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VIOLATION AND VIRTUALITY

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VIOLATION AND VIRTUALITY: Two cases of physical and psychological
boundary transgression and their implications

Allucquere Rosanne Stone
Advanced Communication Technologies Laboratory
Department of Radio-TV-Film
The University of Texas at Austin
CMA6.118 Austin Texas 78712-1091
Internet: [email protected]

Copyright (c) 1993 by Allucquere Rosanne Stone.  This version may be
freely distributed electronically, but may not be reproduced in
hardcopy form without permission.

--------------------------------------------

Instructions and Caution:  This paper consists of a series of
narratives, disconnected and interwoven.  I don't want to simplify the
task of keeping them separate, because that goes against the grain of
my intent in mashing them together.  However, because some readers may
find the style too jarring to follow, in this version I have provided
some landmarks in the form of horizontal dashed lines (--------).
These indicate that a shift in the narrative is just ahead.  You'll
find that the shifts obey a simple rule set.  Ready?

--------------------------------------------

From a headline in the San Francisco Chronicle:

@begin(display)On July 23, 1990, a 27-year-old woman filed a complaint
in Oshkosh, Wisconsin charging that Mark Peterson, an acquaintance,
raped her in her car.  The woman had been previously diagnosed as
having Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD).  She claimed that Peterson
raped her after deliberately drawing out one of her personalities, a
naive young woman who he thought would be willing to have sex with
[email protected](display)

Cut to:  The municipal building complex in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Outside
the courthouse, gleaming white media vans line the street, nose to
tail like a pod of refrigerators in rut.  A forest of bristling
antennas reaches skyward, and teenagers in brightly colored fast-food
livery come and go bearing boxes and bags; the local pizza joints are
doing a land-office business keeping the crews supplied. The sun is
very bright, and we blink as we emerge from the shadows of the
courthouse.  "Jim Clifford would have loved this," I comment.  "I
wonder what the Mashpee courthouse looked like during the trial he was
researching."

"Where's Mashpee?" my friend asks.

"In New England.  The town of Mashpee was originally an Indian
village.  The Mashpee Indians deeded some land to the settlers, and
the settlers eventually took over everything.  A few years ago the
surviving Mashpee families sued the town of Mashpee to get their land
back, claiming that it had been taken from them illegally.  When it
finally came to trial, the government argued that the case revolved
around the issue of whether the Mashpee now were the same Mashpee as
the Mashpee then.  In other words, were these Mashpee direct
descendants of the original Mashpee in an uninterrupted progression.

"So the issue really being argued was, just what in hell is cultural
continuity, anyway?  Is it bloodline, like the government wanted it to
be, or is it the transmission of shared symbols and values, like the
view that the Mashpee themselves seemed to hold?

"That's why I find this trial so interesting, because what they're
arguing here is both similar and different, and what's happening here
both resonates and clashes with the Mashpee case in important ways."

While we stood in line there were a million and one other things I
wanted to add.  For example, the idea that personal identity is so
refractory is a culturally specific one.  Changing your name to
signify an important change in your life was common in many North
American cultures.  Names themselves weren't codified as personal
descriptors until the Domesday book.  The idea behind taking a name
appropriate to one's current circumstance was that identity is not
static.  Rather, the concept of one's public and private self,
separately or together, changes with age and experience (as do the
definitions of the categories public and private); and the name or the
label tor the identity package is an expression of that.  The child is
mother to the adult, but the adult is not merely the child a bit later
in time.

Retaining the same name throughout life is part of an evolving
strategy of producing particular kinds of subjects.  In order to
stabilize a name in such a way that it becomes a permanent descriptor,
its function must either be split off from the self, or else the self
must acquire a species of obduracy and permanence to match that of the
name.  In this manner a permanent name facilitates control; enhances
interchangeability...if you can't have a symbolic identity (name) that
coincides with your actual state at the time, then your
institutionally maintained or fiduciary identity speaks you; you
become the generic identity that the institutional descriptors allow.

