“One thing about which fish know absolutely nothing is water, since they have no anti-environment which would enable them to perceive the element they live in.”1Marshall McLuhan, War and Peace in the Global Village, New York, Bantam, 1968, p. 175.
Having Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote in mind, it may seem odd that the first issue of a new web journal for digital cultures includes an article that argues “against networks”. Not only is its author obviously aware of the element that surrounds him, it seems that this one is daring to achieve the impossible by encouraging resistance against his own medium of communication. The network, however, does not seem to care much that one of its inhabitants actually attempts to create an anti-environment within its nodes and edges: Without hesitation, my browser fetched the data that is now being displayed to me in the readable form of Christopher Kelty’s thought-provoking text. Kelty’s critique of networks has become a part of the very thing that he criticized in the first place. Is this transmission of a potentially subversive message, one might ask, simply an example of the general indifference of a network towards its content? Or is it a proof of the omnipotence of the one network of networks that will ultimately assimilate everything and everyone? Even if Kelty defiantly sends a bunch of IP packets after his first ones upholding the position that he is “still against networks”, it seems that resistance is futile. (more…)
[ + ]
|1.||￪||Marshall McLuhan, War and Peace in the Global Village, New York, Bantam, 1968, p. 175.|