Monthly Archives: October 2012

Animation, tension and the internet

About Doc’s and Drummond’s questions about (1) whether the  .  .  . place to lie, place to hide, place where things are not as they seem .  .  . “code” I hypothesized  is the only code and (2) how did the internet grow as it did in some many directions (including Doc’s work becoming widely known) if this is an important code.

A notion at work here is the paradoxical notion that the internet did indeed grow in so many ways and as fast and like something alive as it did because it hooked into an already existing neural construction in us of  “. . . a place to lie, place to hide, a place where things are not as they seem . . . “ — however apparently negative that may be.   It may be/seem negative, but it accessed something in us that is animating – something in the reptilian and limbic parts of us.  (Recall the shorthand:  the cortex is for thought; the limbic if for feeling, the reptilian is for movement.)  It was and is animating/energizing.  It hooked into something that was, in some sense, strangely familiar.  We could live there in the field of tension between Awful and Wonderful, between Love and Hate, between Light and Dark.  A Jungian notion is that it is this tension that is life.  Without such polar tensions, there is no life (and not even death, to push the notion a step further).

It’s why when auto makers show a new concept car to a focus group, they want to hear either “Wow, I love it” or “Wow, I hate it.” If they hear “That’s a really nice car,” they know they will certainly sell some of that car, perhaps enough to make a profit.   But it won’t catch on, be viral, be sold by word-of-mouth and by sight.  And there’s not enough marketing and advertising to make it so.

So, “. . . a place to lie, place to hide, a place where things are not as they seem . . . ” is wonderful/awful but most important, it is animating.

Were there other codes at work in the history of the internet?  I only know that this one shows up dominantly as you listen to the visceral verbs and adjectives people use to describe their internet life and look at what people do (the risks they take, the privacy invasions they allow, the acceptance of the cow/calf structure and the one-up/one-down treatment of vendors).

The more important question now is:  Are there other equally animating highways for the internet.  For example, Folgers and Starbucks found a code for coffee beyond “Wakes you up in the morning”.  They found COFFEE = HOME.  They found it via a strange kind of deeper-than-cortex focus group research, but it can make cortex sense in that our earliest connection with coffee was not when we first tasted it, but when we first smelled it, perhaps on day 5 or 10 of our life – at HOME.  So, yes, coffee = buzz, or coffee =  warmth, or coffee = wakes you up in the morning.  But COFFEE = HOME is more animating.  You don’t need to tell people COFFEE = HOME.  Just associate coffee with home.  Watch Folgers commercials and look at Starbucks stores.