Every presence in the network was created by a person at some point. Even
"bots" and "agents" were put in motion by human hands. Some people even
purposefully inhabit numerous personas when they're on-line.
Because of these factors, it's been said that there are far more presences
on-line than there are people behind them.
However, every person "here" depends on the labor of those who created the
opportunity for them to be present on-line.
Some have said that location and geography are becoming irrelevant. Yet each
of us depends on, is influenced by, and [in many cases] is grossly determined
by the physical community/culture which has allowed us to participate.
Instead of each participant having many presences, it appears that every
presence has many bodies. Their work, both physical and mental, is necessary
to maintain our on-line existence.
Every presence you encounter here is in some way a product of large groups of
people who as yet don't count themselves among us.
+ + +
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 21:54:28 +0000 (GMT)
From: S.CUBITT@livjm.ac.uk (sean cubitt)
Subject: dead labour
Nino Rodriguez is so right:
the web is haunted by the ghosts of all those who gave their labour to
the machine – Marx called it dead labour.
In the same way, complete personal and individual creativity is impossible.
We can't speak languages we invent for ourselves, but have to learn the
tongues that precede us.
What we can do is get into dialogue not only with each other but with all
the dead whose voices linger in the shapes of the language
whether that language is verbal, pictorial, musical or – digital.