Here in Oshkosh, instead of asking what is a culture, the unspoken
question is what is a person.  We all say "I'm not the person now that
I was then," but as far as not only the government but everyone else
is concerned, that's a figure of speech.  In Mashpee exactly the
opposite was being argued:  whether the disparate lived experiences of
individual members of a continually negotiated cultural system or an
imagined cultural "unit" converged, through a legal apparatus
transculturally imposed, on a unitary fiction, the fiduciary entity
called the Mashpee tribe.  In this trial, we have disparate
experiences of individual social identities having at their focus a
physical "unit", a fiduciary entity called the person, whose varying
modes of existence both support and problematize the obduracy of
individual identity and its refractoriness to deconstruction.

On this particular day, the first day of what by anybody's definition
could be called the spectacle of multiplicity, everyone is getting
their fifteen seconds' worth, their own little niche in the spectacle
as multiplicity and violence get processed through the great engine of
commodification just like everything else.  Reporters from media all
over the world are interviewing everything that moves.  There are only
so many people available in Oshkosh, and after exhausting whatever
possibilities present themselves in the broad vicinity of the
municipal complex, in a typical paparrazi feeding frenzy the media
begin to devour each other.  On the lawn not far from the courthouse
doors Mark Blitstein, a reporter for the Oshkosh Herald, a small local
newspaper, is grinning broadly.  "I was just interviewed by the BBC,"
he says.

------------------------------------------

Cut to New York, 1982.  The multiple user social environments written
for the large, corporate-owned, for-pay systems betray none of their
origins in low culture.  They do not contain objects, nor can objects
be constructed within them.  They are thoroughly sanitized, consisting
merely of bare spaces within which interactions can take place.  They
are the Motel 6 of virtual systems.  Such an environment is the CB
chat line on CompuServe.  It was on the CB chat line on CompuServe
that a New York psychiatrist named Sanford Lewin opened an account.

In the conversation channels, particularly the realtime chat
conferences such as "CB", it is customary to choose an online name or
"handle" that may have no relationship to one's "real" name, which
CompuServe does not reveal.  Frequently, however, participants in
virtual conversations choose handles that express some part of their
personalities, real or imagined.  Lewin, with his profession in mind,
chose the handle "Shrink, Inc."

It does not appear to have dawned on him that the term was
gender-neutral until a day not long after he first signed on.  He had
been involved in a general chat in public virtual space, had started
an interesting conversation with a woman, and they had decided to drop
into private mode for a few minutes.  In private mode two people who
have chosen to converse can only "hear" each other, and the rest of
the people in the vicinity cannot "hear" them.  The private
conversation was actually under way for a few minutes before Lewin
realized it was profoundly different from any conversation he'd been
in before.  Somehow the woman to whom he was talking had mistaken him
for a woman psychiatrist.  He had always felt that even in his most
personal conversations with women there was always something missing,
some essential connection.  Suddenly he understood why, because the
conversation he was now having was deeper and more open than anything
he'd experienced.  "I was stunned," he said later, "at the
conversational mode.  I hadn't known that women talked among
themselves that way.  There was so much more vulnerability, so much
more depth and complexity.  And then I thought to myself, Here's a
terrific opportunity to help people."

Lewin reasoned, or claimed to have reasoned, that if women were
willing to let down their conversational barriers with other women in
the chat system, then as a psychiatrist he could use the chat system
to do good.  The obvious strategy of continuing to use the
gender-neutral "Shrink, Inc." handle didn't seem like the right
approach.  It appears that he became deeply intrigued with the idea of
interacting with women as a woman, rather than using a female persona
as a masquerade; rather with becoming a female persona to the extent
that he could feel what it was like to be a woman in some deep and
essential way.  And at this point his idea of helping women by
becoming an online woman psychiatrist took a different turn.

He opened a second account with CompuServe under the name of Joan
Greene.  He spent considerable time working out Joan's persona.  He
needed someone who would be fully functioning online, but largely
unavailable offline in order to keep her real identity secret.  For
the most part, he developed an elaborate and complex history for Joan,
but creating imaginary personas was not something with which he had
extensive experience.  So there were a few minor inconsistencies in
Joan's history from time to time; and it was these that provided the
initial clues that eventually tipped off a few people on the net that
something was wrong.  As it turned out, though, Joan's major problems
didn't arise from the inconsistencies in her history, but rather from
the consistencies -- from the picturebook-perfect life Lewin had
developed for her.

----------------------------------

The cult of Isis reached full flower in Egypt at around 300 BCE, in
the New Kingdom during the Persian Dynasties.  The outlines of this
familiar myth are simple:  At first there existed only the ocean.  On
the surface of the ocean appeared an egg, from which Ra, the sun, was
born.  Ra gave birth to two sons, Shu and Geb, and two daughters,
Tefnut and Nut.  Geb and Nut had two suns, Set and Osiris, and two
daughters, Isis and Nephthys.  Osiris married his sister Isis and
succeeded Ra as king of the earth.  However, his brother Set hated
him.  Set killed Osiris, cut him into pieces, and scattered the
fragments over the entire Nile valley.  Isis gathered up the
fragments, embalmed them, and resurrected Osiris as king of the
netherworld, or the land of the dead.  Isis and Osiris had a son,
Horus, who defeated Set in battle and became king of the earth.

In his foundational work in abnormal psychology @italic<Multiple
Personality Disorder,> Colin Ross makes the point that the Isis/Osiris
myth illustrates the fragmentation, death, healing, and resurrection
of the self in a new form.  Ross used the Osiris myth as a specific
therapeutic model.  He maintained that the MPD patient suffered from
an Osiris complex, rather than an Oedipus complex.  His abandonment of
the Oedipus complex as a useful explanatory model stems from his
reading of Freud's interpretation of the case of Anna O. and Freud's
repudiation of the seduction theory following the publication of
Studies in Hysteria.  Ross' rationale is partly one of explanatory
economy; he points out that the Oedipal model is what hackers would
call a kluge -- a complex, unwieldy, and aesthetically unsatisfactory
patch that has the singular virtue of getting the job done -- and that
the Osiris model (not to mention the accompanying Isis model which
would replace the Elektra complex) provides a much simpler and more
elegant explanatory framework for multiple personality.

---------------------------

Joan Green first signed on in 1982 under the handle "Quiet Lady."  She
was a New York neuropsychologist in her late twenties.  Within the
last few years she had been involved in a serious automobile accident
caused by a drunken driver.  Her boyfriend had been killed, and she
had suffered severe neurological damage to her head and spine, in
particular to Broca's area, which controls speech.  She was now mute
and paraplegic.  In addition her face had been severely disfigured, to
the extent that plastic surgery was unable to restore her appearance.
Consequently she never saw anyone in person.  She had become a
recluse, embittered, slowly withdrawing from life and seriously
planning suicide, when a friend gave her a small computer and modem
and she discovered CompuServe.

After being tentatively online for a while, her personality began to
flourish.  She began to talk about how her life was changing, and how
interacting with other women in the net was helping her reconsider her
situation.  She stopped thinking of suicide and began planning her
life.  Some time during this period she changed her handle from "Quiet
Lady" to "Talkin' Lady", celebrating her return to an active social
life, at least on the net.  She still maintained her personal privacy,
insisting that she was too ashamed of her disfigurements and her
inability to vocalize, preferring to be known only by her online
persona.  People on the chat system held occasional parties at which
those who lived in reasonable geographic proximity would gather to
exchange a few socialities in biological mode, and Joan assiduously
avoided these.  Instead she ramped up her social profile on the net
even further.  Her standard greeting was a huge, expansive
"HI!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Joan started a women's discussion group on CompuServe.  She also had
long talks with women outside the group, and her advice was extremely
helpful to many of them.  Over the course of time several women
confided to her that they were depressed and thinking about suicide,
and she shared her own thoughts about her brush with suicide and
helped them to move on to more life-affirming attitudes.  She also
helped several women with drug and chemical dependencies.  An older
woman confided her desire to return to college and her fear of being
rejected; Joan encouraged her to go through with the application
process.  Once the woman was accepted Joan advised her on the writing
of several papers (including one on MPD), and in general acted as wise
counsel and supportive sister.

She also took it upon herself to ferret out pretenders in the chat
system, in particular men who masqueraded as women.  She was not shy
about warning women about the dangers of letting one's guard down on
the net; "Remember to be careful," she said at one point.  "Things may
not be as they seem."

---------------------------------

Back in Oshkosh, we asked one of the observing psychologists whether
there were positive aspects to MPD.

"Well, it can be a way to get attention because of its fashionability
in some therapeutic circles.  There's no doubt that Sarah is a person
who is not well.  But she's learned to channel her illness so it gets
attention.  Or maybe she gets attention.  But that way of dealing with
a psychological problem has its own difficulties.  It's also
self-damaging.  Part of her way of expressing it is to burn herself
with cigarettes.  Then her other personalities wonder how she got
burned."

"Is there a possibility that she was acting?  To get attention?"

He shook his head, looking thoughtful.  "If she was acting, it was a
hell of a brilliant job.  And if she wasn't acting, then there was
something else going on that was quite fascinating.  Her vocabulary
and demeanor, for instance...over time and place, they're consistent
within a personality."

"How can you be sure that a particular person really has MPD and isn't
faking it for some reason?"

"In many cases it's hard to say.  Most MPDs are very intelligent.  I'd
think the more intelligent you were, the better you'd be able to fake
something like that.  If you were mentally ill anyway and knew it,
there'd be excellent reasons to get a designer disease.  You might be
worried about getting lost in the state hospital system, and coming up
with symptoms of MPD is a hell of a good way to get lots of attention
quickly.  If I were committed to a state facility, I'd try to generate
a good case of MPD for myself just as fast as I could.  That kind of
thing can easily make the difference between life and death in some
places, or between a reasonably comfortable life and being zombified
by compulsory meds twenty-four hours a day."

"I couldn't say that I was absolutely sure just what MPD is, how it
works, or really anything as simple as diagnostic procedures that
worked in every case.  A good part of what we're seeing here is a very
tight interaction between the patients and the doctors, where a
certain amount of the syndrome is occurring in the interactions
between them, and that makes it very difficult to tell what's really
going on.  Do you get MPD when you're diagnosed or when you're two
years old?  I'd like to find out, in a definitive way, but it gets
more difficult every day.  The thing is taking on a life of its
own..."

-------------------------------------

Joan Green worked off her fury at drunk drivers by volunteering to
ride along in police patrol cars.  Because of her experience at
neuropsychology she was able to spot erratic driving very quickly, and
by her paralysis she could offer herself as a horrible example of the
consequences.  During one of these forays she met a young cop named
Jack Carr.  Her disability and disfigured face bothered him not a
whit, and they had a whirlwind romance.  Shortly Jack proposed to her.

Joan's professional life began to bloom.  She began attending
conferences and giving papers all over the world.  Of course there
were problems, but Jack was the quintessential caring husband,
watching out for her, nurturing her.  They took frequent trips to
exotic places.  While they were on safari, if there was a place her
wheelchair couldn't reach, he simply carried her.  When they were home
he was frequently out on surveillance assignments in the evenings,
which gave her lots of time to engage with her online friends.
Occasionally he would take over the keyboard and talk to her friends
on the chat system.

It was some time during this period that Joan's friends first began to
become suspicious.  She was always off at conferences, where
presumably she met face to face with colleagues.  And she and Jack
spent a lot of time on exotic vacations, where she must also be seeing
people face to face.  It seemed that the only people who never got to
see her were her online friends.  With them she maintained a firm and
unyielding invisibility.  There were beginning to be too many
contradictions.  But it was the other disabled women online who pegged
her first.  They knew the real difficulties -- personal and
interpersonal -- of being disabled.  Not "differently abled", that
wonderful term, but rather the brutal reality of the way most people
-- including some friends -- related to them.  In particular they knew
the exquisite problems of negotiating friendships, not to mention love
relationships, in close quarters with the "normally" abled.  In that
context, Joan's relationship with the unfailingly caring Jack seemed
impossible.  Jack was a Stepford husband.

Still, nobody had yet pegged Joan as other than a disabled woman.  The
other disabled women online thought that she was probably a disabled
woman, but also felt that she was probably lying about her romantic
life and about her frequent trips.  But against that line of argument
they had to deal with the reality that they had hard evidence of some
of those trips.

Actually, Lewin was getting nervous too.  Apparently he'd never
expected the impersonation to succeed so dramatically.  He thought
he'd make a few contacts online, and maybe offer some helpful advice.
What had happened instead was that he'd found himself deeply engaged
in developing a whole new part of himself that he'd never known
existed.  His responses had long since ceased to be a masquerade; with
the help of the narrow bandwidth online mode and a certain amount of
textual prosthetics, online he had @italic<become> Joan.  She no
longer simply carried out his wishes at the keyboard; she had her own
emergent personality, her own ideas, her own directions.  Not that he
was losing his own identity, but he was developing a parallel one, one
of considerable puissance.  Jekyll and Joan.  As her friendships
deepened and simultaneously the imposture began to unravel, Lewin
began to realize the enormity of his deception.

And the simplicity of the solution.

Joan had to die.

------------------------------

Edward Salzsieder, Mark Peterson's attorney, started out with a novel
and, until that moment, an unthinkable idea.  Salzsieder suggested
that even though Wisconsin law forbade questioning a rape victim about
her sexual history, such protection shouldn't extend to all of her
other personalities.  So he proposed questioning the other
personalities -- Franny and Ginger in particular -- about their sexual
histories.  Many observers felt that this was one of the key points in
the definition of multiple personality as a condition or state with
legal standing other than as a pathology.  For better or worse, Judge
Hawley didn't think much of the idea.  He did appreciate its
complexity, though -- "We're trying to split some very fine hairs
here," he said -- but he wasn't willing to take the idea so far as to
impute autonomy to the multiples.  "I do find," he said, "that the
rape shield law applies to (Sarah) and all her personalities
combined."

That threw Salzsieder back on his own resources.  Deprived of the
opportunity to question the personalities about their individual
sexual exploits, he fell back on the strategy of attacking their
legitimacy.  To bring this off he needed to assemble a cadre of MPD
infidels, unbelievers with legal and professional stature who, he
hoped, could cast doubt on the whole idea of MPD.  As it turns out, it
wasn't difficult to do.  All kinds of people were willing to testify
on all sides of the issue.  But Salzsieder was looking for a special
person, someone who not only didn't believe in MPD but who could
convince a court that MPD was a convenient fantasy, something that
Sarah had read about and then adopted to excuse her promiscuous
behavior.  Eventually he came up with Donald Travers.  Travers is from
Wisconsin, a slightly balding man of medium build who when on the
stand projects the proper blend of sober professionalism and easy
believability that Salzsieder needed.  Travers is an impressive
infidel.  He is an articulate speaker who is convinced that MPD is a
medical hoax and whom Salzsieder had gotten to review Sarah's
psychiatric records for the previous year.

Salzsieder started by getting Travers to attack the credibility of MPD
as a diagnostic category.  After Travers was sworn in, Salzsieder
asked "How many psychologists actually have patients with MPD?"

"There's a band of very intense believers who have all the sightings,
where the rest of us never see any," Travers said.  "What I call the
UFOs of psychiatry..."

-------------------------

Events on the net ground inexorably onward.  One day Joan became
seriously ill.  With Jack's help, she was rushed to the hospital. Jack
signed on to her account to tell her online friends and to explain
what was happening:  Joan had been struck by an exotic bug to which
she had little resistance, and in her weakened state it was killing
her.  For a few days she hovered between life and death, while Lewin
hovered, setting up her demise in a plausible fashion.

