mania in Fuller & Dockray 2011
ctually conduct themselves and deal with that reality, it's difficult to say.
I think the issues are one of the few places where you would see any sort of
visible answers on Aaaaarg, otherwise it's totally anecdotal. At The Public
School we have organised classes in relationship to some of the issues, and
then we use the classes to also figure out what texts we are going to be
reading in the future, to make new issues and new classes. So it becomes an
organising group, reading and working its way through subject matter and
material, then revisiting that library and seeing what needs to be there.
**MF:** I want to follow that kind of strand of habits of accumulation,
sorting, deferring and so on. I wonder, what is a kind of characteristic or
unusual reading behavior? For instance are there people who download the
entire list? Or do you see people being relatively selective? How does the
mania of the net, with this constant churning of data, map over to forms of
**SD:** Well, in Aaaaarg it's again very specific. Anecdotally again, I have
heard from people how much they download and sometimes they're very selective,
they just see something that's interesting and download it, other times they
download everything and occasionally I hear about this mania of mirroring the
whole site. What I mean about being specific to Aaaaarg is that a lot of the
mania isn't driven by just the need to have everything; it's driven by the
acknowledgement that the source is going to disappear at some point. That
sense of impending disappearance is always there, so I think that drives a lot
of people to download everything because, you know, it's happened a couple
times where it's just gone down or moved or something like that.
**MF:** It's true, it feels like something that is there even for a few weeks
or a few months. By a sheer fluke it could last another year, who knows.
**SD:** It's a different kind of mania, and usually we get lost in this
thinking that people need to possess everything but there is this weird
preservation instinct that people have, which is slightly different. The
dominant sensibility of Aaaaarg at the beginning was the highly partial and
subjective nature to the contents and that is something I would want to
preserve, which is why I never thought it to be particularly exciting to have
lots of high quality metadata - it doesn't have the publication date, it
doesn't have all the great metadata that say Amazon might provide. The system
is pretty dismal in that way, but I don't mind that so much. I read something
on the Internet which said it was like being in the porn section of a video
store with all black text on white labels, it was an absolutely beautiful way
of describing it. Originally Aaaaarg was about trading just those particular
moments in a text that really struck
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