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<nettime> Re: nettimespace entangled - part 321
brian carroll on Thu, 6 Jul 2006 13:59:31 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Re: nettimespace entangled - part 321


hi John, thanks for sharing your perspective. it is not uncommon  
(criticism) and appreciated as such.

your post (and its seconding) could have been responded to in a  
nanosecond though a pause was
necessary for me to remember that sharing ideas should be fun and not  
simply a laborious task and dealt with in terms of tedium, and overly  
seriously, etc. in any case it was good to reflect on these issues  
once again.

I will offer another view of this same situation you critique, not to  
negate the validity of your viewpoint (too long, nonsensical) and  
instead to engage your criticism in the context of sharing complex  
ideas which are viewed from various perspectives. in particular, your  
observations as they are related to your role as an observer, and how  
this may play a part in what you are observing and attribute to me.


> 1) While your writings make frequently interesting points, they are  
> too verbose.  Extended length is acceptable if the author writes on  
> exceedingly complex topics or for audiences with backgrounds  
> outside of the subject matter under discussion.

what I write is often equivalent to 'heresy' on many levels, and to  
back up these ideas, oftentimes novel arguments have to be built-up  
which can take a lot of words to do. for instance, previously I have  
written (for years) about the materiality of the supposedly  
'immaterial' Internet as it is grounded in infrastructure, which is  
totally against the trend. and requires a lot of work to address  
ongoing views which are the default consensus. as it happens, sharing  
ideas in an ideological saturated environment requires both  
addressing the ideology and its dynamics and placing these in  
relation to the new ideas and comparing their models, etc. it is not  
so simple as just sharing one's model, it also involves active  
engagement of known beliefs which must also be addressed, which makes  
up the basis for anyone to challenge statements made, contrary to the  
overriding view. the burden of proof is on the writer to make a case,  
and if that case is not being made, it should be pointed out where in  
the text that there is a break in the logic or reasoning that refutes  
the argument. (note: this is not what is happening with my work in  
the critique, which is not about the ideas and instead about their  
formal presentation.)

  if everyone agreed to the same view, or there was a high-level of  
shared understanding about ideas, then i could write the same thing  
in 1 paragraph, yet that would be easy to refute. so, these writings  
function more as logical arguments and in that, equations which  
enable the thoughts to exist in an environment of peer-review which  
any ideas could be discredited by peer review- as to the ideas  
themselves- which is not happening. it is not necessarily because  
people are not reading the works, it is because there are solid  
arguments (most times) which can stand up to substantive criticism,  
and all it would take is someone to perform that role to make this  
more publicly self-evident than it now is. i.e. it would take others  
to place their ideas on the line, to risk their own modeling and  
challenge views so to gain a better (shared) understanding. that this  
is not happening cannot necessarily be pegged to the length of text,  
nor that it is non-sensical because if it were non-sensical or hazy  
then someone should be able to point out where, how, and why it is  
so, and thus disprove or refute the argument. note: without any  
examples as to such claims, it is impossible to review that the text  
'does not make any sense' etc. if you provide examples, that is where  
the fun begins, and would open up the ideas to many views and that is  
the entire point of sharing these ideas, at least for me. so to  
improve the ideas themselves.

now if the ideas can be said in a better format, with improvements-  
that I totally can accept and agree with, yet this is not the point  
of the text itself, the ideas. the ideas themselves are what is  
important and while they may be imperfect, they can be improved by  
others and are free to do so. if you or anyone can boil the text down  
to one page and retain the same meaning, while attributing ideas to  
their sources, then that is fine. though I would argue that because  
of the nature of these ideas, in this context, that, with the writer  
that exists (me) this is the best they can do in presenting these  
ideas and that role of the writer is both of creative limits and  
liberty to do one's best in sharing ideas as best they can. I do not  
need to be policed on my writing style, for while it may be valid as  
a critique about the form, it does nothing to refute the ideas  
themselves and stands only as a complaint about the form. it may be  
hard to read so much text- though it is not unfamiliar if reading  
philosophy, and it is almost funny if considering sharing grounded  
ideas that hold to a common shared viewpoint to be seen as so  
difficult to engage as public language, when much of today's works  
exist in privatized languages of 'discourse' which basically means  
accepting a private lexicon in which to consider public ideas, and  
to  adopt this to think, as rules of engagement. and that this is  
doing willingly, while a text that does not require this sacrifice,  
uses rather typical language, is seen as so difficult. maybe it has  
something to do with the complexity of thinking that is not hidden  
behind language, even, or uses language as a mask for supposedly  
inherent meaning that is free-floating. i don't know. i do know  
similar things function in repeating words that are necessary, if  
trying to make something as clear as possible, yet it may be  
inelegant in doing so, yet pragmatic and necessary if not only  
sharing ideas, and instead one very big idea that is made over  
decades of posts, say.

