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Kermit Snelson writes about it in terms of identity and power. He concludes: “I suspect that its reflections on identity vs. location contain deep insights into profound questions of jurisprudence, such as the conflict between identitarian and territorial forms of sovereignty.”

If it does, they’re Kermit’s insights, not mine. But that’s one of the best things about having a book published: In the hands of readers, it becomes more than it is.

2 Responses to “Kermit Snelson reflects on the book”

  1. on 13 May 2007 at 9:52 amMatt Searles


    I think you have two things here.. #1 “Human ideas” and #2 Real Stuff.

    Human ideas: are our ideas of things.. Kantian problems.. perhaps Jungian problems.. our ideas of reality getting in the way of our seeing reality.

    Real Stuff: It seems to me that the relationship between power and identity are best understood in Buddhism.. or Buddhism versus Plato.. In Buddhism we all have Buddha consiousness.. We are all “it” it’s just that we do not realize we are it.. Buddhism is then about realizing your “it-ness.” In Plato / our modern Christian type tradition.. we have an ultimate idea / ideal.. and we have our proximity to that idea.. having everything to do with our value.. we have been fallen since Eden..

    So in Plato the “ultimate idea of a chair” is this wonderful thing.. and in Buddhism the ultimate chair has to do with how well it fits your back..

    I don’t know if I’m quite making the case.

    Look at Foucault.. here’s a guy who knows something bout power relationships.. power driving the very lexographical evolution.. framing the painting.. is it frame by power relationships in the society.. or by the individual.. as in Buddhism?

    This parallels, it seems to me, the relationship between push and pull media.. In pull media I subscribe to your blog / podcast / etc.. because I’ve identified you as someone worth following.. because of whatever my values are.. In push media you have a cultural gate keeper who’s preconceived notions of the market place.. effects what he’s willing to invest in…

    In push media we have a collective psychology that functions like a Fruedian psyche.. where we can look at the channels thoughts have to flow before they dawn on on our consiousness.. or you have that kind of Noam Chomsky manufacturing consent thing…

    It seems to me that the disruption we are experiencing is one that leads to a healthy collective consiousness..

    There are more signs then this.. but..

    I think what you have to look to is what makes the most sense to our collective good.. and how will that be defined.. and for now we have a lot of battles.. because we will soon not be defining copyright in the old ways.. soon measured by generations..

    well anyway… that’s my 2 cents

  2. on 13 May 2007 at 10:31 amBrian H

    Well, what if power is defined simply as the ability or capacity to create effects, or consequences or results? We all have to have some, or we’d be unable to feed ourselves. Assuming we can. Influence and consensus and “subscription” to aims and goals laid out by another or others is consent to push in the same or an aligned direction. Necessarily, this must mean we believe, however accurately, that doing so will advance our own aims and/or quality and likelihood of survival.

    This is where deception or manipulation or coercion come into play: misrepresentation of intent or probable outcomes or reduction of alternatives to avoidance of pain or non-survival. “The Devil made me do it!” Or avoidance of effort in pursuit of a goal. It is the basic insight used by scammers and con artists that fear and greed are the unfailing tools that blind and sucker both masses and individuals, and keep the supply of “marks” topped up.