Escaping Ideology?

Vivian Rosenthal

Self, thought Berenice, moving on past the big black spider. It all came down to that word, didn't it? Boppers called themselves I, just as did any human, but they did not mean the same thing. For a bopper, "I" means (1) my body, (2) my software, and (3) my function in society. For a human, "I" seemed to have an extra component: (4) my uniqueness. This delusionary fourth "I" factor is what set a human off against the world. Every bopper tried to avoid any taint of the human notion of self.

Rucker repeatedly contradicts his claim stated in this passage that boppers are not unique. Even his naming of bobbers, such as Berenice and Emul, produces self, and thus uniqueness, which he contends boppers do not have. If, as he claimed, boppers avoided self(uniqueness) Berenice would have been willing to conjugate with Emul: "You and I are so different...and were are programs to entwine in some aberrant dissonance, chaos would ensure--chaos that could well shatter my fragile mind. Our noble race needs my keen faculties to remain just as they are" (36). According to Althusser the subject gains self by being interpolated through hailing. The boppers are no less able to escape ideology than humans. As such, it is nearly impossible for the bopppers to elude their production as selves, and as unique beings.

[To other discussions of Rudy Rucker's - Ware trilogy (Software, Wetware, and Freeware) by members of English 111, Cyberspace and Critical Theory, Spring 1998.]