If Gabriel Tarde would have attended the press conference.

Over five thousand users watched the spectrial press conference on bambuser. As a civil sociologist, I will attempt at re-constructing a ficticious attendance of french sociologist Gabriel de Tarde (GT), via his magnum opus The Laws of Imitation from 1899. Please note the historical rupture, from a disciplinary theatre, to the present day spectacle. The quotes from the press conference (PC) are fragmentary and should not be treated as quotes, as they are translated very roughly to English and furiosly ripped out of context. This also goes for my ventriloquizing of de Tarde (my bold markings). Here we go:

(PC) – Instead of going digital, we go theatral.

(GT) – Viewed thus as an expansion of waves issuing from distinct centres and as a logical arrangement of these centres and of their circles of vibration, a nation, a city, the most humble episode in the so-called poem of history, becomes a living and individual whole, a fine spectacle for the contemplation of the philosopher. (109)

(PC) We do not believe in adapting or hiding. Instead we should confront the decision makers with our way of doing it. [concerning IPRED and the FRA].

(GT) when a branch of industry or art begins to flourish in a given country, although it is deemed immoral and impious by the local religion, a profane theatre, for example, or a freethinking journal on this very day, a germ of dissolution has entered into the social body, and there is the most urgent need either for this germ to be expelled, notably by an inquisition, or for it to grow through philosophic or revolutionary or reform propagandism, and extend itself to the point of reconstructing the social order upon new foundations.” (285)

(PC) The Spectrial will intensify, copy and multiply!

(GT) Thus everything is related to it. Every social resemblance precedes from that initial act of imitation of which it was the subject. I think I may compare it to that no less extraordinary event which occurred on the globe, many thousands of centuries in advance, when, for the first time, a tiny mass of protoplasm originated in some unknown way and began to multiply by fission (43).

(PC) Everyone who speaks in this spectacle are potential actors in the Spectrial.

(GT) The amount of glory that may be divided among the actors increases in proportion to the number of the spectators who are clapping or hissing in the pit, and the distance between the most obscure onlooker and the most applauded player enlarges accordingly. [note: this is where Tarde disagrees with the concept of the Spectrial completely, and thinks of spectacles as one-way communication].

(PC) The actors will interconnect in the networks where they will start copying each other. 

(GT) But their internal precision and richness continues without let, whereas their external differentiation is soon checked by the inmate tendency to copy the foreigner famous for invention or conquest. (326)

Find more quotes here, and a reflection here

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