[iDC] partial vs. peripheral attention

Brian Holmes brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr
Tue Jan 2 12:48:14 EST 2007

john sobol wrote:
So if I’m cautiously optimistic about the possible
> evolution of networked youth culture it is in fact specifically in the 
> modest hope that if such bridges are built it may help slow the suicidal 
> industrial tendencies of literate society by integrating ‘diffuse 
> awareness’ in the economic value chain. It’s not something that I expect 
> to happen quickly, if at all, but what exactly are you offering as an 
> alternative?

Just the modest proposal that one quit gushing the advertising talk for 
long enough to consider the general disaster of commercialized 
communication in the USA. We definitely agree that literate society is 
beset by suicidal tendencies, but I don't think they can specifically be 
blamed on literature, nor do I think that the solution is integrating 
diffuse awareness in the value chain. Distraction has been engineered 
for so long that it's pretty well integrated. What I propose is to press 
for high-quality education at all class levels, in all areas of cities 
and also in the suburban and rural zones where so much of the USA's 
current neofascism and religious zealotry has come from. This education 
would definitely include musical education, access to musical 
instruments, access to different ways of using them also. When it comes 
to an ability to survive with both pleasure and dignity in this world, 
there is room for lots of people's approaches, I was just objecting to 
this kind of line I see and hear all the time, "you gotta do what the 
kids are doin." From my perspective, cultures are shaped, not only by 
the free will of those who live in them, but also by the patterns of 
expresion and interaction which have been deliberately organized. 
Distracted consumption has been deliberately organized, with a 
particular focus on young people. However, I really doubt that is what 
you are offering the world, John. I'm just suggesting maybe there's a 
better language - whether spoken or written - to describe the way forward.

best, Brian Holmes

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