brian carroll on 14 Feb 2001 20:51:38 -0000

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<nettime> Re: the condition of net.time

# writing is an impossibility. writing universally. communicating
# has limits. sound, image, text. all have ways of seeing, ways
# of perceiving. there is no unbiased author, no unbiased text.
# language changes, time changes. meaning changes. ways of seeing
# and saying and doing, all change. thus the nettime signature file:

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact:

# a question arises, as a subscriber/participant in this networked
# space-time. it centers around nettime's definition as a list, and
# its mission/purpose, and the context(s) in which it arose...
# in this last footer, a few statments about nettime's identity are
# made, which are as follows:

 nettime1 = net criticism + collaborative text filtering + cultural
            politics of the nets

 nettime2 = moderated mailing list

# from a subscribers perspective, there seems to be a conflict within
# this constitution of the list:
# this is to say that the issue of moderation does not cleanly fit
# together with criticism + collaborative filtering + cultural politics

 nettime1 =/= nettime2

# first, this is a condition or a situation of mailing lists, not of
# nettime alone, in my experience. but it is also something that needs
# to be interrogated and investigated to see if there are any other
# alternatives for the goals. yet i am left wondering...

 does nettime1 = nettime_now?

# first, addressing the thorny issues surrounding nettime2 as a
# moderated mailing list. apparently this has been a constant issue
# and i imagine something of a daily issue for those moderating, if
# indeed there is a lot, some, or no moderation going on. it is a
# spectre that seems to haunt the idea of open-communications about
# politics, and criticism, in that, there being no real universal
# meaning/understanding/language, the decision can never be uniform.
# i.e., nettime means something different for every participant...

 IF there is no uniform language (universal understanding/meaning)

 THEN can there be a uniform, and thus, fair moderation mechanism?

# nettime exists, embedded in language. while ideas are exchanged,
# they are done so in and of language. yet, in my eyes, nettime
# would probably not delve into language_as_language as it might
# seem off-topic. and it might well be, in some contexts, but not
# in others. but moderators may not see it the same way. so what
# way are we all seeing the texts we input and get as output..?

 IF uniform language does not exist and moderation does exist

 THEN a basic understanding of what makes nettime a common forum
 for imperfect language could be established which constitutes a
 shared, although imperfect understanding of `what is nettime'.

 = nettime?

# to check the above statement, we need to parse the signature
# file through the code:

 does nettime1 = nettime?

 (net criticism + collaborative text filtering + cultural politics
 of the nets) = (common forum + imperfect language + understanding)?

# it is a muddled question, the variables for variable_nettime? would
# need to be determined, but in my personal experience, i do not see
# these two being equal, given the following parse...

 criticism + filtering + politics + culture =/= nettime?
# this is not because of an arrogant view that nettime must serve
# an individual's view of nettime. but that the keywords, as keywords,
# criticism, filtering, politics, culture, are all multidimensional
# and cross-culturally, dissimilar, if only because of language itself.

 question1 =    "is there more to understand in the language of nettime
                than in the texts of nettime?"

 IF question1 = True

 THEN nettime exists as language filter, processing meaning

 IF question1 = False

 THEN nettime exists as a textual filter, processing interpretation
 based on specific language (texts in English, Dutch, Spanish, etc.)

# this brings up another question that is central to the nettime.sig...

 question2 =    "can moderation of nettime1 ever be separated from
                its political dimensions?"

# one could say: IF question1 = False, THEN question1 = False, and
# conclude that, because of 'textual' and not 'lingual' understanding,
# that cultural politics are what skews nettime as a moderated forum,
# in that texts are being filtered for interpretations, and not meaning.
# this is not to say this is actually the case, but by leaving these
# variables undefined, it could be perceived, and at times it could
# be the case that meaning is overridden by pre-interpretation. but
# equally, could there not be texts with almost no meaning that also
# make it through moderation because of this very same paradoxical
# phenomenon, so that:

 any nettime1 moderation = censorship, fascist moderators, et cetera.

# if it is a truism that 'all politics is local', might it not also
# be possible that all nettime moderation is inherently political?
# thus, what are the chances that nettimers share the same politic
# and that nettime represents such a unified front- nil, anyone?

 IF nettime is a unified entity

 AND it is inherently political, from moderation to contributors

 THEN when nettime is referred to as a group, such as 'the
 nettime crowd', does this presuppose a shared political view?

 IF SO what is this shared political view?

# i myself believe there is no such view, and can be no such view
# in terms of texts, culture, the internet, and collaboration on
# these terms. not that politics is an end-use to aim for. this is
# not because of having a better system, but because of the belief
# in the fallibility of interpretation, logic, and language in the
# act of communicating and thinking ideas, and reality itself.
# what is our shared reality? what is 'our', or 'we', in terms
# of nettime? or is there no common 'we', some level of shared
# understanding and meaning... beyond the subjective/objective,
# beyond the dichotomy, lies paradox. the EITHER-OR goes N-OR,
# and BOTH-AND. things are much less clear, yet more realistic.

