07 April 2009




auto-hide said...

"The main reason for getting lost in cyberspace is its precision. Every virtual environment is the product of years (or at least months) of work. The result is a high-conceptional piece that cannot match the intuitive choices people make. The best thing it can do is to offer tools for orienting yourself. In any case, you have to play the environment's rules. If you use a URL the Web does not know, you will be confronted with a dead end of this sort:

404 Not Found
The requested URL /... was not found on this server.

The encounter of the environment's precision and human intuition's imprecision is what makes people surf the Web. Since you cannot simply type in the name of the thing you are looking for as a URL, you have to use search engines. These engines, however, often give you any address but the one you need. Good-willed and trustful you follow one of the suggested links (Imagine searching for a band that calls itself 'real estate') just to land at some totally unexpected location. There you find a link to something that you haven't thought of but nevertheless arouses your interest. This is the point where the surfing starts and where you give away control.

The Parisian flâneur is a figure that was born out of the radical change brought on by the building of boulevards through the entire city of Paris. These boulevards allowed the people of Paris to let them flow with the masses without caring about losing direction. The impossibility of getting lost on the boulevards made it possible to lose oneself in the masses that crowded them.

This situation is similar to the cyberspatial one I described above where you lose yourself, or rather let yourself flow in a space that is designed to be precise. In fact, it is because of this precision that you have no other choice but letting yourself flow since you have to adapt yourself to the given circumstances without having control over the medium itself.

It is quite ironic that places which main function it is to be as exact as possible, places of public tranportation (train or bus stations, airports), are very suitable to give in to a modern flâneur attitude since they are transitional places. Cyberspace is a transitional place as well since its interlinking makes every stop a temporary one, and each destination points to other places one should or could visit; one becomes an electronic flâneur . . . " from Raiders of the Lost Time

kali said...

Apparently we found where to settle our roots : the Land of the Lost Time ...