Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fuck Faces 3

"But Tim, you're into withdrawal and deconstruction. We all know the deconstructive critique of the anthropological myth of fully present face-to-face society. Doesn't that mean we can use our cellphones as much as we want without any worry? I mean, there is no face-to-face. Objects withdraw."

Okay, challenge accepted. Let's go.

You know why face to face is better? It's for the opposite reason from the anthropological myth.

In face to face, there is less information. 

Face to face, in other words, is closer to the ontological truth than online.

It's a familiar fact about online classes. Why are they worse?

Because they contain more information.

Everywhere you look, something means something. There's the chat window, the ticker, the score box, the resources folder, the camera, the teacher in a little window, and on and on and on.

In a physical classroom there's the smell of the chalk, your greasy hair, the old broken furniture, the nasty carpet, the teacher's acne.

All kinds of things that have nothing to do with teaching, in a strictly ontic sense. You would think.

Precisely because of these redundant aspects of the physical classroom, the students can get into the class much better. That's why classrooms always win.

Face to face is closer to the ontological truth.

It's the online world that is in-your-face (-to-face).

First peoples are cooler because they have less chat boxes. Face to face means you don't know what's happening, you aren't being told everything, you can't predict everything.

That's why we're truly scared of putting our phones down. We think we will lose out on some kind of presence that's happening without us. The world of metaphysical presence is inside the screen.

Face to face is better because it's poorer. Not because it's richer. Face to face is better because it's underwhelming. 

Why are online classes worse? Because not everything is information.

Save the world from being turned into total information, please.

6 comments:

D. E.M. said...

Nice. The physical-space classroom proceeds more slowly too. Things have to be handed out, down the aisles, and the prof has to find the page number. And we feel warm in each other's presence -- all in it together, especially if there's a storm outside.
I've told my students that they are not allowed to text, view their phones etc during class because we are all in it together .... And it works.

Celine ( leiya) said...

There were also few experiments which demonstrated that humans specially babies don't learn watching a screen, but only face to face. But maybe a genetic mutation will occur in the next few generations, that why the ontological argument is much better.

Celine ( leiya) said...

There were also few experiments which demonstrated that humans specially babies don't learn watching a screen, but only face to face. But maybe a genetic mutation will occur in the next few generations, that why the ontological argument is much better.

Mike Marinos said...

I am a 'lay' person new to the whole OOO thing - and its thrilling. The word presence is used twice. Objects withdraw into Presence?

nickguetti said...

I've been playing with it a while mike. Not claiming that I know what I'm talking about or anything, but what I get is that objects don't really withdraw "into" anything: they just withdraw FROM each other.

theoryandcurrentaffairs said...

how can we have different types of experience available to us that are more or less close to the ontological truth? and how are we to know that we should favour those experiences closer to the ontological truth? when you read descartes and the british empiricists, they indeed seem to be describing basically facebook. and when you read merleau-ponty he seems to be coaxing us towards pre-spectacle/media-saturation experiences a bit like... you for example. So I get what you want to say but not sure how you are supposed to be getting away with it.