the critique about words is particularly interesting, or 'complex  
topics' because something like 'empiricism' basically is not  
understood by the average person, it seems. because if it was the  
existing difficulties would be able to be resolved in rather short  
order. nor with logic. nor perspective, relativism, cybernetics, etc.  
all of these things have to be explained to some degree in order to  
get to other ideas reliant upon them. and if an individual writing  
this novel perspective, it is different than hundreds of people who  
repeat the same argument and that is how the ideas are distributed  
and made into a normal or default view, such as with 'Empire' versus  
that of a more complex Empiricism. this, in debate, splits between  
'faith and belief' and anti-reason, essentially, and fact and truth  
and logic and reason, in the latter case. if this were already  
understood or accepted or the checks and balances on ideas (their  
accounting) was respected/enforced, in terms of integrity, then it  
would be unnecessarily to get into this at length in one post,  
because people would check their own ideas, and not rely on  
refutation of the larger ideologies they help to build, often  
unwittingly, as a group viewpoint.

so, if one challenges this and gets into the complexity, it is the  
clear argument which becomes the problem, potentially, for the given  
systems of interpretation and value in terms of ideas functioning as  
ideologies. the burden of proof becomes somehow twisted, in that the  
truth of the ideas is secondary to their acceptability in formal  
terms, or something or other which would explain how the argument is  
lost to the formal qualities, which is essentially anti-ideational -  
the burden of proof is on the writer to make the text suitable for  
the reader to read, and judged based on this suitability to access  
the ideas.

this could be considered an issue of perspective, bias, and  
distortion - not of the writer and instead of the reader of the  
ideas, in that their interfacing with the ideas may reveal certain  
judgments about what is expected of ideas in formal terms, in order  
to engage the issues they seek to address. if the formal or technical  
aspects of the writer do not meet these standards of a given reader,  
this is fine. the text can and should be deleted without reading it.  
doing so is legitimate and probably necessary. yet to say that the  
ideas themselves are no good or do not make sense based on this - is  
not an issue or perspective that can be reviewed by others without  
examples of where this failure of reasoning is occurring in the ideas  
themselves. i.e. where are examples by which to judge these failures  
of the text to live up to the reader's standards, in terms of ideas,  
beyond issues of formal writing skill/quality?

that burden of proof is on the reader to supply examples of failures  
of logic and reasoning which are inaccurate in making the case of the  
ideas. ideas which are very complex and involved, and involve several  
major concepts which have to be developed enough to stand on their  
own in an argument. if this connection to the ideas is not engaged in  
the critique, it is hard to take this as criticism of ideas and not  
simply technical criticism. the latter is okay, the former is  
unwarranted and unfair, to the ideas.

the number of words it is directly proportional to the context in  
which the ideas are being shared. if people do not share a base view,  
that base view needs to be created if building up/proposing a shared  
view. this complexity cannot be ignored/escaped. it may be raw,  
overwhelming even. and others could refine the arguments/ideas, that  
is not my role, which is to share the basic ideas. basic ideas may be  
bigger or smaller. these are bigger ideas. reality, for instance,  
shared consciousness of people on the planet earth, public language  
versus inherited privatized viewpoints. any of these could be a book- 
length consideration. and over time, refined into paragraphs of  
accepted knowledge. though, if newly considered, they may not be  
refined in this sense, they may simply be being shared, and open for  
discussion, for refutation, for modification, for exchange,  
imperfect, ugly even, yet to say that there is nothing there may have  
more to do with the reader who observes the ideas from this technical  
perspective, firstly, and cannot access the ideas beyond the confines  
of this view alone. that is not my fault nor my responsibility, nor  
is it required reading. you are free to delete, yet if you are going  
to say the ideas are at fault for your not being able to read them,  
it may be the formal aspects (writing style) that creates more noise  
than signal for your needs and while unfortunate, it would help if  
you share where and when and why this is happening in a particular  
example or the general argument so as to engage the ideas, beyond  
issues of style. can you please provide examples?


