Coyne (Technoromanticism) – Utopias Digitais

The return to a transformed golden age and the rhetoric of progress implicate digital narratives in the concept of utopia. The global village and the electronic cottage invoke a return to the ideal of preindustrial arts and crafts. Our induction into an egalitarian social order through electronic communications retells the message of early socialism and anarchism. The romantics reinvented the aesthetic, guilds, crafts, and feudal harmony of the medieval age. The IT world, from computer games to supposed anarchy on the net, similarly celebrates romantic medievalism, its tangled aesthetic, its sense of carnival, and the chaos of the marketplace. The dominant IT culture looks back to a golden age but is always projecting forward. In fact, the narratives of virtual communities, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and artificial life seem to depend more on what is soon to be accomplished than on what is now possible. (Virtual communities are an ideal rather than an actuality, the total immersion environment is a technical impossibility now, there are no demonstrations of artificial intelligence meeting the expectations of science fiction, and there are currently no convincing digital life forms. I summarize critiques of the various utopian narratives that motivate much IT development and polemic, preparing ground for a later exposition of how narrativity and hermeneutics are implicated in phenomenological concepts of time.)