The result was horrific.  Jack was deluged with expressions of shock,
sorrow, and caring.  People offered medical advice, offered financial
assistance, sent cards, sent flowers.  Some people went into
out-and-out panic.  The chat lines became jammed.  So many people got
seriously upset, in fact, that Lewin backed down.  He couldn't stand
to go through with it.  He couldn't stand to engineer her death.  Joan
recovered and came home.

This left Lewin still stuck with the problem that he hadn't had the
guts to solve.  He decided to try another tack, one that might work
even better from his point of view.  Shortly, Joan began to introduce
people to her new friend, Sanford Lewin, a New York psychiatrist.  She
was enormously gracious about it, if not downright pushy.  To hear her
tell it, Lewin was the greatest thing to hit a net since Star-Kist
Tuna.  She told them Lewin was absolutely wonderful, charming,
graceful, intelligent, and eminently worthy of their most affectionate
attention.  Thus introduced, Lewin then began trying to make friends
with Joan's friends himself.

He couldn't do it.

Sanford simply didn't have the personality to make friends easily
online.  Where Joan was freewheeling and jazzy, Sanford was subdued
and shy.  Joan was a confirmed atheist, an articulate firebrand of
rationality, while Sanford was a devout conservative Jew.  Joan smoked
dope and occasionally got a bit drunk online; Sanford was, how shall
we say, drug-free -- in fact, he was frightened of drugs -- and he
restricted his drinking to a little Manischewitz on high holy days.
And to complete the insult, Joan had fantastic luck with sex online,
while when it came to erotics Sanford was an utterly hopeless klutz
who didn't know a vagina from a virginal.  In short, Sanford's Sanford
persona was being defeated by his Joan persona.

What do you do when your imaginary playmate makes friends better than
you do?

--------------------------------

In one of the foundational accounts of MPD, Colin Ross identifies the
fragmentation of self and the transformation of identity that occurs
across ethnic and cultural boundaries, all of which he lumps together
under the rubric of "aberration".  While his identification of this
characteristic of human cultures is correct, his use of the rubric is
peculiarly situated.  Ross is interested in making a strong case for
legitimizing MPD as a recognized medical phenomenon, and in so doing
he seems to feel that he must explain away the problem of why many of
the cultures he mentions in passing do not themselves pathologize MPD.
Ross can perhaps be excused for pathologizing MPD tout court, because
he evinces a genuine interest in assisting the individuals he has
observed whose accommodation to buried trauma causes, in his words,
more suffering than it prevents.  I am primarily concerned here with
how the phenomenon of multiple personality fits into a broader
framework of cultural developments in which the abstract machine of
multiplicity (in Deleuze and Guattari's words) is grinding finer and
finer.  Among the phenomena at the close of the mechanical age which
it is useful to note is the pervasive burgeoning of the ontic and
epistemic qualities of multiplicity in all their forms...

-----------------------------

With considerable effort Lewin had succeeded in striking up at least a
beginning friendship with a few of Joan's friends, when the Joan
persona began to come seriously unraveled.  First the disabled women
began to wonder aloud, then Lewin took the risk of revealing himself
to a few more women with whom he felt he had built a friendship.  Once
he started the process, word of it spread through the net.  But just
as building Joan's original persona had taken some time, the actual
dismantling of it took several months, as more clearly voiced
suspicions gradually turned to factual information and the information
passed around the conferences, repeated, discussed and picked over.
Shortly the process reached a critical level where it became
self-supporting.  In spite of the inescapable reality of the
deception, though, or rather of the inescapable unreality of Joan Sue
Greene, there was a kind of temporal and emotional mass in motion
that, Newton-like, tended to remain in motion.  Even as it slowly
disintegrated like one of the walking dead the myth of Joan still
tended to roll ponderously ahead on its own, shedding shocked clots of
ex-Joan fans as it ran down.

