Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Gift Of The Internet

As you might have heard me saying before, I love the Internet. Lately I've been making use of it to take a look at the lives of my nephews and nieces. I've read what's posted on some of their social media sites, and I've made the comment that public life and private life are becoming indistinguishable. On a whim I looked again at one nephew's facebook page, and followed up on his profile noting him as an appreciator of Godard's "Pierrot le Fou" by going to Wikipedia. Wikipedia's article mentions a book by Jameson, "Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism", which is on the subject of how private life has been absorbed by public life. I typed Jameson's book title into google, and was referred to a book in progress by Columbia University architecture professor Varnelis called "Net Culture" which develops the idea in relation to the Internet.

So the circle is closed. My idea has been returned to me fully developed in a matter of one minute! It's amazing. Fluent linkages like this happen on the Internet all the time. They used to happen when I browsed through shelves in libraries, but never in this miraculous, seemingly unerring way. It occurs to me this facility of the Internet answers the two books' and my own warning of the coming end of individuality, indicates a counter history the Internet just might, if we are lucky, be inaugurating.

My nephew, the lover of Godard's film, is watching me, reading what I write here (thanks, google analytics for telling me this) just as I am watching him. We are locked in this miserable fragmented relation where we connect to each other only tangentially. Yet look where it takes me: I have now a beautiful new theory to examine. That's a gift I owe to my nephew.