Newspeak: "Trafficking"

To sell, give, administer, transport, send, deliver or distribute a prohibited substance or prohibited method to an athlete a subject either directly or through one or more third parties, but excluding the sale or distribution (by medical personnel or by persons other than an athlete's a subject's support personnel) of a prohibited substance for genuine and legal therapeutic purposes.

We shall control the parameters and flows of a state-sponsored pharmaceutical and biotechnology program. And we, the medico-scientific apparatus, shall determine what is genuine and legal therapeutic purpose.

A Sign?

No, the irony that the word "nomad" appears here on a shoe produced by one of the two most powerful athletic footwear companies on the planet is not lost. Nonetheless, let us temporarily try to reclaim the sign:

The nomad has a territory; he follows customary paths; he goes from one point to another; he is not ignorant of points (water points, dwelling points, assembly points, etc.) But the question is what in nomad life is a principle and only a consequence. To begin with, although the points determine paths, they are strictly subordinated to the paths they determine, the reverse of what happens with the sedentary. … A path is always between two points, but the in-between has taken on all the consistency and enjoys both an autonomy and a direction of its own. The life of the nomad is the intermezzo (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987, p.380).

Newspeak: "Target Testing"

Selection of athletes subjects for testing where specific athletes subjects or groups of athletes subjects are selected on a non-random basis for testing at a specified time.

Dematerialization and Disinformation

As videogame controllers become more sophisticated, there emerges a "gamer envy" in those who do not possess the physical skills to play, nor perhaps the discretionary time required to summit the steep learning curve, and thus a cultural divide is created between those who possess this physicality and those who do not. Clearly the desire is for interfaces that more naturally approach everyday body movements, with the caveat that these movements can then be hyperrealized mathematically in the game environment via kinaesthetic wormhole. In this sense, Virilio's prediction (in Open Sky) of the telematic datasuit seems prescient.

But for a critical theorist so knowledgeable about speed, light, and the vision machine, it is quite surprising that he could not follow his own logic to the limit and realize that the datasuit could be dematerialized completely.

With the EyeToy, it is light that takes the gamer and makes of it a metabolic vehicle in its own right. The EyeToy (as well as later devices such as the Xbox Live Vision and PlayStation Eye) is a color digital camera device, similar to a webcam, that uses computer vision to process images taken by the camera, allowing players to become an avatar in the game environment and interact using body motions.

EyeToy - Courtesy of Sony

We thus witness a progression: from the mechanical dance of the puppeteer's wooden frames and strings, with its cognate "problem" of the strings' tensile properties; to the paddle used in early videogame consoles, a direct descendant of the knob-tweaking required to operate the Tennis for Two oscilloscope at Brookhaven National Laboratory that offers one line of movement in virtual space; to the wired joystick, with its digital connection to the game console and problem of plastic and wire fatigue at key joints; to the wireless controller, like the Sixaxis (traditional-style controller neutered of wire) or Wii (kinaesthetic gyroscope), with its dematerialization of the umbilicus and problem of electromagnetic spectrum connectivity and interference; to the EyeToy and its problem of light wave interference and colour spectrum noise.

EyeToy Kinetic - Courtesy of Sony

Perhaps Virilio is correct after all: the dematerialized interface of light is a unidirectional interface, representing the body and its kinaesthetic activity in virtual space with no corresponding haptic feedback. The sense of touch is folded into the sense of sight for representational purposes and does not make a return: the body shirks its tactile burden. The hypothetical datasuit of Virilio, on the other hand, is a bidirectional interface that leverages the haptic to help reorient the body in the vertigo-inducing non-space of the data-network.

But perhaps Virilio is wrong after all: there is no need for this feedback dimension to be simulated to the skin (and sympathetic nervous system) by a datasuit so that a "real" message may then be transmitted to the central nervous system, when instead it is possible to just simulate the message directly to the central nervous system. So long as the datasuit (or other controller) ports into the nervous system for feedback purposes its potential as an input device isn't negated in advance. Tactile feedback thus becomes a problem in communications engineering, of jamming the signals emanating from the skin so that a contradictory message may be injected into the channel.

Datasuit or no, one thing seems certain: biological disinformation will become central to the mediated leisure society.

Newspeak: "Whereabouts Information"

Information provided by the athlete subject or a representative nominated by the athlete subject which details the athlete’s subject's location on a daily basis in order to enable testing.

A Masochist Topophilia?

Olympic Rings - Courtesy of oldtasty

"[The] play between nation and self is a unique one, made further complex by the fact that one's everyday surroundings in China are literally constantly changing. Urban cities swell and fluctuate at rates that make a mockery of any attempts to map the environment, and chai (?), the graffiti'd character that marks buildings destined for demolition, emerges everywhere, competing with the Olympic rings for the place of official city emblem. … Whole districts of Beijing undergo renovation and become unrecognizable in the course of a few months." — Elaine Ho, Chan Studio

Chai - Courtesy of Elaine Ho