Posted by: glue | February 20, 2010

The Fate Web

We are focusing now on the primal or archaic experience (experience, first person) ontologized

Taking Your Measure

through avatar as practice.   What is undergone in this event of the primal scene, when one stands before the law?  This experience is described in the philosophical tradition as fate.  Fate is imaged through weaving, the spinner holding a spindle between the knees.  It requires three (the Moirai) to make the web:  Lachesis (selects the wool). Clotho (spins the thread), Atropos (weaves the web).  Avatar introduces fate into the Internet.  Here is the experience:  we are bound at birth, our life is constrained by the limits of the human condition.  These limits constitute measure,

A man’s fate is inescapable; it is bound upon him by peirata.  This term, peras, which  becomes so important in Plato, was also used in connection with spinning. It meant thread or woof thread, a spun rope, or even a knot.  It came also to refer to the cord or thread by which a man’s fate was fastened upon him and whose presence is betrayed by its effects.  No doubt a cord or thong with which a man could bind things together (a bundle of sticks, a group of prisoners) so that he could treat the many as one was a valuable instrument and an impressive source of power. To the primitive mind it could well seem to be a godlike instrument suggestive of the way in which the universe is held together or formed. Later peras came to mean boundary, limit, or form, approaching the sense in which Plato used the term.  The figure of fate as a woven bond or ligature which limits or circumscribes a man is expressed in many ways.  An image running through Homer suggests that in the web which binds a man the warp threads are time or length of life.  This time is to be understood as qualitative time, time as lived, its hours differentiated by the varying contents of experience.  The woof threads are fate, the ordained events themselves.  The tapestry thus woven and bound upon a man, by design of Zeus, is unchangeable.  (Edward G. Ballard, Philosophy at the Crossroads).

We know peras by Paris (the Athens of electracy). The positive side of this feeling is central to the updating of fate through avatar.  This undergoing of an interior sense of limit may function as measure, but not without apparatus invention (coordinating flash reason with cyber technologies).  To avatar is to go before the law.  We are not talking about some sort of return of the archaic gods, but an updating of an historical process, to use fate as a grammatological analogy for understanding how a civilization may deliberate intelligently.  The alternative to Fate as the universal measure in literacy was Reason.  That place in thought is now open, empty, functioning at best as a floating signifer (Laclau’s hegemony).  Avatar descends in this crisis.


  1. […] Fate Web (20-Feb) […]

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