> 2) The torrent of words you produce overwhelm any meritorious ideas  
> or suggestions potentially found in them.  When such writing is  
> reasonably focused, readers would still parse out the useful gems  
> and enthusiastically respond to them.  Unfortunately, reading  
> through posts like "nettimespace unentangled" makes one feel like a  
> hapless Cretan thrown into the Labyrinth.  The difference being  
> that the Cretan had something worthwhile to show for his efforts at  
> escaping the maze.

again, you are making claims here that seek to discredit the ideas  
themselves over issues of style, and you make your claims as if they  
are universally true, without providing any examples to review so to  
test this viewpoint in some tangible way, beyond the realm of belief.  
'the idea' is the useful gem, potentially, if understood. that idea  
could be one sentence or several posts long, and contain within it a  
thousand ideas related in multidimensional ways. and this aspect of  
ideas and thinking can be cross-checked, in its reasoning, which is  
self-healing in terms of argument, in that the redundancy of words  
and concepts is not only defective, it is modular, and extend past  
these posts, alone, to ideas.

a single post is not the boundary of a shared idea, necessarily, and  
thus the labyrinth may not just be a single clearly written concept  
in a formal argument that is refined by large amounts of people-- my  
point is that the existing belief that people (academics) have as  
being 'the labyrinth' is the wrong map and exists as a privatized  
theoretical labyrinth inside-the-larger public empirical labyrinth,  
and my words are mapping out this latter place. and while those who  
believe their 'escaping the maze' is still possible by following the  
given 'received ideas' or ongoing ideologies and their extension, it  
should be clear by now this is a faith-based adventure game, which is  
itself creating the impossible to escape maze-- such as trying to  
mediate current events via Empire, which actually plays into the  
events and their creation and substance itself, as a business model,  
for instance, and having no critical view of this situation would  
make any efforts said to resolving this crisis, into necessitating  
its continuance.

yes, this is certainly about labyrinths, and understanding where one  
is. who one is with. where one is going. or if no-one exists in this  
larger, more complex, more serious, more demanding factual reality.

your judgement that my contribution is not worthwhile to these  
efforts is without fair consideration, just because you may not  
understand it does not mean it does not exist in these terms from  
other views. and if you say the work fails, you should provide  
examples, the burden of proof is on you here. (is the 'nettimespace  
unentangled' worthless in terms of nettime as a labyrinth, for  
instance, with the issues described? private langauge, shared  
reality, theorism vs. empiricism, etc? what do you suggest is a  
superior or improved approach to engaging the issues of ideology  
which block the work of ideas? etc)



> 3) In one of your recent posts you mentioned that no one replies to  
> your postings.  This is probably because, like me, many nettimers  
> believe that if they are going to respond to a post they should  
> respond in a meaningful way.  Unfortunately, large blocks of hazy  
> text do not lend themselves to any sort of back and forth.


well, i accept the lack of refined writing skill yet the ideas I  
stand by and they are not inadequate to the tasks they set out to  
engage. if they were, there are thousands of people online who could  
gladly be of assistance in making this well known, and to start  
making things interesting in terms of engaging ideas and challenging  
views, propositions, etc. that this is not happening does not mean  
people are not reading the posts. nor, that their lack of response is  
due to the writing style, primarily. it may have something to do with  
the ideas themselves, which are fairly fit and have survived online  
for some time.    the basic situation is that basic assumptions are  
not being shared about what the terms of engagement are for ideas.  
and that is the problem that exists now where there is a free-for-all  
with ideas and metaphysics which is akin to religious beliefs and a  
theology of ideas, when compared to their universal grounding in a  
shared empirical view which can be checked by other observers as to  
what is claimed versus what can be modeled and verified exist,  
lacking a better explanation of events.

calling this 'hazy' is like calling the philosophy of reality  
grounded in shared understanding 'hazy', in that it may be - yet it  
is a hell of a lot more clear, in an unbiased and undistorted view,  
than multitudes of postmodern language games and metaphysician  
theorists each inventing their own private worlds, and assuming this  
is somehow more clear, as it is better written, more clear, elegant  
even. etc. it is simply not rigorous in terms of ideas themselves. i  
just don't understand this as a way of evaluation of ideas. beyond  
that of a reader who has difficulty reading and is blaming the text  
as being unclear, in terms of formalism of writing rather than with  
respect to the fact that this writing is based in thinking about  
ideas, which generate the text. the perspective the ideas are shared  
from can change, yet this would take another writer. for instance,  
Pit Schulz's text was wonderfully written and much shorter and dealt  
with some similar issues, yet compressed many arguments so that their  
basis was assumed to be understood. if one is dealing with arguments  
themselves, it necessitates opening up the radio, so to say, as was  
said. and it is messy. as is this. this may just be the nature of the  
beast, of ideas. (for instance, if you think this is abstract, what  
would you think of Sartre's Being and Nothingness? etc.)


