Posted by: glue | July 29, 2008

From Cat-egory to Gr-egory

4.1: Curating

My/your blogs are just one site within the larger social networking scene at which one’s avatar performs its haunting. There is much to be said in this thread, since it concerns what grammatology brings to an understanding of what we are doing, or even where we are, when we are online (how we are affected).

I, Category

I, Category

Grammatology (history and theory of writing) learns how to invent electracy by analogy with how literacy was invented. Aristotle (in such works as Categories, Physics, and Metaphysics ), invented the category as a way to use alphabetic writing to classify the world and open a new dimension of reality. Categories work with the subject-predicate structure of Greek, harnessing the capacities of natural language for asserting something about something (assertions are the mode of discourse capable of being true or false). Logos (the literate way of bringing organization to the world) is a practice philosophy crafted out of natural language. It consists of two procedures (separation, making a distinction; and combination of these distinctions into groups). The concept is a basic unit of this practice, created by defining those features or attributes of something that make it what it is, its essence. Our dictionary collects all the concepts ever created, and the practice continues as we speak.

What is happening in electracy? A new metaphysics is forming around our image (digital) technologies. Logos continues, but applied to the opening of another dimension in reality. The guiding analogy is — Literacy: nature/natural language/writing + philosophy // Electracy: infosphere/media entertainment culture/digital technology + ( TBA, a player to be named at a later date).

The point is that the “philosophy” slot remains to be decided, invented (we are contributing here). Who or what is the Aristotle of electracy. I/you/we are, but in a distributed way. What persons through their avatars notice and select (dihairesis) and combine (sunthesis) in a blog, a Facebook or Myspace account, YouTube, and the like, how these are tagged and collected as folksonomies, in collaboration with database designers (the semantic web intitiative), is the process through which is forming an electrate metaphysics.

I am (you are) a distributed category. What does this metaphysical responsibility entail?


  1. Curating is Caring

    Blogging is like curating an exhibit. The original aspect of this blog is not any one of the posts, since almost all of them display and report on some feature of the info-sphere that I noticed and recognized (separated out from the rest), and put into the blog, juxtaposed with other selections (in short: performing logos). The originality, rather, is the value added of my concerns, what I care about. The term comes from Latin, curare, to care.

    Heidegger used the term Dasein (being there) to call attention to this fundamental quality of what constitutes humanity: caring (concern, ultimately manifested as anxiety). Circumstances, such as those created by a disaster, become a situation through my attitude, my intention, my plan in relation to them (my life task).

    My caring is expressed not so much in the content, but in the style, form, manner of my attitude, my stance or stand in relation, glimpsed in the patterns emerging within the pile of pieces accumulating in this blog.

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