Friday, September 30, 2005

ObjectRhetoric and cleanliness of spirit

For my inaugural post, I'd like to say how liberating and (unfortunately) paralyzing it is to begin a new thoughtspace. Sure, I think about how it can be deleted or changed or fade into nothing and really not mean anything, but it is a commitment I'm not sure I want to begin. It's like buying that new Moleskine notebook and lovingly hand numbering every page then sitting down to write and discovering nothing seems worthy of this fetishized object. Perhaps the problem is that like J. K. Rowling's character Lord Voldemort, in doing so we somehow break off a piece of our soul, something that is no longer in us...now outside, and imbue some inconsequential material object with such precious value that it is not really the thoughts that are unworthy, but that the container may be unworthy of us. Such thoughts remember echoes of Foucault's self-writing, the practice of creating self through the manipulation of language and symbols intended to expose the self to public view, the unitary view of the panopticon. It creates a new self clean and unwritten.

So why ObjectRhetoric? This has more to do with my time investments than anything else. I am finishing a dissertation centering on rhetoric and technical communication, the ways in which the two intertwine with technology, theory of mind, object-orientation, and activity theory in order to produce a new rhetoric (as in a singular from the plural rhetorics) germane to a world of blogging, microcontent, single sourcing, and multiplying selves through cyborgization. ObjectRhetoric is the name I give for this rhetoric.