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<nettime> The Spoons Collective (fwd)
Alan Sondheim on Sun, 28 Nov 2004 12:17:53 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Spoons Collective (fwd)


Cybermind and fiction-of-philosophy, now wryting, began in association 
with Spoons, and on the Spoons servers. Malgosia Askanas has been the 
major force, I believe, in Spoons - which has brilliantly housed a number 
of philosophy lists for years.

The fading of the collective is, I think, incredibly sad, and for me, (I 
don't speak for anyone else) reflects not only the growth of the somewhat 
protective domains of the blogs, but also the increasing turn to the right 
wing in the United States, accompanied by an erosion of discourse. This 
erosion isn't only found in enclave-building, acerbic commentary, the 
usual disunity, but also in a very real exhaustion: how we can talk, and 
talk, and talk...

Alan (below forwarded with permission)

Subject: [HAB:] The habermas list - PLEASE READ
To: habermas {AT} lists.village.virginia.edu
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2004 12:43:39 -0500 (EST)
From: "malgosia askanas" <ma {AT} panix.com>

Dear All,

This is to let you know that in about two weeks I intend to close down the 
habermas list.  This decision is part of a wider set of decisions having 
to do with the present circumstances of the Spoon Collective - which, as 
you probably know, has been running this list.

The Spoon Collective, of which I am the sole surviving founder, has been 
operating continually for over 10 years.  Of the 8 people who currently 
constitute it, 3 have been in it basically from the very beginning, and 
almost all the others for almost as long.

When the Spoon Collective was originally created, a crucial aspect of its 
life was our own passionate involvement in the lists we created or took 
over.  As vehicles for bringing into mutual contact and confrontation 
thinking people from all over the computerized world - people from 
astoundingly different walks of life and with astoundingly different ways 
of thinking, but with a shared passion for more accurate perception and 
deeper understanding - these lists seemed to us to present a stupendous 
potential for evolving new modes of thought and new modes of life.  And it 
is essential to note that when we were motivated by a thirst for new modes 
of thought and life, it was for _ourselves_ that we wanted them.  Our 
project was not about providing a public or academic or political service, 
discharging a societal duty, or providing platforms for this or that 
political organization or orientation - rather, it was about changing life 
- the life we think and live - right at the present moment.

Over the years, however, our relationship with our lists gradually 
changed, and we now find our collective endeavor basically reduced to an 
indifferent performance of a not-excessively-bothersome piece of labor. 
The reasons for this are undoubtedly complex - the first and simplest one, 
perhaps, being that the same group of people has been doing the same thing 
for 10 years.  If our goal had been less the stability of existing lists 
and more the preservation of our own passion, we probably could have done 
better.  In any case, we find ourselves a bunch of burnt out and apathetic 

I personally find thie prolongation of this situation no longer tolerable 
or sensical.  As a result, I have (1) announced that I am quitting the 
Spoon Collective; (2) decided to close down a number of lists that I have 
been responsible for; and (3) declared the end of the Spoon Collective as 
a certain historic formation, and stipulated that the name no longer be 
used for whatever the present members may undertake in the future.

I, of course, cannot judge the value of any particular list from any 
perspective but my own - and neither would I want to.  Only each of you 
can decide whether you value this list enough to step in and recreate it 
somewhere else.  If any of you wants to do this, I can make available to 
you a copy of the subscription list, a tarred and gzipped copy of the 
archive, and software support for a smooth transition.  The present list 
will stop operating around December 10th.

A number of the other members of Spoon have expressed an interest in 
either continuing their present lists or initiating other collective 
projects at Virginia.  We very much hope that no matter what develops, the 
Spoon archives, which, in large part, constitute an eminently useful and 
fascinating resource, can continue to be housed in their present location. 
In addition, a copy of the archives is being installed at the domain 
driftline.org, where they will soon be accessible over the Web.  If 
anybody would like to house additional copies of the full or individual 
archives elsewhere, this would of course increase the goodness.


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