thing. But the point is to recognize and avoid the absurd; not to wallow around in it
Bandwidth is the capacity of a communication channel to carry multiple bits of information at the same time. For example, on the net, a text chat requires way less bandwidth than full-motion video. The latter contains far more information per second. Some of the beauty and elegance of the communication arts is creativity of expression within a constrained bandwidth. I often prefer black-and-white charcoal drawings to full-color paintings. Poetry is another example: If you have something important to say, why limit yourself to iambic pentameter? Because the beauty is that you did. Novels depict nuances of human relationships, but it takes many pages and hours to read. A good movie does it repeatedly in 90 minutes, but that doesn't make it "better art".
the net is a *fictive* environment. and in that, we are continually creating ourselves and others. it is important to consider this... fictiveness. to allow ourselves to master the medium.
Apparently I don't appreciate the artistry of "creative" email as much as you do, preferring instead the non-fiction essay equivalent
i think carpetting is tragic. thinking carpetting tragic may also be tragic
Very practical, very utilitarian, very dull.
Poetry Roy?? I didn't think you had it in you - I'm impressed!:¬ )
But I have learnt that when form slavishly follows function, we certainly are left with a useful item, but at what cost? The human psyche seems to have an aesthetic device installed,
----Quote Dewey, The Quest for Certainty, 1929---

The word "taste" has perhaps got too completely associated with arbitrary liking to express the nature of judgments of value. But if the word be used in the sense of an appreciation at once cultivated and active, one may say that the formation of taste is the chief matter wherever values enter in, whether intellectual esthetic or moral.  Relatively immediate judgments, which we call tact or to which we give the name of intuition, do not precede reflective inquiry, but are the funded products of much thoughtful experience. Expertness of taste is at once the result and the reward of constant exercise of thinking. Instead of there being no disputing about tastes, they are the one thing worth disputing about, if by "dispute" is signified discussion involving reflective inquiry.

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