from Dune #16 Feb 2014
booleanearth asked: Hi, I just wanted to say that I love your interview with John Campbell. I thought it was super interesting and you did a great job and now I'm really sad that you had to take it down. I'm also really sad about what John's doing in erasing himself from the Internet, so I was hoping maybe (maybe) you could try to talk him out of it? I guess that's a lot to ask of you. Sorry.
I don’t totally get what he’s doing, but I’ve had my own ideas about retreating from internet life. So maybe I do get it? I think when you decide to exist as a public persona, you give up some control of your life and that can be a drag. Next time I see John in person I want to talk to him about it, because he’s still posting weird empty stuff on his tumblr and making comments on twitter. So I don’t know where’s he’s at about it. Also I really liked the interview and wanted to do an eventual follow up. Oh well.
I was reading a passage in Pascal’s writing in which he suggested that if our dreaming were in a communal world, while we awoke into a solitary one, we would certainly choose the experience in which we were not alone as our “reality”. Thinking about this idea as it pertains to the internet and what John’s doing, I felt his deliberate actions might be leading to some point of insight that he will share. That said, it’s worrisome because when someone erases evidence of their identity and rids themselves of possessions that are tied to their history, you don’t know if this is exploration, or a prelude to suicide. Because John is a conceptual artist by nature, we have to trust that his self-abnegating actions are exploration and the structure of an artwork. At this stage I am feeling not alarm, but appreciation for what he’s doing, because I could never do it myself- cut off the changes the internet has wrought in my life. But John has made me see that perhaps I chose for my world the dream in which I was not alone.