atolnon: (Default)
( Feb. 10th, 2016 07:51 pm)
Shit's been hella hectic on the grad studenting front - I think that undergrad students would be amazed at how much time graduate students, including - no, especially - their instructors, spend laying on the floor. I won't say it's all the time, but it's certainly not unknown. It's been an intense two weeks for what sounds like everyone in the department for various reasons - I've pushed some assignments back a little. I've never had a student say, "No, wait, make earlier turn in dates mandatory." Even if they did, their fellow students would probably enact something from Lord of the Flies. Can I assert that grad level classes would be any different? No, I cannot. Nothing makes students happier than extended due dates, except for maybe a free lunch.

Certain elements of my thesis are solidifying a little more - I'm looking for certain things in particular. The use of digital space, or information space, the use of physical space, and the idea of information space being not, perhaps, rhizomatically constructed in relation to points in itself to itself, but being so when overlaid over physical space. Then, maybe, the idea that physical space and digital space are no longer really and truly seperate. If we are, as some theorists say, actually cyborgs (and have been for some time, being as mechanized, digitized, integrated as we are) than can we not say that the digital is real enough? A kind of information prenumbra? Maybe. I know some people will argue, no - but that's less interesting than saying 'yes', and not really more right as much as it's a different kind of right.

These ideas intersect with Gibson really well. I was initially going to spotlight the Blue Ant trilogy in conjunction with the original Sprawl trilogy, but it's increasingly difficult to ignore the in-between reaction trilogy of The Bridge - especially due to the writings of Tama Leaver. There's also something of the proto-Libertarian in the ethos of a lot of cyberpunk, as there is in the post-colonial threads of some writers I've seen which is, I feel, almost kind of reactionary. It's tempered in Gibson's work, but one can really see elements of it in the anti-Marxist discourse of post-colonial theory. Not that I really suspect it'd go in that direction entirely (you can also see elements of this in, say, the movement for Black owned businesses as championed by Huey Newton, and he makes the case that this kind of setup works to dismantle capitalism. I'm tired, but I can see where he's going with this.)

Anyway, I'm investigating this for a moment - I'm also interested in who's left out of the street level stories of cyberpunk post 9/11, post-cold war. When we talk about cultural colonialism, what's at stake?


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