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October 22, 2005

consenting to be blogged

Briankle, in his book, agrees with Schutz that "the problem" of intersubjectivity is actually "an 'intramundane problem'" (79). I haven't read Schutz' explication of what he means by this term; a simplistic online definition is ""being in the material world", as opposed to "extramundane" (is this a synonym for transcendental?)

I've been challenged, criticized, and negatively sanctioned for posting here about various interactions over (what may now become marked as) the early years of Reflexivity. Why? To what end? Don't I understand there is perceived, if not actual, violation involved?

I do understand that making mundane things public is a breach of certain forms and modes of privacy. Does the fact of people's discomfort mean I should simply stop?

Here's an interesting weblog on information privacy and marketing, via which one can learn all about various safeguards and violations of privacy. Then there's fair use and academic freedom. There are even laws about this stuff.

It's the violation of the expectation as set forth in law that seems to be what upsets most folk, to wit: "the expectation that confidential personal information disclosed in a private place will not be disclosed to third parties." Missing, in my view, from many of the criticisms directed at me is consideration of the rest of the principle: "when that disclosure would cause either embarrassment or emotional distress to a person of reasonable sensitivities" (emphasis added).

It may well be that academics in general, and intellectuals in particular (?) do not belong in a blanket category of persons with "reasonable sensitivities" because we understand the unpredictable nature of textual and circumstantial spin, especially in our hyper-media-centric age. My stance however, is that none of us are really that special. I include myself most prominently in this evaluation! Much of my blogposts are mundane because my life is, in fact, unremarkable. This doesn't diminish my enthusiasm for living it, nor cause me to worry overmuch about potential misuses of what I post here. (If/when I get bit in the ass I suppose I may reconsider, but then again - how can one live a life even pretending to approach some level of satisfaction if choices are predicated more on fear than hope?)

I assume that what has protected me thus far from official retribution is a combination of a deep departmental (perhaps disciplinary?) valuing of academic freedom, as well as safeguards that I have utilized, such as the use of anonymity, a narrative style that centers me as the 'object of reference', and lots of good-natured teasing. Granted, I have screwed up at times, and I haven't cleaned up all of the posts which have caused folks varying degrees of distress. I may, someday, although I experience ambivalence because such cleansing - while it would demonstrate respect for those who would prefer not to have been recorded here, it would also have the effect of making me appear more together than I really am/have been. As my friends and colleagues well know, I am not so thoroughly put together. Again, this in no way makes me particularly special, although I may be a bit more bold than most in displaying my imperfections. Perhaps that's the rub of being "guilty by association" - how could one possibly be willing to be associated with me in public?!!

I tease myself, and I tease my friends. I prefer, even, to tease my "enemies", to the extent I have them. If the humor sometimes has an edge, it's because I'm not as gifted as I wish to be in dealing with the less noble aspects of so-called human nature: aggression, the drive for hierarchical status", basic enmity and distrust. My ethic - a stance which I feel I am "growing into" based upon previously-intuited convictions (as discussed in an anthropology class last week) revolves around an ontological commitment to our essential interdependence. We are, in my view, in this shit together. We can choose to shovel ourselves out or simply throw it at each other.

Posted by Steph at October 22, 2005 6:18 PM


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