Proposition (X)

We can never own the new digital spaces that are springing up around us, we can only inhabit them. Like the spaces that we ‘physically’ move through; the rooms of our home, the countryside, and the city – we have never, ever owned any of these.

Corollary. – The zones of your digital life – your Facebook page, your Gmail inbox, your Kindle Library are data owned by a corporation and thus you have a licence to interact with them only. To create your own digital space is to break out of this relationship, but then all that has been created is a private data set, a vast series of 1’s and 0’s, that can be traversed infinitely – a self created construct, a prison, your personal Library of Babel. The only path to freedom from this digital angst is to understand the nature of ‘ownership’ – it is an illusion. Consider property – it is likely that the house that you own will one day be inhabited by¬† many complete strangers before it is knocked down or falls down due to entropy – therefore houses own people. Think of it this way – the mind is owned by the things around it that it experiences, whether these things are ‘real’ or not is of no importance.

– Your Joyful Benefactor



7 thoughts on “Proposition (X)

  1. Great stuff. I’ve always found it astonishing that out of the 65 aboriginal languages that were translated into English (there was once, prior to 1777, over 800) none had a word for “ownership.”

      1. Aboriginals were never enslaved in Australia… just murdered, relocated, and their families split up. A shameful history. It is fascinating, though, that they simply didn’t have an organised concept of ownership. That’s something really quite beautiful.

  2. And yet ownership is core to all European languages. My home. My brother. Me. Myself. You. Your. Ownership is almost at the same level as identity. To have nothing is almost to be nothing.

    If Aboriginal languages don’t have this, is that because Speakers of those languages never used agriculture in the way that Europeans did? Did they not put down fixed roots and experience ownership?

    1. Apologies, Steve, only seeing your comment now. Aboriginals never put down roots, and never cultivated any crops. They did “manage” the land with fire, though. It is estimated there were 800-900 “nations” prior to 1777, and they were nomadic, traversing their traditional lands. The Dreaming stories pertained to that landscape, and the songs gave meaning to it.

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