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Neil Willard Uncapher

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My research and theoretical writing focuses on 'Post-Digital Philosophy and 'Global Media History.' I am also working on issues of global grassroots infrastructure (such as in social media), an inter/national level of material limitations, and a transnational corporate level of increasing centralization and consolidation.

To do this I focus on the politics and frameworks of scale and power from a trans-historical, trans-national, and trans-disciplinary perspective. While the inter-disciplinary accept subordination to the institutional politics of disciplinary focus, I work in terms of a disciplined unpacking of shared questions, questions whose boundaries are acknowledged to not be fully determined, and whose developed is shared and scaled. As an early adopter and theorist of computer-based media, and having programmed even on Main Frame computers (IBM 360's with key punch cards developed to the data priest), I am also trained in classical intellectual, cultural, and spiritual traditions that include India, China, Central Asia, the Islamic world, the Archaic and Classical worlds of the Mediterranean and Western Asia, the Early Modern, post-Kantian, Pragmatic, and Deconstructive approaches. I have developed and encourage global frameworks, such as an Afro-Eurasian Medieval Culture' linked by institutions with access to limited written materials, have looked at the sudden development of statistics and probability during the 17th century, the politics and epistemology of empiricism distinguished by four post-Kantian philosophical threads formed grappling with Digital Philosophy of the 17th century, have traced out the development and logic of modern computing devices, have emphasized the importance of two developmental and conceptual strands of cybernetics as keys to new forms of social control, cultural and artistic experimentation, and disciplined interpretation: the administrative/artificial life approach of John von Neumann, and the interactive/individual extension approach associated with Norbert Weiner and J.C.R. Licklider.

I have argued that we must begin from a global perspective to understand issues of globalization, since every level of analysis ultimately is equally complex. Working forward from the early forms of capitalism, he has theorized the emergence of a global grassroots infrastructure; a national polity of mass media and materiality, and a transnational corporate level. At the transnational level I have theorized what I called "asymptotic capitalism." At the national level, he has focused on issues of embodiment, sustainability, resources allocation, and the consequences of materiality in general. At the global grassroots level, and influenced by pragmatists such as Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey, he explores the importance of working with many, diverse people to collectively explore and uncover our problems and their definitions. As such he has also been interested in what he has called 'the politics of definition' and its implicit critique of analytic philosophies. I remain interested in ethnography as a way to include a diversity of voices and perspectives. His research has included interviews of business, government, academic, Native American and community leaders and workers in rural Montana.

Finally, taking up the question of the "technologies of attention," whether in books, fine arts including the cinema, and personal media he has been theorizing the politics and consequences of fragmentation, and of the problems of social, cultural, and epistemological closure in an era of transnational networking and dynamic hierarchies. Arguing that the Digital Era began during the 17th century with innovations in sampling, in the assumption of discrete identities, in obscured but increasingly rationalized and politicized hierarchical organization, he argues that we now need to consider a politics of logically and dynamically interdependent 'analog/digital,' 'network/hierarchical,' 'phenomenological/structural' approaches present the paradoxical necessity of developing a 'Post-Digital Philosophy' to understand, research, and approach emerging psychological, sociological/political, and logical frameworks in the 21st century and beyond. Arguing that the newer electronic media are revolutionary not particularly in terms of their networks or hierarchies, but in their interdependence as scale transforming technologies, I have proposed new approaches to the politics and epistemology of scale.

So I ask you: Where do the boundaries come from, and what does the boundary of a network or a system mean? Boundary questions are important whether one is interested in philosophical works as those of Dignaga, Darwin, Peirce, Dewey, and Derrida, whether one is interested in community development and the importance of communication, whether one is interested in education and the question of the impact of 'information technologies,' whether one is interested in the critique explorations, and tactics of art, whether one is interested in interface, self, or identify. Key to my work are consideration of cultural complexity, the materiality of information, regionalism, and interdependence. My work also can draw upon issues of media history, and Buddhist and other Asian perspectives, and contemporary European philosophy.

How can we relate our new understanding to an understanding of 'global' flows of culture and capital, people and ideologies? How can the 'emerging global grassroots infrastructure' deal with global threats to cultural and natural sustainability and intelligent transformations? Why are civil liberties so important? What is an 'epistemology and politics of scale?' This site outlines some of my own research and frameworks. I will be putting a long work on the politics and epistemology of scale online soon, as well as work related to my field research in rural and developing areas.

Themes: Teaching / Networks & Systems / Dynamic Hierarchy Theory / Globalization / Space-Place / Place-Bioregionalism / Art as Critique / Art as Experiment / Contemplation / Deconstruction / Postmodernism & Compassion / Curriculum Design / Nature, Sustainability, & Animal Rights / History & Technoculture / 2nd Generation Cyborg Theory / Cyberg Environmentalism / Literacy / Community Development / Civil Liberties / Digital & Analog Interface / Socio-Cultural Theory & Research / Reviews & Papers


Topics Top | Themes | Teaching & Curriculum Development | Selected Writings | Research Interests | More Links | Contact

Research/New Theory


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Teaching and Curriculum Development


Topics Top | Themes | Teaching & Curriculum Development | Selected Writings | Research Interests | More Links | Contact

Selected Writings


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Research Interests with links


Topics Top | Themes | Teaching & Curriculum Development | Selected Writings | Research Interests | More Links | Contact

Misc. Links


Topics Top | Themes | Teaching & Curriculum Development | Selected Writings | Research Interests | More Links | Contact

Current Gallery Space: My Travels to Tibet


Topics Top | Themes | Teaching & Curriculum Development | Selected Writings | Research Interests | More Links | Contact

Address:
Willard Uncapher, Network Emergence, and recently, Visting Assistant Professor and Lecturer, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder. Home: 8706 Kendall Court, Arvada, CO 80003; mailto:willard@well.com