necessarily brief comment about last few days

Wed, 13 Apr 1994 20:37:22 EDT

paradigmatic Thingies perhaps, which barely to mildly exist. These theories
are propounded by Explainers whose Explanations, via publicity or a species
of "blowback" - CIA for clandestine doings in foreign parts which impact with
sometimes disastrous consequences on the domestic society - are diffused into
and react upon the culture being Expained. The Explanation Industries are
also part of the "cultural apparatus," which has highly industrialized the
manufacture of cultural products for consumption by mass and niche markets
alike. The industrialization of Knowledge manufacturing, the output by the
Explanation Industry at its highest level, ensures an ever vaster accumulation
of learned Knowledge Known by Knowers of Thingies whose existence, despite all
that is Known, is as tenuous as ever, perhaps slightly more so.

This ensures a rate of change such that in two years the rival discourses
- and the usage "discourse" itself - may be obsolete and redefined by newer
theories, get re-situated on terrain not yet conceptualized. This is especially
likely in the event of major social upheaval in the wider society, as may be
readily demonstrated to occur every thirty years or so. These upheavals, never
foreseen, create instant demand for new Explainer, and fringe crackpots like
McCluhan and Leary, the Last Time, got practically drafted overnight into
celebrity status wherefrom full recovery in the social sciences is yet

It is suggested that, in discussion of these issues, excercise of the
cognitive passions be exercised with neither monogamy nor fidelity; and
that one should be prepared to desert commitment to abstract Thingies likely
to show lack of appreciation by ceasing to exist as you Know them, mutating
into Thingies with other names. In Olden Times, the Modern and the Structural-
ist used to be the Newest and the Latest; they've had their day. And in the
debased realm of mass culture, who today remembers the Now, as in "living in
the Now," whatever that was; never owned one myself, correctly anticipating
inadequate financial security to meet mortgage payments.

This is said by a complete ignoramus in such matters who regrets the awful
angers of the past few days among those who loved their theories not wisely,
but too well; and saddened by the departure of our e-sister, Stephanie J.
Nelson, mourned by us all as we recall her virtual life among us. Of virtual
life, two postive things may be said: Everything else there is to do is even
worse. Also, its termination is reversible. Herewith, I entreat the biological
Stephanie J. Nelson to resurrect her virtual self in our midst. Amen.

Daniel A. Foss