Re: WIRED's Surprise Party: it's a wrap!

Sat, 26 Mar 1994 17:24:40 -0500

Well, folks, hope you've had a chance to tune in to our World Wide Web
ParaSite. If you haven't, come check it out. The URL is:

On our ParaSite, you can find papers by electronic artist Nancy Patterson
("CyberFeminism"), arts/net collective Public Domain ("a Doll's Universe"),
and teletheorist Greg Ulmer ("Mr. MonuMentality.")

And, of course, there's my home page. (plug plug) People who have been
wondering what CyberAnthropology is (in a nutshell), what the significance
of my handle is, why Philip K. Dick is one of my favorite authors, or my
thoughts on the coming Inflamation StuporHighway, should check that out. If
you don't have a World Wide Web browser, go find one. Our ParaSite is one
of the coolest on the net. Better than WIRED (the magazine), even.

Some random issues that came out of the conference:

1. Why is scholarly publishing still based on 19th century principles? When
you do a thesis or dissertation, it gets bound up and put on a library
shelf to gather dust. And tenure is based on how many arcane specialized
print journals (with readership of, oh, say, 32 or so...) you can get
articles in.
It's time for the university to wake up to the electronic age. Why is
academic performance also not based on things like - multimedia
presentations to the community? Publishing electronically, perhaps through
hypertext? Coming up with creative ways of presenting and repackaging
information for TV? (after all, any information agent can do a literature

2. Why is there this visceral reaction to technology on the part of so many
scholarly disciplines? I certainly see it in many anthropologists. There is
this resistance to bringing technology into "the field," as if some how our
"primitive" ethnographic subjects would be cowed into awe and terror by
laptop PCs, SQUIDs, personal organizers, faxes, shortwave radios, and video
cameras... many people still insist that the only way to do ethnographic
interviews is with a notebook and pencil, not a voice-actuated digital tape
recorder... why is this?

Anyway, since we're on the topic of electronic discourse, I'll make a
second shameless plug. At the triple A's in Atlanta in December, I'll be
giving a presentation on "Hacker Jargon: The Electronic Discourse of the
Computer Underground." Since one begins to understand a linguistic
community by first collecting narratives, I will present my conclusions
about "hackers" based on sampled texts from hacker boards, 'zines, and IRC
talk. Hacker Jargon can tell us a lot about the worldview of the computer
underground. Since I'm writing a HyperCard stack on this very topic for a
class, I hope to include a hypertext component in my presentation.

Seeker1 [@Nervm.Nerdc.Ufl.Edu] (real info available on request)
Anthropomorphist, Metanoid, Lerian, MatrixWanderer, HyperRealist, etc.
Rhipidon Society, VALISystem A, Sol Node 3
"Philip K. Dick is dead, alas/ Let's queue up and kick G-d's ass." --
Michael Bishop, the Secret Ascension