Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eastern Sierra Autumn: What's new about communication in digital, virtual worlds, Qualities of communication, Free from Modern Conditions

Harbin ethnography:

... The implications, digitally, for western philosophy in terms of understanding, with veracity, ideas, knowledge generation and representations of reality, and thinking, vis-a-vis epistemology, metaphysics as well as ontology – in the one now - are linguistic in terms of new kinds of narrativity, vis-a-vis the creative and generative possibilities of words and language, and, for example, especially metaphor (Rorty 1989:48), currently mediated digitally, - with the possibility for ongoing conversations about anything that finds form, for example, in a virtual Harbin, - emerging, as it does, out of the milieu of the radical 1960s.

What's new about communication in digital, virtual worlds on the internet, vis-a-vis this ethnographic history of actual and virtual Harbin Hot Springs, are the qualities of communication possibilities in multimedia virtual worlds, now making possible brain-to-brain, bodymind-to-bodymind, and so consciousness-to-consciousness communication with headsets, all in real time, via a distributed, worldwide, communication network ,as conversation, - giving new significance to the concept of virtual. While biological, communication processes are very old, across multiple species, the 1960s in response to modernity, Harbin Hot Springs' emergence from this, as well as the conversations about virtuality which emerge in interactive, digital worlds are new, and 'converse' with each other in unique ways, due to their emergence, both temporally and processually (Cerwonka and Malkki 2007). While at times free from the modern conditions emerging from a technological, rational, bureaucratic, legal order (Weber), inclusive now of capital and knowledge 'regimes,' especially in their virtual, liminal aspects (Victor Turner), the virtual nevertheless, here, vis-a-vis clothing-optional, virtual, Harbin Hot Spring's New Age retreat, gives form to ongoing oneness, in the here and now, in the Harbin warm pool, and potentially from your own bathtub as well, vis-a-vis the relaxation response (Benson, 1972 - who was scientifically studying Transcendental Meditation), and is informed by novel and singular, digital processes, vis-a-vis language and communication.

I coin the phrase 'Virtual Harbin Communication' here to characterize sociocultural processes in digital place and time, emerging out of the freedom seeking movements of the 1960s, and giving rise to the emergence of virtual Harbin, with which the pools (as well as psychedelics, for example – e.g. mushroom picking in the autumn in some parts of the world) in conjunction with developing, virtual world technologies, may give form to, vis-a-vis multiple, new kinds of communication, connectedness and beneficial symbolizating processes, understood in a freeing sense, as consciousness – especially vis-a-vis the relaxation response. ...

( - October 20, 2010)

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