# Therefore, what are the assumptions of...

 nettime? = shared understanding, shared meaning?

# for example, the word 'intelligentsia' may for a certain majority
# evoke one image, for another group another, or even more complexly,
# many views, none of which is in any sense finalized, but it is
# left-to-be-decided/interpreted, while others already have their
# interpretations, thus, the universal meaning may be there in the
# language of the idea, but not in the interpretation of the text.
# this, not being an anomaly but ever-present and pervasive in the
# discourse, of language as text, sound, image: interpreted.

 nettime = source code (language) that is already compiled (interpreted)

# to talk/discuss (discourse) just about the compilations without
# addressing the basic foundations in language is to make a huge
# assumption that we pre-exist with some kind of shared meaning.
# quicker, it would be, to recognize there is no shared meaning
# and to go about finding a base knowledge from which to speak,
# share, act on common goals, but instead, discourse dis-courses...

# there is a thing i believe could be said to be 'the condition of
# nettime' in that, online, everyone is here, relating, and trying
# to find some commonality from which to work. for some it is much
# easier because of geography and the shared interests, such as
# `English football clubs and community initiatives to buy them out
# as a way of making action in the world' involved. the tangibilty
# of action is localized. nettime is globalized. a condition, in
# that net.time could be considered networked.time+space, given
# the physics of time and its entwined relationship with space.

 question3 = does define only online space-time,
             or does it include the networking of space and time,
             and if so, via what mediums. is nettime any less about
             the telephone or radio than about the networked computer?

# here's the overall statement running through my head, causing me
# constant crashes when trying to interpret nettime compilations...

 "the condition of nettime?" =  reverse-engineering, through the
                                interpreted text, a shared meaning
                                of language, and thus the universe.

# thus, shared ideas are embedded in texts, and their interpretations
# and not in ideas and their meaning. or so it is posited... case in
# point...

# one could attempt to find a universal understanding/meaning for
# JODI's work online. this could be done cross-culturally, through
# texts, using specific languages, but with similar interpretations.
# yet the difference in understanding will always, inherently be
# there, in the text, as it is a lossy medium. there is always
# another perspective, another view. what is common about JODIs
# work? i would contend that the universality of JODIs work is
# not likely to be found in any art history book, or in any attempt
# to understand the works without understanding their contexts.
# thus, the statement:

 { a universal understanding of JODIs work is more likely to come
 from understanding electrons, molecules, and a handful of dirt,
 than in any world history of art, because of the imperfection
 of interpreted language. how can one view JODIs work without
 understanding the lineage for the medium in which such works,
 and their logics, are based? While coding may in some sense
 be more uniform than other languages, in its usage as text,
 it still needs to be compiled, and interpreted by the end-
 user/perceiver. and belief plays a role. what if there is no
 overriding shared/common belief? does this make a universal
 textual analysis/discourse of the work infeasible? }

# a speculative statement based on the above:

 { meaning is pre-supposed but does not actually pre-exist }

 we make meaning. who is we?

 if nettime makes meaning, who is nettime?

 is there any shared meaning on nettime?

 if so, is nettime's shared meaning closer to dirt or to

 do nettimers' universally share their interpretations of language
 more with the intersubjective facts (truths) of electrons or JODIs

# these are not meant to be derogatory statements to,
# whatever that is understood as being. as interpretation is
# unclear, universally, the statement could mean multiple
# things, such is the nature of the distributed mailing list.

# thus, when words like ideology and institutions and keywords
# being defined by others in different ways than another's meaning,
# all are examples of the fissure between the interpretation of
# language and its meaning. to focus on interpretation, while also
# assuming shared meaning, is the Achilles heel of nettime. but even
# this statement is particular. if there is no shared identity, how
# can there be a shared meaning? if there is no shared meaning, how
# can there be any shared interpretation of the text, that is not
# itself always embattled with mis-reading as an altruistic goal
# in the Production of Discourse as Discourse, an end-in-itself?

# it might be interesting to conduct a nettime census, but then
# again, it might not. could be done using a free cgi-poll, and
# the questions could be made up in advance. but then again, it
# would define nettime as a group, as would the questions, which
# could also be negative, in terms of market research and its use
# in playing to the crowd. it is just this overwhelming sense of
# assumption, not nettime-specific, but nettime-aware that people
# on nettime are more likely than others to take up and find a
# way onward, to do the things that many have gotten online in
# the first place for, to organize, to make a difference by
# working together with others on shared ideas and goals...

 nettime? = what are these shared goals and ideas?

# in my opinion:

 nettime? =/= cultural politics, text filtering, net criticism

# as these are all based on the interpretation of texts, and not
# their meaning as language, and with the identities of the people
# whom are ciphering and deciphering this meaning. = nettime?

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: