From Agent to Egent. These posts undertake a meandering trace of inquiry. KE reviews Ulmer’s work of the past four+ decades in order to understand it again, whole, as if given all at once, in a flash of insight. Egents undertaking konsult are interlocutors, collaborators, tutors. The purpose is to compose and design a discourse on method, in the tradition running from Plato’s Phaedrus to contemporary French philosophy, describing and testing a mode of learning native to electracy (the digital apparatus). The outline necessarily begins in literacy and school. The coming pedagogy is also explored elsewhere, in the context of EmerAgency (conceptual konsulting, without portfolio), addressing the curriculum reform in progress at MIT as well as Digital Humanities institutionalization. The discussion across disciplines concerns TPE (Theopraxesis)–a shared interest in learning how to learn in digital civilization, using heuretics, the logic of invention.
Some vocabulary must be introduced to speak precisely in the context of invention, to reduce misunderstandings to some extent, while acknowledging that misunderstanding is part of inventing. Electrate learners are egents. “Egent” evokes “agent,” placing the function and stance of voice, alerting us to the shift of identity experience from literacy to electracy. In literacy subjects are constructed as “self,” having individual agency, active voice in written technology, responsible party in ethics and law, and much more. Electrate personhood involves a different experience and behavior, supplementing oral spirit (soul) and literate self. Part of our inquiry concerns the nature of this emerging subjectivation, since it is this dimension of being that must be educated. Electracy does not improve on the existing constructions, on Church and School, soul and self. Such is the site of the first discontinuity and occasion of misunderstanding. If you want to know God go to church. If you want to know Engineering go to school. The Internet may support church and school, but those modalities are not native to it. And if you go to the Internet, you don’t know, but you know-do-make– with respect to what?
There is no hurry in answering what is not a well-made question. Rather, we notice this dimension, this position of electrate voice, labelled “egent,” to help this noticing, to differentiate it from agent. “Egent” as name draws also upon conduction, the fourth inference, newly supported in electracy, going beyond the inference paths managed within literacy–abduction, deduction, induction (TBC). A conductive vector: agent – E (things electrate, electronic, ePub) – egent (electrate agent) – egency (agency, EmerAgency consulting agency) – egent (Latin egeo) – they lack – desire – Desire (Lacan) – Metaphysics. It is a Latin verb, conjugation of egeo, to lack (to be needy, be in want, be poor, need, want, lack), third person plural, present indicative active. The first usage offered as example is: Te amo, et egent vos (I love you and need you). Theory proposes a category: Desire. It is much discussed, but in a literate fashion. Nonetheless, appetite is to electracy what reason is to literacy. The learner is egent, plural individual (grammar is not adequate), middle voice. Not to replace soul and self, church and school, our pedagogy addresses learner as egent.