Zizek (along with a handful of other figures in media criticism that are full of ideas but short on consistency, like McLuhan) are, I find, best viewed from the same lens as divinatory bibliomancy or generative or surrealist writing-games. In other words, the juxtapositions they create can help externalize and elucidate insights that come within us, but we should not attribute those insights to the ostensible authors, because for every ‘true’ insight we get from those texts, the direct opposite can be supported equally well by the same material. Rather than a string of words containing clear meaning, I see these authors as creating a string of vague associations with strong resonances — and we as readers can cherry-pick particular ideas and complete them ourselves, just as Burroughs did with his cut-ups, or a tarot card reader does with his spread.

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Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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