Monday, February 23, 2009

Jung with a computer: #1 and #2

(Disclaimer: forgive the discussion of self angst here, be patient)

So Jung understood the duality of his personality in terms of two distinct characters: "#1" and "#2."

#1 was mainstream, productive in the everyday world. Logical and ambitious for academic success, #1 pursued a prestigious lifestyle in relationship to Jung's surrounding society.

#2's personality was much more troubled, concerned more with ontological questions (God, the supernatural, truth) than the goings-on of physical society. #2 liked to brood, to comment, to lament.

Though identifying two personalities helps some people, it often oversimplifies mental conflicts within the individual and can encourage schizophrenia as a crutch for poor performance. Some people can handle it. Either way, this particular distinction is useful because I FEEL THE SAME WAY, and the split is caused by my lifetime use of computers.

If I have a #1 and a #2, the first is concerned with love, the outdoors, food and eastern spirituality: he chills, laughs. #2 is much more ambitious, worried about ontology, angry at society/ arbitrary authority structures and MAINLY EXISTS/SURVIVES ON THE INTERNET.

Now people have had different internet avatars for quite some time, early interactive fiction encouraged the formation of a "screen identity" from the start. But what is happening right now is something different, something more profoundly causal to real life, and I'm not the only one being affected. Not even close.

So I could throw out my laptop and live as #1 and go into teaching or finance and be healthy and happy, drink wine watch movies and be ignorant. Fck that. I have lived more as #2: complaining, thinking about biopolitics and ontology in relation to everything I do. Drug use encourages this perspective. #2 wants to be a savior of society, a more profound Cory Doctorow: Dr. Cosmos the seer. What a jamoke.

People are multifaceted, yet the conflicts that stand between personas can cause discomfort. I'm not going to slip into psychosis like Jung, but the ignorance=bliss split is made especially painful when computers are our main source of information (non-ignorance).

non-linear, non-authorial, non-finite knowledge

If computer use = non-ignorance, must it must also = non-bliss?

If using a computer for long enough (socially) creates a new personality, then MUST any human create a #2 if they want to take part in discourse online?* Who is Cory Doctorow? Who is Perez Hilton? If i let #2 run free, I think he could become a part of that world. I think I would suffer as a person for it.

I am.

Stayed up till 5am scanning websites about virtual reality, talking with a friend in Boston, listening to newly downloaded music... this is how I lived in highschool: perpetually tired, perpetually apathetic about reality and fully engaged in the internet. MMORPG's, 4chan, web comics, web sites, pod casts ---> there's enough to keep me satisfied forever. Hell I never even started hacking or fcking with proxies! I spent my hours in my mind/in front of a computer and I am... smarter for it? Maybe, I know some of sht.

Yet I have little use for the information I've soaked up in my drunken thirst for _____. I woke up at 11 and missed the sunrise.

So who's it going to be? Can we control them both? I highly doubt that everyone is this way, but if you have read this far: ask yourself who/what/why your #2 is. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, tell me how you manage your consumption of information and go for a nice walk. I need a break from academia.


Haha we're so spoiled, so ignorant here.


*(we don't really interact in physical space, making our bodies and our "#1" natural personalities obsolete.)

1 comment:

Maggie said...

black holes. go.