Re: 100% greybook

Scott deLahunta (
Tue, 02 Sep 1997 20:36:08 +0200

Hi Nik,

At 10:15 AM 9/2/97 -0700, you wrote:
>i'd be curious as to your thoughts and any others about the access to the
>web/internet in europe or outside the US. if it costs $$$$ for local phone
>lines in country x but not country y - my hunch is that country y will have
>a much faster web growth since expense will inhibit 'playing' on the web
>and one needs to play to learn

This is very true -- the USA is the only place I know of where the call is
free, but here in Europe definitely not. This does indeed cut down on the
amount of 'playing' that can take place. In Europe you tend to be more
focussed in your work on the net, you have to think about how much time you
are on, etc. As you can imagine, it definitely creates a different
relationship with the whole thing.

>an algorithm is just a recipe ... do this, then that, then this .... it be
>proven to be correct or not ... in computer science, these often take the
>form of logical expressions -if this, then that and heuristics... a
>heuristic is a 'comman sense' 'what seems reseonable' type approach to
>narrowing computationally large or intractable problems

This is one of the simplest and clearest definitions I've read... thanks,
hope you don't mind if I use it.

>i don't know what "unreflexively" borrowing means; but my dance experience
>is west african - here at UCLA we teach the spirit of the bantaba in all
>the west african classes. the emphasis is as much on dancing with the group
>and the spiritual aspects of dance - as it is on technique

>i would use 'les misrables' and unrflexively borrow a term from the
>'french' if that was what the site was about.

Johannes also offered some comment on my comment on your reference to the
bantaba, as follows:

>I have no objections at all to Scott's careful examination of the "data
base" in
>regards to community. But to call people "somaticized corporeal entities,"
>Scott, is a bit much for me. You are applying a very objectifying technical
>(abstracting) language to real people whose cosmological metaphors you find
>ill-applied in Nik's reference guide.

... and I agree with Johannes -- I did definitely descend into the jargon a
bit on this one... and didn't really mean to directly criticize your
reference to the bantaba (although I realise that to suggest it was
'unreflexive' would certainly sound that way... this I could have left out).
The direction I was headed in is to suggest that the net is no substitute
for the 'real' bantaba (whether experienced in West Africa or California) --
and I guess I would be keen to continue the work of coming up with some
definitions of net community/ identity which do not borrow these sorts of
metaphors. But this is because I'm quite curious about looking closely at
the weird ways in which the net is making an impact on our lives. However,
this said, there is every reason to argue, as well, that metaphors such as
'the bantaba' may help us to splice together the necessary frameworks we
need for understanding our collective participation in the net.

So, the bantaba it is.... and maybe there is an algorithm in there somewhere?

Scott deLahunta and Susan Rethorst
Writing Research Associates, NL
Sarphatipark 26-3, 1072 PB Amsterdam, NL
tel: +31 (0)20 662 1736
fax: +31 (0)20 470 1558