Re: virus: e-mail communication

Eric Boyd (
Fri, 26 Feb 1999 18:38:04 -0500


From: <>
>I don't think that this medium supports "real people" in any
>healthy emotional way. But as a forum to supplement our
>real lives, I think it provides a lot of intellectual vitality where
>it would be otherwise hard to get much of it, except perhaps
>in a large university environment.

You do basically agree with me. I have certainly found this list very helpful intellectually, not just for the exposure to different ideas, but the active formation required in posting mine. I have lots of ideas, but many of them exist in a formless state, and only really gel when I decide to write about them, here or elsewhere. That is the value I derive from the Church of Virus.

>I read Bill's message about how technology will make this all
>much more "real". Actually to some extent I like it the way that
>it is.

Me too. You realize this probably indicates something about our personalities. (are we letting it hang out?)

I also have doubts about the ability of technology to totally fill the gap. The image I'm seeing is from some movie (whose name I have forgotten), but it's set in future california, and the specific scene is when the female star (Bullock?) asks the male (Stallone?) to have sex. It's a strange request, almost awkward in it's way, and he agrees, only to discover that she meant "sex" via the use of VR gear. We get several surreal flashes of what they are seeing during the experience, and then he rips the helmet off and makes some claim about the emptiness of the society that surrounds him. (he's from the past)

As much as I like cyber-culture, I sense all to strongly that it's not more than an addition; and will never be a replacement, for RL.

>The fact that my first repsonse doesn't always get transmitted,
>that I have greater editing power over my messages, and that
>I can more easily obscure personal aspects about myself, give
>me a sense of freedom and escape, as "unreal" as it may be.

I prefer "hyper-real", or "virtual" to "unreal" as a description of that dynamic.


'All right, then,' said the Savage defiantly, 'I'm claiming the right to be unhappy.'
'Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.'
There was a long silence.
'I claim them all,' said the Savage at last. (Pg.273, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley)

"What you need," the Savage went on, "is something WITH tears for a change. Nothing costs enough here."