- Oct 2015
Thanks for the thanks!
Yes, I make decisions about who or what might enter my home
Thinking about the home here, and Ronell's telephone above I'm reminded of Derrida's Of Hospitality where while tracing the frontier between public and private (and what we might consider on and offline), he shows that the recent “accelerated deployment of particular technologies” reveal what has always been the case (57): that “in order to constitute the space of a habitable house and a home… you have to give up a passage to the outside world” (61).
Home isn't where the heart is, but where your phone is. In the face of an ever-present exposedness how do we delineate the home? Are we also always at home because of deliberate, continual exposure (smartphones, but also digital personas on social media)?The home-front is expanding.
These blurry lines seemed slightly less blurry in the tone-dial-screech-crackle-connect scenario, but even the bad old days of dial-up Internet access put forth the fiction that there was an offline and an online, a moment when others were arriving and a moment when we were alone.
I can't help but think of Al Swearengen from HBO's Deadwood grappling with the introduction of telegraph poles and the blurring of this fiction.
"Al: Invisible messages from invisible sources, or what some people think of as progress.
Dan: Ain’t the heathens used smoke signals all through recorded history?
Al: How’s that a fucking recommendation?
Dan: Well, it seems to me like, you know, letters posted one person to another is just a slower version of the same idea.
Al: When’s the last time you got a fucking letter from a stranger?
Dan: Bad news about Pa.
Al: Bad news! Or tries against our interests is our sole communications from strangers, so by all means, let’s plant poles all across the country, festoon the cocksucker with wires to hurry the sorry word and blinker our judgments of motive, huh?
Dan: You’ve given it more thought than me.
Al: Ain’t the state of things cloudy enough? Don’t we face enough fucking imponderables?
Dan: Well, by God, you give the word, Al, and them poles will be kindling."
- Sep 2015
Meanwhile, Amazon is now the first stop for almost a third of all American consumers seeking to buy anything. Talk about power.
This article from 2013 states that online sales were only 5.8% of retail sales total in the US.
Nuts that online retail has bumped up to 33% in 2 years. I wonder where this number's from. Well, I suppose that a first stop doesn't necessarily mean they bought something there, though.