Reticulation and the world inside the world • 19 August 2008

I love to watch networks of humans create themselves and halfway-retreat, surge, drop whole nodules, regenerate. In web space the networks never die—the information down to the last errant comment-thread always remains out there, somewhere: the relationships forged and ebbed away, the self-discoveries through expression and through being witnessed in this way, the vast inconclusiveness but inexorably forward, expansive movement of it. There will be more human nodes in this web, more journals deployed in blog form, more relationships and conclusions and hiatuses and returns. Events that seem to divide are vicariances, separating species that then flourish along parallel trajectories on separate self-identified “continents” (“India” and “the West” in our ashtangosphere, these days)… though on the web a new pangea is possible at any moment.

The sheer amount of personal and collective data in every corner of the blogosphere is wonderful, stupefying, trivial, transcendent: boring as fuck and at the same time uniquely totalizing it its human digitization. No single brain could really ever see it all or understand its dynamics.

What excites and frustrates me is that even in the little corner of the blogosphere that is ours, most of the digitized relationships flow through hidden channers. There is the outside digital self, and the inside, that is, the email side of things. Sitting here in my in-box this morning, waiting for the time I let myself read them late tonight, are new missives from two most fascinating and very far-away quasi-strangers. People who know me in a sense, and who I know, in a sense. I feel awed by these little connections–by these interestingly personal, decontextualized but also sweetly (uniquely?) private, and all-over delightful sparks between would-be strangers.

Would it double the data to add the email-train of relationship formation to the map of the network? Triple it? Would it crash even the most capacious network analysis? Is the secret email web where the reticulation of the blogosphere really happens—in simple, private dyads?

I suspect so. Here’s something else in my blogger inbox, from a reader I adore in DC.

i had a dream about you last night that i had to tell you about, it was so weird!

i was having an "issue" and i can't remember what it was, but it caused me to have a little temper tantrum and i threw the coffee maker through a picture window (perhaps i hadn't yet had coffee and that was the problem?).  well, to cope with/ fix the problem i decided i had to go visit you in LA.  the next thing i knew i was in LA with you at your shala and you gave me up to karandavasana.  then we went for a hike in some crater lake type lake bed.  the water was recessed and there were all sorts of amazing skeletal remains. we were just hiking around looking at everything, when all of the sudden someone came running and shouting that we had to get out because the waters were rising and soon the way we came in would be covered with water.  i knew this was silly and i wasn't worried because i knew we would be able to get out no matter what.  and we did, and then i was back in the kitchen with the broken picture window and no coffee.

The dream side of the blogosphere… world inside the world. Is the understory always this good? I guess it must be. Imagining the secret notes exchanged between so many twosomes out there adds a layer of romance and intrigue, somehow. I'd love to peek (just a little) in your inboxes; I really would.