ruth weismann on Wed, 30 Jan 2008 20:59:10 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The Ideology of Free Culture and the Grammar of Sabotage

the idea of a dictionary of "standardized inter-bred vernacular" is
very interesting! Just in general, concerning theory, I also quite
sometimes have the feeling that certain expressions are just used but
don?t mean anything at all. This is an interesting phenonmena that
should be examined closer

I just opened the mail today and didn?t have a chance to read matteo?s
text, so I can?t give my opinion to it?s content now. And I do believe
that one should read a text to properly judge it. So, conerning what
was written as a response to matteo?s text here, I find it a bit
dangerous to only judge on some catchwords or the mere existence of
"trendy" expressions without knowing the discussion evolving around
them in the text.....

My interest is therefore to ask you for specification of your argument
against those expressions: Do you regard them as per se content-free,
if yes, why, or if only in special cases, why, and what would be your
suggestion conerning the use of expressions? What is with the history
of some of those expressions (i.g. you mentioned "self organization")
that can?t be said to be content-free? and what are your criteria to
put a certain notion on the black-list?

I think that a dictionary of the kind you propose should not be used
to filter out texts, but to read them with regard to the degree of
explanation and the meaningfulness or relational aspect of such
notions aswell as to argue what it?s problems are . To fix the
attention solely on buzzwords and lthen leave it seems to be also not
more than a content-free action of judgment and functions within the
mechanisms of trends, only the other way round. to put an example:
if i read the word revolution, I tend to think, oh no, not again.
because this word is used in so many different contexts, from marxist
ideas to corporate business revolutions, that it?s content outside
of context is difficult to establish or anyway just used because it
sounds fancy but has no real meaning. I would say that it makes indeed
sense to reflect upon the exact usage of expressions and their actual
and historical context, and maybe come to the conclusion that other
expressions are needed or that they need to be redefined or whatever
strategy might be found. but to simply charge them as content-free
without arguing why, seems also very content-free to me.


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