Saturday, January 5, 2013

Thesis 4 of 95: It talks like an angel, but I got wise

Part of the blogging project about the 95 theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto 

In the last post, I defined the "Human Voice" as "the felt exchange of humanity in an exchange of value between humans." This felt exchange of something that is "us", when we exchange things which are not "us" as such, but products of ourselves that have been frozen in time as a "thing of value" which can now be exchanged for another "thing of value", created by somebody else.

That the Human Voice exists, that its part of a Conversation  a Market, or a Conversational Market is no way necessitating it as virtuous. It can sometimes be destructive. 

Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived. 

Now, this is a good thing, right? The Human Voice being "open, natural, uncontrived", aren't those all words which sound good? The problem, I think, isn't how the voice is saying it, it is what is said. When we face these "structured structures that are pre-disposed to structure structures", what Bourdieu calls "The Habitus", we learn to "refuse what is anyway refused and to love the inevitable". 

An thus, the Human Voice might tell us to work until our bodies are useless, to buy until our pockets are empty, to dull ourselves down until we don't feel much of anything, and that the Human Voice is all there is, and we will accept our faith as if it was an independent choice we made.

The Human Voice in Capitalism feels open, natural and uncontrived. It's specific categories and constructs that limit human freedom and happiness are posed as Things as They Are, Were, and Will Be. It makes you feel as if its "open", "uncontrived" in that it talks as if it were the champion of free choice. The thought of something else - a new way of making the world, the Human Voice, is shunned because Listen To The Sound Of The Voice We Made Last Time Isn't It Great I Totally Want To Do That Again! When you actually listen to the words, rather than the sound, though, they make less sense. You have to inquire if you want to understand.

I've been running with this idea of a Conversational Market, appearing as a change in the Human Voice. A market were the values are exchanged in the way Mauss described, not in the commodity form, but in the form of social interaction which groups and individuals engage in. The creation of the Human Voice in this market is the creation of structured structures (filesharing websites, social media websites, new technologies, new personalities, new politics and positions of power) which are structuring structures (filesharers, tweeters, smartphones, @dril, Occupiers and Mark Zuckerberg). 

Have we created this new Human Voice well? Well, we may have made some mistakes, but the more we are aware that we are making Human Voice, the more power we have to experiment with it.

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