Complexity Is an Understatement

I never knew the original reason why the Internet, previously called the World-Wide Web, came to be, so it was interesting to find out in the article that it was for the sharing of human knowledge through a platform.

In the article “The World-Wide Web,” the authors provide a breakdown of each component that makes the Internet a whole.

W3 is defined by the following:
All the information stored for search inquiries
The URL that leads to all information + its HTTP for the servers
HTML to transmit the information

I feel like the Internet today is taken for granted, and we’re given more practical means of “learning” how to use a computer as opposed to a history lesson, or an in-depth explanation of what we’re ACTUALLY doing when we type in an address like “http://facebook.com” or why a webpage looks a certain way compared to another. The article provided pictures of how a desktop looked back in the 90s, which completely blew my mind. Everything was so simplified back then with mostly just text and links…

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s piece on the “Rhizome” really required me to sit down and truly focus, because I found myself reading the same sentence over and over again before I (somewhat) understood their concepts. According to page 7 in the text, a rhizome “assumes very diverse forms, from ramified surface extension in all directions to concretion into bulbs and tubers.” In the most basic sense of the term, a rhizome connects points together that don’t have to be related. It’s chaotic, twisted, just a network of non-permanent creativity. This is the complete opposite of what we had briefly discussed about human history in class—there seems to be this linear anthropocentric understanding of how things came to be.

So how in the world does this relate to the W3? I’m assuming there’s no real core that makes the Internet “be” and servers all act independently while still being connected as part of the overall structure of the Internet. This also applies to specific sites as well; there is no linear way of using Facebook or Twitter, it’s all sporadic and we click on links that interest us and end up in different pages all the time. Then again, I am probably botching the idea of what Deleuze and Guattari are trying to get at.

Thought this picture was beautiful and did a rhizome justice:

rhizome

In Teresa Brennan’s “The Transmission of Affect,” she talks about how a person is able to feel an emotion because of the atmosphere/environment and that creates a physical and biological change within the person. These instances usually happen in a social setting, like if I were to walk into a room that had a certain decor to it and instantly get (what we 21st century people call) vibes that might either deter or attract me to the space. There’s also the instance where I might meet someone and automatically be attracted to or repelled from them. Brennan also goes into detail on the hysteria, and group phenomena. I forget what piece I read in my previous class, but it stated that no one can be accounted for the severity of their actions in a crowd, since it augments people’s emotions and beliefs. Everyone is in a similar mindset, and “group or mob consciousness… overrides… individual reason” (page 2).

The distinction between affect—“physiological shift accompanying a judgement” and feelings—“sensory information… [and] a unified interpretation of that information” (3). An affect is a response to something that may physically display an emotion, but it’s not tied to language. In comparison, feelings are connected to how we’ve reacted to similar events in the past, or our sociocultural understanding of something. For example, music is something that transmits an affect within us… or is it a feeling?

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~ by vhbae on February 7, 2016.

One Response to “Complexity Is an Understatement”

  1. I think the substance in your post really grabbed me. The image of the rhizome and the relationship with the W3 I guess while extremely interrelated I actually didn’t think about it in that sense and perspective until I read it here. The picture also really helped with this (no joke, I’m either very slow or very visual). Your holistic descriptions and spontaneous branchings of thought and interrelated topics (hey, like a Rhizome!) I thought it meshed really well with not only the readings but with your thought processes.

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