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mikefortun Annotations

Mike Fortun's picture
In response to:

How does this platform figure "data" and its movements into other orders (information, analysis, knowledge, etc.)?

Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 11:53am

so a recurring trope in the literatures on coding -- not surprising since it is a fundamental trope of fundamentals -- is the ground.  As in grounded theory, which undergirds (yeah I know) so much writing/thinking about qualitative analysis and qualitative data.  Ground is the stable solid unchanging material on which you (guys) erect your towering edifices of knowledge.  (Fleck directly critiques this foundational trope in his "Science of Science" essay, troping science in terms of fruit rather than building -- science grows a thick outer protective rind that is its solid appearance, but is also dead and inedible; its the fluid juicy inside where growth occurs, change happens, and nourishment can be found.)  So I think there are two ways to ab-use a ground, one via Spivak and the philosophy of the limit (deconstruction) and one via Nietzsche.  You can acknowledge that every ground is always already "mined under," chock full of holes and tunnelings beneath the apparently solid unbroken surface; strata that compress and uplift and subduct and create faultlines (Traweek), over long periods of time so that the change appears unchanging. (Also a deleuzian "geophilosophy" of variable speeds.) I worked along these lines in Promising Genomics, with the doublebind of lavaXland.  The Nietszchean angle is to leave the ground as is and reconfigure "the actor's" relationship to it, so that the actor/knower is a dancer and not an architect or engineer or actor-network builder.  Plenty of people would find this to be kinda girly but that would be precisely the point -- en point?  Of course the ground will stop any fall, hinder movement, and provide a stable not to mention painful surface that is inescapabale.  But Nietszchean knowledge is a dance movement: departures from and returns to a ground, in elegantly styled movements that are a wonder to watch, not to mention undertake.  Gravity's rainbow. Pas de deux. Le pas au-dela.

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