Sunday, October 15, 2006

And so it begins...

So this is my latest blog, "Sphereless". After some thought, the name came out of some work I was doing a few months ago for a Masters dissertation, which concentrated on Habermas' idea of the public sphere - one of the questions raised in particular was whether we are partaking in such a sphere, or whether a single domain has given way to a multitude of smaller, isolated sphere. Or, alternatively (there's always a third way) that sphere just doesn't exist at all.

Then I was reminded of a collection of Foucault speeches on parrhesia called "Fearless Speech". One spoonerism, and dropping the "Feech" bit, and "Sphereless" came about. It seemed to fit with the idea - or the question - that we need to reconsider what we consider the "public" in an age of personalised, yet networked technology, and indeed perhaps it should really be read as "Sphereless?", question mark and all.

So there's the name. What about content? Well, I finally decided to 'fork' out this theme - politics, the "public" and technology - as its own distinct "thread" for a few reasons. Firstly, as a place to focus, direct and explore my own thoughts and observations on it. This aspect is becoming, I think, increasingly more important as I head into a 3-year programme of studying such things (yay for Academic Bloggers). Secondly, I think there are some really important and, most of all, under-examined trends and progressions being made in this relatively fuzzy of areas. And by giving the subject its own "space", not only does it make it easier for others interested in the theme to follow, but perhaps it also lends an air of "gravity" to the whole field as well.

Oh, and thirdly, I wanted to play with Google's new beta blog stuff :) You'll have to forgive me this indulgence if you're viewing on browsers other than Firefox and IE - the beta Blogger homepage notes they're still working out some kinks. I'll hopefully give it a decent test in some non-standard browsers to see what's going on anyway (plus get round to changing the "out of the box" design at some point, too).

Anyway. That's an introduction. Posts to follow...

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