------------------------------

It is the moment everyone in the courtroom has been waiting for.
People had been standing in line since before dawn to assure
themselves of seats in the courtroom.  A few had brought folding
chairs to use while they waited in the predawn chill.  Some sat on
beach blankets with thermos jugs of steaming coffee.  The composition
of the crowd was extraordinarily diverse.

After an agonizing wait while people chatted to each other with the
same lively animation I associated with waiting for the start of a
long-anticipated film, the bailiff called the room to order.  The
silence was instantaneous.  "All rise," the bailiff called, and Hawley
strode in, followed by the court stenographer.

Hawley sat down in the high-backed leather chair, squared something on
his desk, and looked down from the bench at the packed courtroom, his
glasses catching the light.  The sound of people getting seated died
away, and a hush again fell over the room.

For the most part Hawley had not said very much beyond what was
required of him as presiding magistrate, but this morning he cleared
his throat and made a brief introductory speech.  His voice carried
well in the room.  It was a calm voice, not too inflected.

"Before we proceed any further, I want to make sure all the video and
film equipment in this room is turned off and that all the cameras are
down out of sight."  He scanned the room slowly, more for effect than
for surveillance, then continued in the same calm voice.  "There has
been an unusual amount of attention surrounding this case.  The issues
we are considering are of an unusual nature.  But I want to make it
clear to everyone here that this is not a circus.  This is a very
sensitive case.  There may be some bizarre behavior that you have not
witnessed before.  But nothing should get in the way of this being a
court of law, first and foremost.  I know that I can expect you to
behave appropriately."

Nods from the spectators.  People settled deeper into their seats. The
unusually large population of professionals among the spectators now
made itself known as people reached into bags and briefcases for their
yellow notepads, making the room bloom like a grey field dotted with
buttercups.

Hawley nodded to Paulus.  The silence deepened, if that were possible,
and Paulus called his first witness of the day.

Sarah walked briskly to the stand.  She seated herself and was sworn
in.  She put her hands in her lap and looked calmly at Paulus.  This
is the main event, I thought.  It is what this whole thing is about,
really.  It is not columns in a newspaper.  It is not theory or
discussion.  It is not soundbyte media hype.  It is a young, calm,
slightly Asian-looking woman in a white cotton sweater and a pale blue
skirt.

Paulus stood a few feet in front of her, holding his body relaxed and
still.  He spoke to her in a normal conversational tone, not very loud
but clearly audible in the silent room.

"Sarah, you've heard some testimony here about some events that took
place recently in Shiner Park.  Do you recall that testimony?"

Sarah nodded slightly, then added "I do."

"Do you have any personal knowledge as to the events in the park?"

"No," Sarah said, "I do not."  Her voice was quiet, flat,
matter-of-fact.

"Who would be in the best position to talk about the events in the
park that night?"

"Franny," Sarah said.

"Would it be possible for us to, uh--"  Paulus hesitated and looked
like he wanted to clear his throat, but he settled for an instant's
pause instead and then continued-- "meet Franny, and talk to her?"

"Yes," Sarah said, looking calmly at him.  A beat or two.  "Now?"

"Yes," Paulus said.  "Take your time."

Ths silence was absolute.  Faintly, from somewhere outside in the
hallway, something metallic dropped to the floor and rolled.

Sarah closed her eyes and slowly lowered her head until her chin was
resting on her chest.  She sat that way, her body still, breathing
slowly and shallowly.  It seemed as though everyone in the room held a
collective breath.  The muted hush of the air conditioning came slowly
up from the background as if someone had turned up a volume control.

Maybe five seconds passed, maybe ten.  It felt like hours.  Then she
raised her head, and slowly opened her eyes.

She looked at Paulus, and suddenly her face was animated, alive and
mobile in a way that it hadn't been a moment ago.  The muscles around
her mouth and eyes seemed to work differently, to be somehow more
robust.  She looked him up and down, taking him in with obvious
appreciation.  "Hel-lo," she said.

"Franny?" Paulus said, inquisitively.