>
> In short, I believe that if you show the nettime mailing list that  
> you care about those who have to read what you wrote by economizing  
> on words and sharpening the message, they will respond in kind by  
> caring about what you have to say.
>
> Regards,
> John S.


i am thankful you responded and it is meaningful. and i relate to the  
issues, about reading/writing. and here I am going to share an  
alternative view of what may actually be going on, based on personal  
experience.  i used to be able to read very easily when I was active  
in beginning to build ideas and seeking out knowledge, though the  
more my ideas solidified around a structural way of consideration (in  
this case, electricity/electromagnetism) the harder it became to read  
just any text, because it would  be an issue of whether or not it  
could be related to my ongoing work. something too far 'off course'  
was increasingly hard to engage, to the point where reading works was  
largely of necessity and work-based (research) rather than some open  
activity. so my reading became focused. then, in addition, if reading  
something that was either very rich or very involved, it would make  
me think (write) alot when accessing the ideas (reading) so that I  
would begin to think too much when reading and would not be able to  
read the text before my eyes, because my brain would be onto other  
thoughts and ideas that were beyond the text. i.e. the text got me  
thinking about other ideas, and so instead of being able to read  
somebody else's ideas, my brain was writing my ideas into my brain  
circuits, and it may provide a reason to continue with further  
research not related to a given text, and instead to output my own  
thinking, etc.  i could not place the blame on the authors of these  
texts for my inability to read their works, though i still could not  
read their books  -- it had to do with where I was with the ideas in  
the books and how I was interpreting them in relation to what I  
needed to do with my ideas, and thinking, which may or may not be  
related to what was in these books. this does not refute the value or  
validity of what was in the books, it was just that I could not put  
myself into them enough to finish the works. which is a certain  
freedom, after a while, becoming unchained from the book as a format  
and all that is entailed in devoting so much time to a text. should  
the author not write these books because I may not find value in  
their approach? of course not. i can choose not to read them or  
simply may not be abel to invest in this exchange and get the value  
in put into it, back out. yet maybe it has something to do with me,  
which I recognize, and while it can be unfortunate, it can also make  
things quite clear as to what ideas are of focus, value, priority, in  
my particular realm of research, etc. in the same way, it may be  
possible that these ideas do not fit with the ideas you have of  
particular interest, and that in attempting to read (which I very  
much appreciate) that it does not translate to what you need when you  
are reading or that there is some short-circuiting between the text  
and how you interpret it. and, if this short-circuiting could be  
shared, it may be that the ideas are faulty in a specific example,  
else it is hard to know what is going on, in that maybe the short- 
circuiting has something to do with the reader who is thinking about  
some other aspect of these/other ideas, when reading, which brings up  
other thoughts- or other views of these same thoughts. which, to me,  
is the nature of reading/writing, in that both of this goes on in the  
personal interaction with ideas, and that the 'reasoning' is also  
with the self in reading the text, such as - what do i think about  
these same issues, etc. if going over several large concepts/ideas,  
they may never have been questioned in a certain proximity and this  
may override a sense that this is clear thinking, because it may not  
be clear in a person's internal dialogue-- it may never even have  
been considered before, in these or other terms.  thus, it is  
possible that there may be a relationship between a reader and their  
view of these same ideas shared, which, it is proposed, may have  
something to do with the critique and the issues of inaccessibility  
in terms of clear argument. it is a clear argument, it is just not  
clear in your specific terms and thus you can provide this more clear  
argument or may not want to consider the argument (invest in it and  
the ideas, developing your own view) -- yet that does not refute the  
text/ideas themselves and would be a perspective that is neither  
universal in claims nor unbiased/undistorted when considered as such,  
as a relative viewpoint.

none of this is wrong or bad, it is simply the nature of ideas and  
sharing them, yet these are major issues which are making the sharing  
of ideas difficult until they can be worked through-- which was/is  
the reason for writing that particular text, in that public language  
and addressing issues of the privilege of perspective can allow  
getting beyond this impossible condition (relativism) into a  
empirical basis for sharing ideas, where there is some standard for  
engagement/critique/peer review, etc. which does not exist online  
today, for the most part. though I must say it is much harder without  
being able to send a conceptual diagram because this is largely about  
geometry and cannot be resolved any other way.

in any case, whether you care about what i say or not, thanks for  
your feedback.
i will not be changing my writing style so please delete if this is  
unacceptable.

(*Andreas, i second this for you, and ask you provide an example....)

  brian thomas carroll: research-design-development
  architecture, education, electromagnetism
  http://www.mnartists.org/brian_carroll
  http://www.electronetwork.org/bc/







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