31 October 2006

Feedback for the win!

One of our devoted readers complains that a lot of the writing here is "full of incomprehensible jargon". Sadly, this is a real problem. Made even more problematic by the fact that I'm trying to use two (traditionally) mutually contradictory forms of jargon at the same time. Some in the audience will know what "Gramscian hegemony" or "the negation of the negation" mean. Others will know what an "egregore", a "banishment" or "metaprogramming" are. Virtually no-one seems to know both sets at the same time. Which is why, on this blog, I am trying to evolve a new language. Not a new jargon - because the whole point of what I am doing is that it must be accessible to people without a university education or, indeed, the time to read books on a regular basis. This may be a path strewn with up to three miles of broken glass.

Another reader (damn, forgot I was screening comments - you'll be able to see it later) said something like it was "nice to see magi actually doing something". Well, that's the whole point, isn't it? Now that we have the basic ground rules of the project sorted out, the question is how to form a link between the theory and the practice. Any vague ideas that I have will be posted here.

Just an idea to leave you with. Magicians know full well that under the surface of ordinary every day reality lies a seething mass of the inexplicable and the ineffable. And yet, they seem to turn up their noses at looking closely at where the majority of this world's population spend most of their waking hours - working some horrible day job. Perhaps practical magic crossed with union organisation could possibly be Project 1.


  1. Perhaps a good move to make would be to start a jargon file or glossary post? You could always make an entry and edit it when you have some new words or if people ask you about it. This would give you a good opportunity to educated the mages about the commies and the commies about the mages.

    There may be a reason that magic types turn their noses up at day jobs, day jobs are exploitation. Large numbers of Magic people hold positions that are more or less anarchist. You will find many that are Anarcho-Mercentile and others that are Anarcho-communist. Some will also hold an Anti-work position.

    Union organization is not a bad idea as a project, but Unions as they are currently structured are not very effective nor very emancipatory. However even a corrupt union is better than no union.

  2. Of course day jobs are exploitation. The basis of the Marxist materialist dialectic is that at the very same time they are the place of most power - because our exploitation is the fuel which powers the system. So getting organised at the place of production - unionisation - can (potentially) transform exploitation into empowerment. If you turn your nose up at a day job, you make it impossible to get involved in that prospect.

    And there is no way to avoid the system altogether, in this modern age of globalisation. Some have the skills to become self-employed creative professionals, but only a tiny minority, and even then you have to live with the oppressive logic of the market. You can go live on an island somewhere, but what will you do when it drowns because of global warming?

    The paradox is that you can't destroy the beast from a position outside it. I agree, by the way, with your comments on union organisation.