[Tue, 18 Jul 1995]

WELCOME TO CYBERMIND!

AN ELECTRONIC FORUM FOR THE DISCUSSION OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS OF SUBJECTIVITY IN CYBERSPACE

We are all dwelling in cyberspace, coursing through the wires, becoming cyborg and becoming human. We are subjects of a realm which is totally charted, and completely unknown. CYBER-MIND is devoted to an examination of the new subjectivities that have emerged and might yet emerge in this arena. We are interested in particular in the philosophical, psychological/psychoanalytic and social issues engendered, particularly as they concern the user and the social.

Some issues that might be relevant: the psychology of intimacy, the role of gender, the phenomenology of the terminal screen, neurosis and paranoia on the Net, the relationship of lag to community and communi- cation, sex/gender/sexual orientation theory and electronic subjectivity, the role of the symbolic or imaginary in computer communication, the implications of symbolic extensions of the human ("external memory", and so forth), fantasy and the hallucinatory aspects of email/USENET groups/MUDs, and the psychoanalysis of lurking.

This is an "open list" - posts on all aspects of the above issues and more will be welcomed. It is open to general discussion, group readings of published works, and the sharing and critique of participants' works -in-progress. We want to stress, however, that our intent is to explore these issues in the broadest sense. Discussions focused on IRC, MUD's/MOO's, Virtual Reality, etc. are already readily available on the Internet. While it is perfectly acceptable to discuss these issues when relevant, we do wish to discourage threads that are too narrowly limited to any particular medium or "sub-realm" of cyberspace. Similarly, while critical examination of cyberpunk literature can yield important insights, and we welcome discussion of work in that genre, "fan"-type discussions of cyberpunk, of the type available on alt.cyberpunk, etc., are not appropriate on this list.

One concern we hope to address is the way in which much theoretical work on cyberspace to date reflects an exclusive, hegemonic bias, thus foreclosing some of the most interesting and radical of possibilities for the development of Net culture. We want to challenge ourselves and the list members to integrate issues of race, sex, class and multiculturalism in our efforts to think cyberspace together.

We believe this list will be an important forum for opening up new perspectives on cyberspace and cyberculture, and are anxious and excited to begin a dialogue with all interested parties on the types of issues we have described here. Our list is open to all interested parties, be they academics, Net 'technicians,' or ordinary citizens of cyberspace who wish to join us in thinking and discussing the present and future of this fascinating, exciting, and sometimes frustrating realm - and, ultimately, of ourselves.

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