The stuff below is old stuff, like a lot of the construct writing. We’ve gone through several quantum evolutionary changes over the years, and two this year alone, within a month of each other. Anyway, this part is new:
Asher thought about calling it “the Asherdom” – but it’s been the AsherNet and/or Asher’s Haunt since as far back as 2000 or so. The Asher *dom* – how nice. But for now, the meme is a network or a dwelling place.
Is this an online story? Yes, it’s an endlessly developing story. It is also interactive stories within a story, involving a community within a community as well as a personality within a personality. It’s not that different from an online journal or a kind of open-air expressionism, except that this is more explicit about what’s happening. The ‘notes’ for this story, in all their various forms… poems, tales, letters, jottings, virtual books, rooms, doors, corridors, icons, colors, fonts, layout, structure, reveal the plot, the setting, the theme, and the characters – including the protagonist. You’ve heard it said that the medium is the message – in other words, the form of speech communicates as much as speech per se. Every aspect of this multiverse of personality, which is also what Asher means by ‘construct”, is a contribution to the story. The reactions to these notes, as they take shape, have ranged from praise to ridicule to bewilderment. These reactions too, are sometimes part of the story. If this seems elaborately explained, keep in mind that Asher started creating stuff like this before blogs became popularly known.
What the hell is this? The AsherNet, besides being obviously structures for expression, information, interaction, is also a collection of stories. The Arena is, in part, a story as well as a construct or metaphor for an ethos and epistemological set of decisions. The Haunt is a story as well as a virtual and cognitive home. And the Office is a story, though a more private one, which is about the fundamental inner activity of a person, as it gets expressed in work. There are other stories at the AsherNet, and even other people telling stories.
Why should I care? No one is suggesting you should. In 2003, Asher wrote: “I’ve been asked to justify all this, to explain why the site should be of interest, or how it fits conventional notions of what a web site should be. I can only respond that nowhere did I ever claim that the AsherNet is what these questions presume it to be. In fact, most of the responses I’ve received have indicated that the depth (by which I mean, the layers of meaning and activity) and character of the construct (I do not refer to it as merely a “site” of which there are many) are too discreet to be readily perceived. Some symbols are part of a language that only a few who are “in the loop”, so to speak, may easily read. When I have replied that this is so, just as when I originally spoke aloud about alienation, the critics have become detractors even more disenchanted with the so-called “obscure” or “meaninglness” symbology. So be it. Again, I never offered to explain or to justify what I’m doing. I never invited anyone to understand. And those who do, who speak the same language, those residents of the Haunt, the Arena, the Office, the OverState [a political construct], and the other places, are more than a sufficient community; they are those to whom I need offer no explanation or justification.
What can I do with this site?
- Read The Playful Anarchist: We leave it up to you to decide how much of it Asher takes seriously.
- Hear The AsherCast: As Whoopi would say – don’t listen if you’re going to be offended.
- Visit The Haunt: the place of nakedness. Asher’s home, & home to a few other creatures.
- Knock at The Office: the place of work. Existing both in the Haunt & as its own space.
- Look in on The Arena: the place of battle. In addition to the Haunt, Asher also lives here full time.
- Run from The Overstate: the seething tendency for man to be Cain to everyone else’s Abel, under the guise of political ideology. Asher lives in the Overstate, but persists as an undocumented, subversive non-citizen.
- Hang out at The Tavern: the place of welcome. Asher visits as often as possible.