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Jones Steve

Understanding micropolis and compunity


This article begins with an analysis of virtuality and virtual culture as forms of social flow and build toward an analysis of the elements of micropolis, fractalized metropolis, as the setting for postmodern (sub)urban life. The construction and organization of “links” on the Internet is akin to Forster's (1948) request in “Howard's End” that we “only connect.” What makes the Internet and its promise of “only” connection so compelling is “compunity” (the merger of computers and community), and its power lies in its promise to (fractally) recreate something we believe has been lost, namely, community. But the fractalized image-ination of community online is akin to the gated community offline, or, one might say, is itself a “Gates-ed” community. Its (un)reality is understood to make it somehow apart from the social, and this paper will argue that the opposite is more often the case: the management of connection that preoccupies social life online is itself the interface between one fractal and another.

  tags comunità virtuali,