Do you ever stop and think about how your mind is organized? I do, I aways have – it fascinates me, the way we access memory and thought and storage, and even talk about it. Tonight I’ve been thinking about how my online/mental interactions with friends, via IM and Facebook and LiveJournal and email is structured. My social world is structured like a large house and surrounding grounds; people come and go all the time based on who I’m talking to. Right now the game room has a couple of people hanging out, and I wander through to get my ass handed to me once in a while. There are a few people in the kitchen; one’s baking birthday cakes, the other is working on an art project. Out back there are some goths under the gazebo (Goths Under Gazebos! new band name!), having tea and looking like they just stepped out of Victoriana. I’m in the living room, on the couch, reading a virtue ethics book and talking about communications issues, leaning against a friend working on Plato stuff. A few other people are sitting around working on papers or projects, a girl is watching AI but threatening to boycott over the loss of Michael Oz; people are wandering in and out as they pop up on the various communications systems.
It’s interesting; I can see it all in my mind, and the impression it leaves me with is definitely that of hanging out with friends, relaxing, having companionship even if not directly in front of me.
About the only truly sad thing about it is that a good number of the people I’ve constructed are within 15-30 minutes, and you do have to wonder about the focus on the digital when the meatspace is so close and possible.