Tag Archives: cyberculture
Originally published by the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies in March 2001. RCCS archives vanished from the net sometime in the 2010s. Publisher: London: Zed Books, 1999 women@internet is unique among cyberculture texts, offering us a look at the ways in which feminists working within non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are using the Internet to connect Third…
My Tiny Life is mostly about sexual temptation. Early in the book Dibbell announces that his problem with his current real life relationship is that he can’t seem to make a commitment to his lover. His MOO adventures take place in a sort of liminal state — the space between boyhood and manhood, irresponsibility and assumption of duty. His progress (like any pilgrim’s) is interrupted by a series of temptations including the thrill of gender-swapping and netsex.
For Vibe the unusual and compelling fact about John Lee is that he gained entry and attained high status in the predominantly white world of hackers. For Slatella and Quittner, for Wired, and perhaps even for Lee’s friends in MOD, the compelling fact about John Lee is that he is black, and not just black but a particular kind of black which vicariously confers status, hipness and the aura of street danger on an essentially middle-to-upper-class white past-time—hacking.
The best postmodern explorations are well grounded in theory and in history, even as they attempt to demonstrate the inevitable failure of the metanarrative and to replace it with a succession of reflective surfaces and simulacrae. But Nakamura’s Cybertypes regards theory and method as a set of interchangeable parts that can be put to her purpose without regard to the original context in which they evolved—a strategy that can fairly be regarded as the theoretical equivalent to the “identity tourism” that Nakamura critiques.
The god Ifa writes the texts, and the god Esu translates them, and it is exactly this translator-god who has metamorphosed into the Trickster figure of contemporary African-American culture. That the Trickster inhabits the Net is undeniable—he is, in fact, the essence of the Net. Gates’ Trickster/Signifying Monkey (and it’s no accident that African-Americans were using “signify” as a verb long before the postmodernists picked it up) embodies various black rhetorical tropes, including “marking, loud-talking, testifying, calling out (of one’s name), sounding, rapping, playing the dozens, and so on.”