I've been reading an essay called "Attention!" by Brian Moriarty. He's
the head of Mpath Interactive, a company that intends to bring
multi-user, networked, computing experiences, otherwise known as
internet games, to the masses (or at least those with a small amount of
Some choice quotes:
"If we won't be selling our customers things any more, what will we be
selling them? … We will be selling our customers to each other."
But who will be turning the customers into products in the first place?
Mpath? Or will it be ourselves, willingly?
"Our goal should be to magnify our customers' presence while concealing
our own… Ours will be an economy of presence. How do we measure the
quality of presence? … How easy is it to arrive? How easy is it to
congregate? How east is it to communicate?"
Moriarty's formula of "arrive, congregate, and communicate" seems like a
recipe for political experimentation. There's an element of the town
hall in his formulation. How much room for new social forms will a
corporation like Mpath be interested in allowing?
Perhaps a fair amount, or at least a different amount:
"Virtual reality imposes a materialistic space-time metaphor on the
experience of virtual presence… The space-time metaphor represents a
monumental failure of the imagination… If we could design reality for
our minds, what powers would we grant ourselves? The ability to be
anywhere instantly… The ability to be everywhere, all at once, without
going mad is the real challenge… Our goal should not be 'virtual
reality.' Our goal should be effective ubiquity. Space & time are not
intrinsic properties of virtual presence."
If we're willing to throw out space and time, what else is going to go
along with it? I'd like to see the social economy that will emerge when
space and time are finally eradicated.
Pure commodities roaming the electrosphere searching to interpenetrate
with each other. Money chasing after meaning and finding…?