#1 12-10-23 23:56

ruletheworld
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EVA Emission(s)

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#2 12-10-24 00:11

shnarvle
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

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#3 12-10-24 00:15

mercury154
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

JP's mother is mentioned for a split second, and the interviewee's boss is a woman.  But yeah, this is a Lord of the Rings level bro-fest. 

I got the feeling that Eva was a program, and I definitely got the impression that it was a she. 

Some quotes:

"Dreamed of Eva flying through the sky toward me, beautiful, resplendent, like electric  current flowing through the ether."

It's a dream, but an interesting choice of physicality, right?

"I looked for Eva. But all I found was a sum of eight, a product of zero."

Could be metaphors, but gain, her form is referenced and she seems to be formless.  Following, a 404 message and a mention of her being deleted.  JP mentions real people being deleted all the time too, though, so that's inconclusive.

"Eva is beautiful. Sublime. Subliminal. She remains utterly elegant somehow, even in that unforgiving south tower. She seems important in ways I can’t even begin to grasp."

In the south tower.  No idea what the south tower is, but this is the first quote to mention her having a form (actually, I think it's the first mention of her at all).  This is in favor of your theory that she is a real person.  Except for the adjective subliminal, which hints at formlessness.

"The only detail I have from that old forum is a name. Not even sure what kind of entity it was: living, dead, or something in between. A boundary form. A virus. Like that Gessler code from way back when. What was its name? Not Eva, but something like that. "

Doesn't seem to be a reference to Eva at all, but it is comparing Eva's name to the name of something else which is computer-code related.  Inconclusive.

"But Eva has it all. Hard work, efficiency, elegance. No one hassles her for that allure. I keep my distance, of course. I settle for glances. I’ve started adding occasional gazes. But I don’t bother her with words. Consummation betrays a greedy need for ownership. There’s a magic in asymptotic desire."

There is more, in this diary entry, referring to Eva.  Sort of. Occasional gazes might mean that she is a person, but seeing as how this person is always on the computer, it could just as easily mean code, or a program.  I'd lean towards real person on that note, but asymptotic desire compares Eva, again, to computer code.  Stalemate.  I will say that some of this may possibly be related to a person who uses a lot of programming/math metaphors.

"Eva talked to me today.
oh boy
oh boy oh boy
oh boy oh boy oh boy
Maybe it wasn’t such a big thing, after all. She’s back-office. Tech, not ops. She does
concurrent computation work, interprocess communication. She coms for a living so this
wasn’t exactly special. She might as well have said public interface MCWelcome {
Got nervous. Panicked a bit. It didn’t all parse. Didn’t even wait to see if she would
close the brackets.
oh boy oh boy"

Talked.  Seems human, and he seems to be referring to her working in a physical office.  But the text game, if it can be trusted, seems to indicate that the HVACs are able to physically manifest themselves from code.  And also, by the end of it, he has her speaking in computer code. Another stalemate.

"Eve: "source of life," "living one." In Vulgate, "Hava" in the Old Testament, but "Eva" in the New. Not the source of all creation but a source of all subsequent creation, everything that came next. Ave, Eva. Mother, matrix. Genesis, source code. Sole of my soul. Or what's left of it."

The poesy of this entry makes reading any of it literally a little iffy.  But he directly calls her source code.  So I'm going to lean towards a program on this one.



All that is to say that I suppose it's impossible to say, conclusively, whether she's human or something else.  I am leaning toward her being a program.  And This all needs to be added to the character list I'm compiling, though at this point, it's a little much.

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#4 12-10-24 00:16

gasmoney
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

Right on! Where are the women in Speculat1on, huh?

And what's up with the business about Eva as an aesthetic object?

Gross.

I love that this game kinda works like tactical media (asking us to examine real-world events with the guise of playing a game), but it really ignores (or at least glosses over) gender things thus-far. (I'm thinking the interview for Nexus 002 or 003 where JP seems like he starts in on the post-gender stuff, but that's it...) I'll try to gather some of that stuff here...

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#5 12-10-24 00:19

mercury154
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#6 12-10-24 00:33

shnarvle
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

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#7 12-10-24 00:41

mercury154
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#8 12-10-24 00:57

donsoze
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#9 12-10-24 01:09

mercury154
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#10 12-10-24 01:16

quadrivium
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

Simone Matheson is the H(A)R lady who presumably hires and fires JP. Assuming "Simone" is a female name and she wrote all of those comments on JP's resume in a feminine hand. But yeah... I don't detect a whole lot of gender going on in this game, male or female.

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#11 12-10-24 08:39

JustInCayce
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

Love this gender discussion (my kind of thing). But gender isn't just about the presence of men or women in the narrative, is it? It's also about typology. It's about performance. It's about a range of masculinities and femininities. It's about relation and sexuality (or not). In any case, gender is not just about representation. Though, even at that level of representation, very few characters in this story are explicitly linked to male or female pronouns. So, yeah, absolutely, where are the women in Speculation? But also, just as intensely: Where are the men in Speculation? Is the always-on, always-working, myopic investment banker type, in this story, a neuter? What happens to gender (difference) in a world dominated by global finance?

