relational reality revisited

Having mentioned Alex ‘RexGolub‘s Being in the World (of Warcraft) (2010), I allow myself to point you to my ‘The Stability of Cyberspace’ which I first presented at the Cyberspace 2005 International Conference, and which subsequently was published in the conference’s proceedings (2006).
    In order to grapple with the problem of reality, Rex draws on Alfred Schütz and William James (Golub 2010: 24, 33, 39, 40)—the same choice I made in The Stability of Cyberspace [just uploaded the thing for your convenience]—here is the, somewhat preposterous, abstract:

The lack of a suitable understanding of reality experienced by human beings hampers the discourse on social and cultural phenoma triggered by information and communication technologies (ICTs). This lack generates misunderstandings which accumulate in the notion of ICT-induced realms as a Gegenwelt, either in the form of an utopia or dystopia. The majority of the studies so far on the subject suffer from an utter lack of clarity of the discourse’s ever-resurfacing core-concepts “virtual reality” (VR), “cyberspace”, and “virtual community”. In fact, throughout the literature a shared understanding of these concepts does not exist.
    From a sociocultural anthropological background this article provides a model of the experience of reality, which is based upon the works of Wil-liam James and Alfred Schütz, and thereby bridges the divide between positivism/materialism and constructivism. By combining this pragmatic model with the history of the above-mentioned concepts, a sound basis for research on ICT-induced phenomena is generated.

Behind ‘The Stability of Cyberspace’ looms a longer, never-published article called Virtualism and the Stability of Cyberspace (2004) [uploaded that one, too] which I just found again while looking into the matter: In 2005, when Rex Golub was deeply into the World of Warcraft, he had posted an entry on William James at [the now defunct] digitalgenres.org. After that we threw emails to and fro and I sent him that longer version about which I had forgotten till a minute ago.
    Matter of fact is that for both texts I heavily drew on a portion of my doctoral dissertation Metatrickster (2004)—its 18th chapter, ‘Neohermeticon’ (Knorr 2004: 253-269), discusses and develops the idea of the ‘stability of reality’ in-depth, without the integral reference to the online realms. For those interested, and capable of reading German: you can download ‘Metatrickster’ in full and for free [if you are interested in a printed copy, drop me a line].

KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2004. Metatrickster: Burton, Taxil, Gurdjieff, Backhouse, Crowley, Castaneda [.pdf | 7.3 MB]. Zugl.: Phil. Diss. Univ. München 2002. Alteritas, Münchner ethnologische Impressionen Vol. 3. Pondicherry, München: Vasa.
KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2004. Virtualism and the stability of cyberspace. [unpublished manuscript | .pdf | 295KB]
KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2006. “The stability of cyberspace [.pdf | 106KB],” in Cyberspace 2005 Conference Proceedings edited by Radim Polcak, Martin Skop and David Smahel, pp. 189-196. Brno: Masaryk University.
[wow—a blog-entry with all references legally downloadable for free :-]
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