Machine Ghost is spoiled

with 7 comments

Ugh.  If this isn’t a testimony to my diss, my is all messed up.  According to, I haven’t tagged anything since October 10 when in fact I’ve saved almost one hundred research articles!  Now they’re all gone and I can’t remember what they were.  I tagged them so I didn’t have to remember what I wanted to read after this QE is over.  Now, vamoosh, they’re gone.  Oh, well.  Back to the drawing smart board.


Written by kimlacey

November 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. Not to be cruel, but since your whole thing is externalized memory and digitality, isn’t this really the perfect exigence for chapter three or something?


    November 23, 2008 at 8:57 pm

  2. I agree with Mike, it is very appropriate that your external/digital memory has forgotten all that you marked for it to remember. Greater capacity, but perhaps less control?


    November 24, 2008 at 8:38 am

  3. YES! (That’s said with all the frustration I can squeeze into my caps lock.) The perfect exigence…good call. I’m already accumulating witty academic anecdotes…
    Control, on the other hand, is an issue I’m still working through. More later?


    November 24, 2008 at 5:43 pm

  4. I am wondering whether control is really the issue here. My thoughts run to Latour–this is a near perfect point for using the “objects have agency” argument from Pandora’s Hope. (Reminiscent of our discussion in RM’s class about the broken conference VCR.) Maybe the question is whether (or to what degree) memory is necessary for agency? Or how memory (or the chance-to-forget) is its own agency?

    Dunno. That’s Lacey’s bag anyway.


    November 26, 2008 at 5:19 am

  5. I like that last point, MLM–the chance to forget. I think Latour would say that electronic memory does have agency, but that type of agency is different from the VCR example in the way that it still functions as memory w/o human intervention. With the VCR, it can’t ‘work’ (that is, play tapes, etc.) without someone putting it into motion. It starts, stops, breaks, causes confusion, etc. but only because something else is acting on it. The memory bit, conversely, ‘remembers’ on its own–supposedly there’s no ending/forgetting (unless we lose the flash drive, reformat, have our act up or whatever). The remembering is done for us, as is the forgetting when these devices breakdown/are lost. Interesting ideas–something to think about fo sho. Thanks!


    November 26, 2008 at 10:12 am

  6. As much as I love irony, that really sucks.

    The Internet’s full of evil, Kimmers. Evil and porn. And occasionally, evil porn.


    November 26, 2008 at 9:44 pm

  7. KL,

    I guess I would quibble with you on your point that “The memory bit, conversely, ‘remembers’ on its own–supposedly there’s no ending/forgetting.” I think here the question might be one of intentionality. Do we only ever “remember” something, or do we “remember-for” or “remember-to”? That is, memory (almost) always serves a purpose right? Even on the biological level, we could point to fight-or-flee instincts as being biological memories that, however obsolete, still have some “purpose” to them. I think this is even more pointed in the example of digital memory. You didn’t just save things to a USB drive or for the sake of remembering, you saved them for future purpose. Here, I guess I’m thinking Heideggerian. H writes that tools exit either “at-hand” or “present-to-hand,” right? Don’t memory devices only ever exist “at-hand”–that is, aren’t they irrevocably bound up with Dasein’s worldly care? Or, rather, even when they are only “present-to-hand,” we assume they are still acting as though they are “at-hand;” that is, memory becomes a state in which “present-at-hand” becomes subsumed under “at-hand,” since even when these devices are not plugged in or connected we assume they are remembering. So memory is an ontological shift in the way Dasein encounters objects.


    November 27, 2008 at 4:14 am

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