Friday, September 30, 2016

The internet allows the symbols to travel freely



https://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2016/09/12/grief-hype-jacking-and-saturation-fatigue/ is a look at public grieving and the signs/symbols appropriated by memetic movements. I particularly like it's run-down of different ways in which symbols can propagate - in memetic terms, there is something magical about the idea of "nomadic signs" - concepts which themselves travel from place to place (/person to person) and become "real" not by what they represent, but purely by the fact of being the constant unit among a changing landscape of attention-givers.

In this sense, memetic symbols take on the same aura as tourist attractions, of course. One object, seen and interpreted by many different people. As a tourist, we move from being a "unique" thing (with body, face, name, passport) to a diluted medium, a channel through which experience and the place around us passes. By moving and migrating, we (no, I) become emptier, filled with the seven wonders of the world, until only the world is left, seen through whatever medium the person-as-medium decides to feed back to.

Taken to an extreme, "I" exist as both medium and as symbol - the "tourist" role is inherently split and subjective, depending on whether it is I-observing-world, or others-observing-me-as-tourist.

The inside of a pot is useful for holding water. Can the same be said about the outside of the pot?

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