nettime – content-free writing in narrow standardized inter-bred vernacular.

“By slogan: in other words, by only learning the links, those keywords the grasp of which is anyway sufficient to spell out your allegiances to a certain ‘movement’ (I don’t wish to use the word ‘ideology’ here, which is too loaded with negative meaning). Keywords such as alterity, autonomy,biopower, bodies, communication, communism, corruption, desire, deterritorialization, discipline, desertion, empire, exodus, hybridization, immanence, multitude, etc. This listing is obviously not a complete one and its compiling – in alphabetical order, no less – is not of my making: the index at the end of the volume reflects a far from conventional choice, including names and keywords. As such, it is yet another tool for the hypertextual reading of the book (here’s a useful hint for all those who should choose to use Empire ‘by slogan’: in the index, the nested terms are in effect also all the strategic keywords you need).”

Perhaps a filter/indicator/predictor of tendency towards / allegiances to a certain movement?


(i)Maria Turchetto, The Empire Strikes Back: On Hardt and Negri, Historical Materialism, volume 11:1 (23–36)

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2003, Also available online –

—– Original Message —–

From: Benjamin Geer


Sent: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 21:48:58 +0000 (GMT)

Subject: Re: The Ideology of Free Culture and the Grammar of Sabotage

On 30/01/2008, ruth weismann wrote:

the idea of a dictionary of “standardized inter-bred vernacular” is very interesting! Just in general, concerning theory, I also quite sometimes have the feeling that certain expressions are just used but don’t mean anything at all.

I think you can find this phenomenon in journalism, political speeches and bureaucratic language as well as academic and activist language. I think it happens when the writer really isn’t interested in what they’re saying, doesn’t know what they want to say, or isn’t really allowed to say anything, but wants it to sound important anyway. I call it “blahblah”. For a while now, I’ve thinking that there should

be a field of study devoted to it, and I’ve been imagining launching a Journal of Blahblah Studies, which could publish articles with titles


“Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives in Quantitative Blahblah Studies: A Longitudinal Approach”

“When Harry Met Blahblah: Liminal Performativity in the Logosphere of Bureaucratic Blahblah”

“Blurred Genres and Fuzzy Identities: Foundational Blahblographic Issues in the Study of Journalists’ Note-Taking Strategies”


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