bc on Mon, 4 Mar 2002 21:54:35 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The War Between the Two Technologies

>[Frederick Wilhelmsen and Jane Best, "The War in Man: Media and Machines,"
>1970, University of Georgia Press]

one odd thing in the juxtaposition of the mechanical and the
electronic/electrical is that they are not, as far as i know, mutually
exlusive. but then again, a text written in 1970 would have a far
different view of the present than we have in 2002, thirty-two years

one thing that Lewis Mumford wrote about in this regard, which someday a
load of notes on his works may find their way online, is that the
bureaucratic 'megamachine' was a mechanical machine, yet run by an
electronic brain of sorts, under its own grand narrative and imperative,
the amber god.

a simple question, for today, in regard to this text is what are we to
make of the 'electromechanical' in technology, in science, and our
culture. the mechanical going away, or being overtaken seems unlikely as
mechanics or matter going away, in a constant state, literally sensed by
the body. still, a guess.

but what intrigues is this: what is mechanical that is not electrical,
that is not dealt with electrically/electronically/electromagnetically
somewhere in its process of existence. in its sheer materiality it is
charged, in the vo-id. yet, also in its production, in its evolution, in
its design, in its understanding, in our perceptions of it, what- ever
'it' is. person, place, thing. and beyond.

there seems to be an empirical boundary, based on the division of action,
of the body, which separates mechanics from electrics, which is false in
many ways of direct experience with such things. yet, still, the
mechanical is seen (by the mental constructs of the past which live on in
the present mind) to be separated, such that the electro-mechanical
constitituion of the inanimate object (computer) is seen/believe/perceived
as somehow of a different order or nature of things than the human as an
electromechanical being. both are being in the same sense as a 'nervous
system', in different ways, but much more similar in foundations than
different. yet the difference is what is perceived. 'as if' instead of 'it
is' the same, the electromagnetic order.

much mystery, but to separate the mechanical and electrical today would be
counterproductive, or so it seems. but it is also the default. it is, in
the sublime, to be explored. in the literal, not just an equation.


<the electromagnetic internetwork>
  matter, energy, and in-formation

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