At the Richard Dawkins wobsite, we are presented with this lucid remark from Dawkins himself:
You can buy any number of books on ‘quantum healing’, not to mention quantum psychology, quantum responsibility, quantum morality, quantum aesthetics, quantum immortality and quantum theology. I haven’t found a book on quantum feminism, quantum financial management or Afro-quantum theory, but give it time.
A Devil’s Chaplain (p. 147)
Unfortunately, it looks like enough time has been given.
Connectivity has been called the genius of feminism by theorist Robin Morgan (53), and this genius is being realized in electronic spaces and texts in more complex ways than in any other medium to date. Connectivity’s key position in the quantum feminist universe is reaffirmed by VNS Matrix’s choice of the image of the matrix–the cosmic womb–as its symbol as much as by the OBN defining its local chapters as “nodes” that “collide, disintegrate, regenerate, engage, disembody, reform, collapse, renew, abandon, revise, revitalize and expand” (OBN FAQ 7). These structural and mechanical concerns are not accidental. Quantum feminisms do not inhabit a network; they are the network of feminist discourse in virtual space. In the archival text, this dynamic connectivity, interconnection and disconnection is both narratological structure and the means of navigation in space and time. The lurch and the jump of a browser’s deterritorialized journey through a hyperlinked text simultaneously problematizes connectivity, perspective and the nature of multidimensional space even as it explores them. The tendency is always to speak of and visualize the tangible rather than what lies in between joining one artifact, page, or space to the next. Carolyn Guyer dubs this no-place between screens a “buzz-daze state,” that is a feeling of dis/orientation in “being split among places” (n.p.). Luce Irigaray has asked, “What do we call a gap that is full?” (qtd in Joyce, 1995, 207) and in the webbed space of hyperlinked fiction the pregnant gaps between the nodes are at least as important as the textual nodes themselves. The nodes exist in conjunction with the dynamic space of the journey and cannot be discussed in isolation. This information gap can only be travelled through and never visited directly because it is the interpolation of space and nonspace. It is mnemonic space: the fleeting space between the moment of remembering and forgetting. This is not the white space of the printed page, but instead the full, noisy gap of the cyberspatial leap through sensual and perceptual space. These gaps are felt, not seen.
Ah, the “pregnant gaps between the nodes”. . . yes, that gap between a URL and its target out of which is born headless cyber-fetuses, bastard offspring of
<a href>. I actually took some classes on hypertext fiction, luckily enough. To summarize, back in the late 1980s a bunch of lit-crit types got really excited about what computers could do to fiction. By breaking up a story into lots of little pieces and making the reader click through them, you could disassemble the stodgy old linear order of narration and move into a brave new p*r*d*gm of, er, nonlinearity, deconstructing the division between author and reader, creator and consumer.
Of course, none of that actually happened, and the list of canonical hypertext works basically stops after Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl, Michael Joyce’s Afternoon and Stuart Moulthrop’s Victory Garden. In order to have anything to talk about, hypertext theorists have to go back to Borges and Pynchon. It’s interesting to look at the history of such things and figure out why they didn’t become what they were promised to be. . . however, in the seamy underworld of quantum feminism, the fact that the ideas didn’t pan out doesn’t matter at all! The mere fact of their publication suffices.
I keep finding people online who invoke the word quantum as a kind of mantra to justify freewheeling nonsense. It gets to me, after a while.
I wonder: how do people who rhapsodize over the “deterritorialized journey” through the Network square their thinking with the plentiful evidence that people on that Network still manage to be misogynist, violently bigoted, duplicitous liars?