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Corrosive Information

“Bits of information provide neither meaning nor orientation,” Han observes in an interview with Noema this week. “They do not congeal into a narrative. They are purely additive. From a certain point onwards, they no longer inform — they deform.” 

The way information now courses through society is also corrosive. 

 “Digital communication redirects the flows of communication. Information is spread without forming a public sphere,” the South Korea-born German philosopher says. “It is produced in private spaces and distributed to private spaces.

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151 reads

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Erosion

As Han sees it, this fragmentary character of peer-to-peer communication both coincides with and fuels the erosion of those pillars of cohesion that once held communities together.

“The inwardly turned, narcissistic ego with purely subjective access to the world is not the cause of soc...

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93 reads

Paradoxes

Paradoxes

Community requires ritual and narrative.

The paradoxes of the information age make the mind swim. The more we are informed, the more we are disoriented. The more we connect, the more we are divided. The more new content there is to consume, the less we are ever satisfied. The faster the net...

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194 reads

Tim Gorichanaz

But that does not found communities — it isolates people. Art, in particular, should play a central role in the revitalization of rituals.”

Also writing in NoemaTim Gorichanaz scores the dichotomous binary thinking encoded in digital communication as dis...

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The Antidote

Ritual. Narrative. Context. Temporal stability. In short, everything missing from the connected isolation of digital disconnectivity is the antidote to its corrosion of community.

The recovery of culture from the grip of subjectivism and its dispersion into disparate bits of information is...

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67 reads

Stability

For Han, the traditional rituals that once provided a founding orientation for society were discarded by modernity as hackneyed customs of the outmoded past.

The past cannot be revived, but, as Han says, “What we need most are temporal structures that stabilize life. When everything is...

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78 reads

Atomization

The web does not create a public.” On the contrary: “The informatization of reality leads to its atomization — separated spheres of what is thought to be true.”

Instead of the basis for a common narrative, truth becomes a subjective projection of those isolated from each ...

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126 reads

Ritual forms

They all require a lot of time. Today’s terror of short-termism — which, with fatal consequences, we mistake for freedom — destroys the practices that require time. To combat this terror, we need a very different temporal politics.”

Han looks to culture for the recovery of a sense ...

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62 reads

The Need of Context

Roam Research is a similar platform, a notetaking app that allows complex interlinking between pieces of content, creating dynamic networks and hierarchies of information.”

He concludes: “Societally, we need such technologies for the public, perhaps built into the social media ...

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63 reads

“Slow Technology”

While the philosopher Han looks to art to recover a culture of cohesion, Gorichanaz sees some promise in what he calls “slow technology.” 

“The digital revolution has shaken up our understanding of narrative, but there are new technologies that could help us recontextualize rat...

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64 reads

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