Also worth asking: Is the narrative itself post-gender? Or, instead, is the world in which it takes place (the abstract world of MetaCorp) destructive of difference? Are the absences of the story also the rhetorical and ideological absences of MetaCorp? Does the broader "reality" (including the huge number of poor people created by wealth disparities) fall outside the narrative perspective of those in power? Are the "dark zones" literally impossible to imagine or see for someone working for MetaCorp? Is JP able to see some of these things (think about the abstract finance-style feel of the interview versus the more embodied feel of some of the JP journal entries -- but even JP has been trained as a MetaCorp employee and seems to have limits of imagination)? And, if that's the case, is it up to us to expand that perspective? To speculate? Or are our imaginations also limited?

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#12 12-10-24 09:30

mercury154
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

Last edited by mercury154 (12-10-24 09:36)

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#13 12-10-24 09:49

JustInCayce
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

I guess my invocation of "post-gender" had to do with gasmoney's observation about "the post-gender stuff." But I agree with much of what you've written, mercury.

I don't think anyone's assuming that whiteness/maleness/wealth should be normative (though it certainly is and remains the representational default), though, except maybe MetaCorp. But, of course, that's a tricky statement because the totality of this fictional world of Speculation IS MetaCorp. And that strikes me as important. For me, one of the core questions of the game, so far, is how do you break out of this kind of totality? When the framework of the questions you're asked (in the case of the interviewer/interviewee) or the games you play (in our case, as players) is totalizing, how do you play within that form (though subversively) or even break out of it?

In our historical moment, dominated by informatics (one that is very different from the identity politics of earlier cultural theory, including the race and queer theory you're mentioning) and a totalizing market (that is subdivided into niche markets for every possible consumer identity, no matter how marginal), how do you create a new vocabulary? Or "new" is possibly not critical enough anymore in an era where everything is new, must be new, where novelty sells. So imagination may no longer be a question of new forms. But then how do we respond to the (perceived though also material) totality of finance and its built-in racism, sexism, classism, etc.? That's a question for further speculation (see what I did there, with the title).

It's worth noting that the interviewee (in the first interview) observes that "Gender is complicated. A metamorphic matter. But you’ve already checked off one of your boxes." It's not irrelevant, I think, that the interview shuts down the question of gender AT THE VERY BEGINNING of the exchange. Form imposes itself from the start. It seems to enforce the lack of an "outside," in part through the questions that we can't see but can only infer.

Another question: Is the human/computer divide an allegory of other divisions (gender, race, class, sexuality, religion) in this story? A different route to inscribing gender in the narrative (even as its usual signs are absent)?

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#14 12-10-24 10:13

Kostas
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

Another interesting note on Nex's possible gender:
JP writes that he listed two children in his personnel file:
"But I listed two on file: a daughter named Adnexus and a boy named Philip."

Adnexus seems like a pretty close match to Nex (and Nexus) to me.

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#15 12-10-24 10:30

JustInCayce
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

Oh, cool, Kostas. Hadn't thought about that. Adnexus. Add nexus.... This sex that is not one.

I like this gender puzzle. I wonder if the "pieces" fit. What would it mean if things didn't add up? Or we were dealing with a more speculative (and non-normative) math? Is gender ever about things adding up?

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#16 12-10-24 12:04

tinkertailor
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

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#17 12-10-24 22:16

Re: EVA Emission(s)

Last edited by fashionablylate (12-10-24 22:20)

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#18 12-10-24 22:59

thisisaname
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

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#19 12-10-24 23:28

ruletheworld
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

This is great, guys!

I might be swayed to believe Eva is a program, even an economic value.

Humanity aside, I still think she's gendered female. And actually, to address your point, Shnarvle, the computer/humanity divide has always been fraught with gender. Perhaps that's why the person in The Document has so much trouble defining their gender. After all, did the Turing Test prove that things were computers, or did it prove that they were more like women?

As for Eva, her name recalls Eve, "the source code" for representations of women in literature...

If Eva is a program, what does that say about humanity?

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#20 12-10-24 23:30

mercury154
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

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#21 12-10-24 23:40

mercury154
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

Last edited by mercury154 (12-10-24 23:42)

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#22 12-10-25 00:42

shnarvle
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

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#23 12-10-25 23:15

gasmoney
Member

Re: EVA Emission(s)

GUYS. GUYS.

Nex is a woman, "daughter of MetaCorp." Le sigh.

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#24 12-10-25 23:45

junebug
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Re: EVA Emission(s)

I'm actually Facebook friends with "Nex Noitaluceps" and she's explicitly listed as female, born on January 11, 1973. Labeling Nex on Facebook as a female reminds me of the previous comments regarding the lines "Gender is complicated. A metamorphic matter." As true as that may be, Facebook's software forces us to check only one box!

Is January 11, 1973 a historically significant date?

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#25 12-10-26 00:50

Re: EVA Emission(s)

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