Kevin Murray on Wed, 9 Sep 1998 10:05:36 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Stuff, stuff & stuff

Thinking of net criticism that goes with the flow...

Theory stuff follows...

1. Zip disks

Until zip disks arrived, the main form of data conveyancing between
machines were 1.4mb floppy disks. These were too small for data storage,
and useful mainly as a way of working on documents between machines.
Designers sometimes used tapes, but they were mainly limited to

When 100mb zip disks were introduced, they were promoted as a portable
storage medium, particularly for holding Internet downloads. The Iomega
catch-phrase was 'For your stuff'. With this medium, the content of the
Internet changed from hot data flows to cool data shelves. Images,
programs and audio could be gathered for use offline. Information became

2. Pepsi

'Pepsi Stuff '97' ( was the
drink manufacturer's GeneratioNext campaign, promoted by sports stars. In
the mode of frequent flier points, purchase of Pepsi comes with credit
that can be redeemed for 'Pepsi Stuff', which includes sports clothing.
Posters feature famous faces with the slogan 'Get Stuff'. 

'Get Stuff' is an icy reduction of the consumerist worldview. First, it
has that violent edge demanded of the unbridled consumer id, telling the
world to 'get stuffed'. Second, it enframes the world as substance for
ingestion. Stuff always waits, ready to be grabbed, ripped open, and
thrown down some orifice. Slam dunk. Stuff never speaks. You get it, or
you don't. 

3. Religion

One of the lists circulating around the Internet currently is the 'Stuff
of religion'. Here the worlds faiths are reduced to the attitude towards
stuff. So Taoism translates as 'Stuff happens'. Catholicism claims 'If
stuff happens, I deserve it'. And atheism goes 'There is no stuff'. No
doubt Heidegger would add, 'Stuff stuffs'. 

Like a B-grade horror movie, 'Revenge of Stuff', terrorises idylls of
poetic being, coagulating thought into huge sticky masses of crispy fried
fizzy fluffy humungous awesome cool crunchy STUFF! 

The problem with stuff is that it's all the same stuff, not different
stuff, so the stuff in your head doesn't do interesting stuff anymore. And
the stuff people do to say stuff to each other doesn't have any of the
meaning stuff that gives stuff its stuff in the first place. 

So, as the taxidermist says, 'Stuff it'. 

Signature stuff, including... Name stuff URL stuff & Weather stuff

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