My thesis is that the network undermines productive forms of sociality by over-privileging the node. It might be difficult to see this because nodes are not anti-social (they thrive by forming links to other nodes), nor are they anti-local (they link to nodes in their immediate surrounding just as easily as they link to other nodes). But what I am trying to say is that to the extent that the network is composed of nodes and connections between nodes, it discriminates against the space between the nodes, it turns this space into a black box, a blind spot. In other words, networks promote nodocentrism. In this reconfiguration of distance, new 'nears' become available, but the 'far' becomes the space between nodes. To ignore this dark matter is to ignore the very stuff on which the network is suspended, much like the fish ignoring the water around it.
Sitting in our chairs, or half-attentive on cell phones, always in two places at once, on-line and in the here and now, exchanging links and glances and half-considered sentences, is this a society? A tribe? A Tong? Or a wandering horde of nomads foraging together? Can lore, symbolism, a mythos other than the market, truly spring from an analysis that starts from the corporation, and finds its "other" in rational actors, assembling for economic purposes, and doing them "better" through a lattice of horizontal connections? Can you dwell on line? Raise children there?
Part of what attracts me is the wildness, the madness, of the net, the Moondogs you meet there, not unlike Gay wandering around London, immersed in the voices, smells, and sounds a city so vast in comparison to his country home town. WB shows, I think, that if you keep at it long enough with the right people, it is possible to fill in the dark matter of the Dumpster with art-like substance, or myth, not for its own sake only, but to go forth and make Carnival, if only once a year, like Mardi Gras, with Candidia as big as Snoopy in the Macy's Day Parade. It takes a long time to build a single Float, much less organize a whole Parade.