File spoon-archives/baudrillard.archive/baudrillard_1994/baud.May94, message 23

Subject: Re: Worth of cyber-discussion
Date: Mon, 23 May 1994 23:48:13 -0400 (edt)

> On Mon, 23 May 1994, Kimberly Anne Stinson wrote:
> > Philosophy is my first love, literature second, music third.  That said,
> > I find that music discussion on the net in particular (namely ) is outstanding.  Literature I can scarce find, but the James Joyce
> > list ( I find helpful, if sparse.  Philosophy
> > (being a major subject area to the thinknet groups) seems to be much
> > more difficult to discuss naturally.  Maybe it's just the nature of the beast
> > (and what a beast).. but I find the language overly technical and the topics
> > of discussion generally boring and trivial.  It's probably just my own fault --
> > but a lot of times it's "what did Heidegger think about ______" 

While I'm tempted to concede that music is a greater art than philosophy 
or literature, something stops me: Of these three arts, only two can 
currently be done using current net resources - philosophy and 
literature - and without having visited j-joyce I have to suspect that it 
is a list of literature appreciation or critique, rather than a list that 
does literature. Which makes it rather like a classical music list. 

I've often viewed it as a weakness of philosophy that people who do
philosophy and people who are merely philosophy critics, appreciators or
historians are placed in the same academic departments. Oh, I suppose
music critics and literary 'theorists' share departments with composers
and creative writers - but at least there's no confusion between the two
approaches. Each student knows clearly they're on the one track or the other.

On the net, you can (better than 99% of the time) tell whether a poster is
doing literature or critiquing it; and whether someone is discussing music
or creating it; but there's a blurring between those doing philosophy and
those who talk about philosophy others have done. This is good, since it
allows real philosophers to wade in among the appreciators and critics in
a way that will never happen (until a few years from now when our machines
have much more bandwidth) in a music list, and rarely happens (to my
knowledge - please direct me to the exceptions if I'm wrong) in literature

It's also bad, because folks who are doing current art in any area - 
music, literature, philosophy for example - are usually beyond the taste 
of the historians and critics of the field. Or at least, when they 
aren't, they rarely rate the attention of future historians and critics. 

So the strength of the philosophy lists - that creative people are doing 
philosophy there - is also a weakness - since it makes the lists less 
accessible than those lists in areas - like music or literature - that 
are technically or traditionally limited to only secondary work.



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