RE: real and virtual worlds

From: Eugene Matusov (
Date: Mon Jan 12 2004 - 13:40:40 PST

Dear Ricardo and everybody-



From: Ricardo Japiassu []
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 2:44 PM
Subject: Re: real and virtual worlds



"I think "virtual" and "real" realities are separated by practice (its
desired or undesired consequences)." EMatusov


Dear Eugene and all,


I'm not sure of a so clear boundary between them.


Sometimes there is and sometimes there isn't. In my view, whether the
boundary exists and how clear it is is defined by the activity itself. As
Bateson famously said, information is difference that makes the difference.
One difference - the difference between symbolic and material worlds - is
not enough. There needs to be another difference -actors' biases reflected
in their goals and in social relations that brings the second difference.


It's interesting to remmember here the example - also given by Vygotsky in
Psychology of Art - that of masturbation's activity, and the role of
imagination in order to get some pleasure with it. (Vygotsky is not so
explicit as I am here, but that's what I think he was trying to say there:
the real feeling obtained by imagination in masturbation). He talks about
"fantasy" - and excitation. The link to masturbation is mine. So, wouldn't
"virtual" and "real" sex, for example, be intertwined in a complex way in
sexual practices - including masturbation?


Ricardo, I think your interpretation about masturbation is not only correct
one but it can be historically justified. This metaphor was used by Lenin in
his book Materialism and Emiriocriticism in almost the same context as
Vygotsky used. I'm sure that Vygotsky read Lenin's book and was aware about
this example.


Can you understand me?

That's really complex - and fascinating! (the link(s) between



"Although there is no a clear-cut boundary between "virtual" and "real"
realities, the fuzzy boundary does exist and it is rooted in practice and
its consequences for the people." EMatusov


But, wouldn't be practice rooted in a no clear-cut boundary between
"virtual" and "real" realities too? Specially in a postmodern


You are right - I'm overstating it. See my comments above.



"... I'd argue that the "real" reality is supported by the network of
contemporary practices in its totality, while "virtual" reality is always
only partially supported by this network." EMatusov


Contemporary practices' metavirtuality - in "virtual" realities - seems to
me be supported by the hole. But I think I can understand the "cut" you
propose to approach them. Although I, personally, prefer its "uncut" look -
its hidden and surprising features. Nothing against "cuts".



You are right again. I think my statement above has to be conditional rather
than unconditional as it is. The condition is defined through the practice
as I did at the top of my current reply.


What do you think?




P.S. Thank you for your claryfing explanation on gender questions in

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