Tuesday, May 22, 2007


[blägkapsel] noun. 1. A blog which was regularly updated for a period of time, but has since fallen into neglect. It remains on the web as a sort of time capsule of the period in which its author was active. 2. What "unemployed negativity" was in the danger of becoming.

It has obviously been a very long time since I have updated this blog. The reasons for this are quite mundane, the usual end of the semester crunch combined with a conference and a brief period of travel in which I was off the grid for a little bit. These mundane reasons have combined to break the habit of "blogging" so now, even when I have the time (arguably), I do not have the inclination. I have even gone back to writing random thoughts in my notebook instead of posting them here. I am now trying to get the habit back and am taking advantage of some jetlag which has me wide awake at 3:47 AM to get back into the habit. This blog was begun in jetlag and in jetlag it shall be reborn.

Of course starting the habit is not the same as having an idea. The only glimmer of an idea that I have right now has to do with title of this post. As a reader of blogs I have noticed that more often than not, when the author (or authors) of a blog stop posting, the blog continues to linger online for a long period of time, preserving the moment that it was active. This brings up an aspect of the relationship of the internet to temporality that one does not often think about.

It has become commonplace (even banal) to indentify the internet in general with immediacy, it is the place where one goes for up to the minute news, commentary, etc. Thus, the internet easily serves as a kind of technological stand in for the decline of historical comprehension in contemporary capitalism. The reduction of time and history to the instant and pure speed of communication. However, as I have already indicated this image does not fit the internet itself, which perserves the traces of not only various blogs but many things. One can still find archived discussions on listservs when performing searches on Google. On the internet the past and present coexist, appearing on the same list of search results. Like Freud's use of the ruins of Rome as a metaphor for the unconscious, past and present exist side by side without distinction or differentiation. I am not sure what this says about time, or historicity, other than that the temporality of the internet (and perhaps of society in general) is not just the pure present but an unthinking and unreflecting retention of the past. Nothing is forgotten. To quote Deleuze and Guattari, “a motley painting of everything that has ever been believed.”

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