Writing as Resistance

“The Goal: an era of investigative poesy wherein one can be controversial, radical, and not have the civilization rise up to smite down the bard. To establish and to maintain it. POETS MAY REMAIN IN THE RADIX, UNCOMPROMISING, REVOLUTIONARY, SEDITIOUS, ABSOLUTE.” —Ed Sanders, 1976

Investigative Poetry. Essays. Articles. Poems? Sure.

Revised 2023.

Fragments of a concept of Cyberspace-time

One way of characterizing postmodernism is as an eclectic return to the past. One way of understanding what comes after postmodernism might be as a singularity of information that characterizes a control society. This is a flattening of former distinctions between space-times that could be called something like Cyberspace-time.

Rule by cyberspace-time is algorithmic. It facilitates the gig economy, a way of personality construction and hence memory-making that is image-cinematic, based around profile building, and a generalized understanding of everything that encompasses the self and the world which looks similar to a kind of generalized mental disorder.

Despite its real material, technological character, cyberspace-time is primarily a virtual phenomenon. Whole patterns, phases, fads, memetic stages play out in cyberspace-time, in ways that are cyclical with similarities to actual space-time, but ultimately in a virtual realm. The alienation of capitalist modernity becomes a bigger and bigger wedge with a greater and greater real existence of virtual space coming to dominate the logic of how one lives in actual space.

Indeed this logic will eventually start to assert itself, it already has, on the material world, to the extent that it can begin to shape it, and has already very definitely, fundamentally reshaped it. Though not intrinsically, not in a way which is irreversible. Only in a way that is as strongly definitive of our understanding of the world and how we must live in it as something as paradigmatic as capitalism or capitalist modernity.

While the increase of alienation and precarity of this paradigm is represented by the so-called gig economy, the figure of the influencer represents the novel form of hierarchy of it.

One uncanny quality of Cyberspace-time is that it is at once eternally fleeting and oppressively permanent. What one does or says within the space can be both understood as minuscule and pointless and irreversible and forever known.

These dimensions seem particularly apt for generating higher degrees within basic human psychology for influence and control. The space provides in one sense the only viable option for sociality and identity construction while also conditioning that on higher degrees of pressure to conform or define identity in specific ways out of real fear of being socially ostracized. One better, the entire control operation can be effectively automated, to the point where the operations of influence end up becoming a cooperative activity between the user and an interface that is at its core a simple algorithm. What the algorithm is programmed to maximize however is a reflection of the actual historical and economic forces of the society.

This means that in theory the effects of Cyberspace-time could be used for ends that weren’t precisely to do with control and perception management and the reinforcement of a particular paradigm that serves the status quo or power structure of the ruling class. Yet this would take a revolutionary degree of awareness and action such that effectively these means of production could be utilized for the implementation of an entirely new paradigm.

Unfortunately it would appear that the barrier to a social and political revolution which could realize such a novel paradigm is no longer simply limited to what is possible for the oppressed classes to achieve, but also what they can imagine. This is to say that the degree to which one remains unconscious of the effects of this age of influence in a control society informed by Cyberspace-time, is the degree to which they are ineluctably a part of it.