The Museum of Vestigial Desire


tags: famine sshop published on:

Scanning is an inferior optic process. It accesses through a surface grazing just the key concepts of a text but not any other. Any given text is more than just a sum of its key points. There are hidden nuggets which can be accessed only on deep reading. And scanning is not deep reading.

Scanning is insulting to the text. The angst of recurrent insult builds up and eventually comes lashing out at the moment of eventual transmission. The point when a set of eyeballs actually manage to read the given text of the subject and the mind to which the eyeballs are transmitting to, have to face the backlash. The severity of the backlash can only be determined by the harshness with which the scanning was done.

Scanning can operate within a range. There are varying degrees. For some it is in fact easy to scan a surface of text, a pool of meaning in a brief window of time: fast, brash and only as a token of an action. No intent is suggested. But for some the scanning operates in a way which is only partially a token strategy and at the same time is also a content assimilation technique. At a fringe level, at a marginal level things are still understood. In its content assimilation style, windows of time are not so strict but the windows of time are recursive, habitual and obsessive. The trickle-feed of content that does get scraped off the bodies of text does bond together and produce entire messages on the lens of the reader. But what are these messages worth? What do they contain? They are gibberish.

The trouble is that with vast bodies of content when each pretends to be enigmatic, dramatic and demanding to be understood if at all. Nobody bothers to engage very deep. Everyone scans, pulls a passage, a line, a word here and there from disparate sources and puts together a meshwork, a bricolage of uncertain loyalty. Because of the opacity of the bodies of content, the only choice that people have is to scan, speculate and remake. And, because scanning can only produce gibberish; content and what it is made out to be are two very different things.

Scanning is the only choice because content today has to be careful. Messages are fragile. The truth is harsh and cannot be spoken aloud without taking the risk of shattering the world head on. There are layers and layers of cloaks that hide the message behind a cipher. Even if you claim to access, the message can always claim to be something else. Leaving you in this puddle, in this puss pit of confusion, ambiguity and uncertainty! Even if you manage to sneak in a deal to get access to the message, you can never be sure. Whatever is known can be violated! Whatever is accessible can be manipulated - can be torn apart! The mystery on the other hand is always mysterious. There can only be clues, never any answers. Lack of clarity can protect anything. Confusion can weave a maze around any approach path.

So, in this Maya, in this maze, what is to be done? Scanning is the easiest choice for individual action. Scanning plays both parts: as a navigation exercise it allows you to pretend that you are attempting to find your way back and at the same time it allows you to scan the bodies of text mangled into the surface of the maze-walls. Out of context, out of sequence - but available! This surfatial scanning produces gibberish; populating gibberish in the buffer space of the mind to be made available as a resource helps to imaginatively colour the emergence of the itch to ever want to find out the truth. This colouring activity helps because if you don't search you will not be disillusioned. Only on seeking do you face failure. For someone who doesn't agree to travel in the first place, there is no getting lost and no getting deluded.

Scanning needs to be used as a skilled, ubiquitous field level ability that can be a building block for intelligent action.

Where scanning works very efficiently is the consumption of the surfaces of packaging available today. The surfaces of packaging have diluted and easy to access information which is only available only with the pissed out marketing logic, sales pitches and reverse psychology that we have grown so familiar to; that mere scanning is enough, we do not need to examine such surfaces finely.

The insight this situation offers us is that familiarity is in our team. Familiarity is our soldier. We can use the sanction and privilege of familiarity to float content via the already deployed surfaces. With a tactical and strategic swap of the frontal element of surfaces, we can have an abundantly deployed and easily accessed surface for content specially customised for them.

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