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STUPID UNDERGROUNDS - MANN
Net - Page 17

absolute identity with the arche-crime, the primordial disruption, that is the Real itself.

Net

[14] Over and over again we are offered new models that turn out to be the resurgence of everything they presume to leave behind, that exhaust their force even as they grind on in the stupidest, deadliest, and hence perhaps most critical repetition (all that is left of the critical), and yet still hold out the lure of new ways of thought and new modes of existence. The Net is a perfect instance of this perfectly functional contradiction. The intensity of current interest in the Net as a new form of social organization both demonstrates its importance and serves notice that the future is unfolding along quite different lines. Net-talk is everywhere: all one's social and professional associations instantly conform, with a numbing thrill of recognition, to cybernetic patterns. It is now impossible to fly over any metropolitan area at night without thinking of video representations of integrated circuits and imagining oneself living inside them, and the feeling of futurity this experience lends is already a thing of the past. Mail-art networks (themselves increasingly on-line), listeners to those feasts of disinformation called talk shows, late-night radio call-in programs for solitary consumers of new-age homeopathy and conspiracy theories, compulsive dialers of 900 numbers, tourists and denizens of virtual communities (MUDs and MOOs) springing up along the so-called information superhighway (the phrase has already passed into the afterlife of cliche), pirates of "temporary autonomous zones" (Bey) strung like pearls on the filaments of cyberspace (still another byte that has lost its bite). Catalogue services like Amok or Loompanics that serve as distribution points for masses of stupid information--fringe science, pop cultural theory, terrorist, sadomasochistic, and libertarian handbooks: a stupid, how-to pragmatism abounds here: how to build bombs, collect paedophiliac pornography, live without money, perform autopsies on car-crash victims, go insane, leave the planet, dilate anal sphincters from a distance of two hundred yards (as it turns out: tough to do without dilating one's own), commit murder, decode disinformation (i.e., "their" information), become invisible--model,

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