calin dan on Sat, 14 Feb 1998 07:52:38 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> instrument 4 searching god

The space of the user. @ the peak of its military power, Sparta sent a
messenger 2 Delphi, with a question: "Can anything harm us?" The answer
was: "Luxury." The game of war and the war games have just limited
similarities. But an essential one is the narrow space they both offer 2
creativity in comparison with performance. This is the critical message
that interaction as an engine of mental development carries with it: the
user is kept in the luxurious environment of a pre-set, self generated
invention and given just the simulacra of the weapons needed 2 fight his
way out.

Art of limited invention. Since both war & interactivity are processes
based on killing distances between stimuli and response, and on data
annexation, the solutions @ hand present minimal differences from one
historical level 2 another, and from one technical step 2 the next. In a
striking similarity, both domains use the same intensity of infrastructure
research for the same limited package of behavior. The user is using & the
warrior is conquering.
Reducing all this 2 a dependency on the limits of technological innovation
would be oversimplifying an already rudimentary scheme. Technical
invention, like the technically supported domains of war & interactivity
are actually depending on two behavioral agents:

Instruments 4 searching God. Neotenia is a biological status characteristic
2 certain species where the infantile and adult form of the animal coexist
in the same individual 4 its whole life. The adult has the biological
responsibilities of reproduction and contribution 2 group survival, without
giving up the main characteristic of childhood - playing.
Dogs are deeply neotenic - and that is one reason 4 still keeping them as
pets beyond the historical age of their economic function.
Humans are neotenic also. And while dogs look up @ men as their ever
lasting parents, humans worked out this neotenic necessity by various
substitutes. Interactivity and war are simultaneously fought and played
under the impulse of neotenia and act as instruments of gratification but
also as byproducts in the restless search for a protective entity.
Interactivity is not a god, and war wasn't one either, no matter what is
proclaimed by advertisement & shallow theories on one side, and history of
religions on the other.
But they both belong 2 that fascinating & dangerous characteristic of
humans: first try and then find the reason.

Calin Dan

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