RhetNetFebruary 1995

Inescapable validation/authority

Richard Long

In the Cyberjournal Beth Baldwin writes: " It will take a fair degree of daring, I realize, for some to let go of old notions of validity, but I think it would be well worth our effort to try."

This is interesting and gets to the mystery of electronic writing. Even as we attempt to let go of old notions of validity, we are trying to create a new electronic validity. We might not want to call it such, since "validity" for some might invoke in this context a sense of print, those characteristics that validate print, and therefore might come across as pejorative. It could be that anything that validates is authoritative, restrictive, ordered, safe is space, lacking chaos.

All of us want the concept of a cyberjournal to be worthwhile, not just the idea, but also the act of reading it. We want our act of reading an electronic journal to be validated. Is there another word? Are we validated when we become lost in the hypertext. I remember being a child and playing in mazes. I guess a maze is a structure with a purpose of making become lost in its space, and when I felt I was lost there was a thrill at first, but then fright over being lost. I'm just wondering whether there is any correlation with a hypertext or cyberjournal.

That idea sets up an interesting binary: located/lost, pleasure/fear, and if we rearrange them according to what some are saying we can get this: located=fear/lost=pleasure. Is this some sort of poststructural validation?

I like the equations, though I certain don't hear, as Yeats would say, a click of the box closing.

Date:         Mon, 6 Feb 1995 09:48:36 -0500
Sender: CyberJournal for Rhetoric and Writing 
From: Richard Long 
Subject:      Cowrite: Validity

Do you have something to say?

beth's note eric's note