What makes the circulation of ideas more dangerous, more fearsome when it happens via paper (or a documentary form like the .pdf or .doc file with paper in its genealogy), rather than the spoken embodied word? Should we also be posting “Do not circulate” warnings at the beginning of our academic lectures? That feels ridiculous: the circulation of those orally-developed ideas is, for some of us, precisely the point. But not the “unfinished,” “in-progress” paper ones… though we tend not to distinguish between finished and unfinished oral ideas. The persistence of the document is terrifying on some level – that it might escape us, speak for us, act as a paper prosthetic that has become monstrous and mutinied, that it might elude our control.


[Back to Exploded View Diagram 1: Please do not circulate.]

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