"Good morning," Franny said.  She looked around at the windowless
courtroom.  "Or good afternoon-- which is it?"  Her phrasing was more
musical than it had been, with an odd lilt to the words.  It, too, was
animated, but it didn't sound quite like an animated voice should have
sounded.  Also, on closer inspection it appeared that the more
animated look of her features hadn't made it down into her body.  Her
posture, the way she held herself, the positions of her shoulders and
legs and the relative tension in the muscles of her body, hadn't
changed very much from Sarah's posture.

Paulus looked as if he wanted to feel relieved, but again he hid it
quickly.  "It's, uh, morning, actually," he said, in a conversational
tone.  "How are you today?"

"I'm fine.  How are you?"  The same lilt to the words.

"Just fine.  Now I was just talking to Sarah a few moments ago, and
I'd like to talk to you about what happened June ninth of 1990."  He
glanced up at Hawley.  "But before we do that, the judge has to talk
to you."

Hawley looked down at Franny.  When she faced forward most of what he
could see of her was the top of her head, but she turned now to face
him.  Her expression was hard to catch, but Hawley looked perfectly
placid, as if swearing in several people in one body were something he
did every day.  "Franny," he said, "I'd like you to raise your right
hand for me, please."

Hawley swore her in, his face impassive.  It was just like any other
court ritual.

----------------------------------------

Is there room for non-traumatic multiplicity in any of these accounts?
At one point Ross answers this question almost dismissively and with
complete self-confidence:  "The term (multiple personality) suggests
that it is necessary to debate whether one person can really have more
than one personality, or, put more extremely, whether there can really
be more than one person in a single body.  Of course there can't..."
(Ross 41).  And here Ross misses some of the most crucial implications
of his study.

Multiple personality (without the stigmatizing final D) is a mode that
resonates throughout the communities I study.  Ross's research both
affirms and denies that mode in a complex way.  He has a clear
investment in affirming the reality of a clinical definition of
multiplicity, and his views concerning Freud's problems in coming to
grips with the probable etiology of clinical multiplicity (with the D)
are useful in studying the influence Freud has had on the field of
psychoanalysis.  For reasons that I find not entirely clear, he
dismisses out of hand the idea that there can be more than one person
in a single body.  At that point he appears to fall back on received
social and cultural norms concerning the meaning of "person" and
"body".  Like the surgeons at the Stanford Gender Dysphoria Project,
of whom I have written elsewhere, Ross still acts as a gatekeeper for
meaning within a larger cultural frame, and in so doing his stakes and
investments become clearer.

In this context, the context of multiplicity and psychology, it is
useful to consider the work of Sherry Turkle.  In her study
"Constructions and Reconstructions of the Self in Virtual Reality",
presented at the Third International Conference on Cyberspace, Turkle
notes:

@quote<The power of the (virtual) medium as a material for the
projection of aspects of both conscious and unconscious aspects of the
self suggests an analogy between multiple-user domains (MUDs) and
psychotherapeutic milieus....MUDs are a context for constructions and
reconstructions of identity; they are also a context for reflecting on
old notions of identity itself.  Through contemporary psychoanalytic
theory which stresses the decentered subject and through the
fragmented selves presented by patients (and most dramatically the
increasing numbers of patients who present with multiple personality)
psychology confronts the ways in which any unitary notion of identity
is problematic and illusory.  What is the self when it functions as a
society?  What is the self when it divides its labor among its
constituent "alters" or "avatars"?  Those burdened by post-traumatic
dissociative syndrome (MPD) suffer the question; inhabitants of MUDs
play with it.>

In Turkle's context, the context of virtual systems, the question that
Ross dismisses as, to him, obviously false -- namely, can multiple
selves inhabit a single body -- is irrelevant.  Compared to "real"
space, in virtual space the socioepistemic structures by means of
which the meanings of the terms "self" and "body" are produced operate
differently.  Turkle seizes upon this and turns it into a
psychotherapeutic tool.  Moreover, Turkle shows how the uses of
virtual space as an adjunct to therapy translate across domains,
beyond the virtual worlds and into the biological.  What in this
context might be called the ultimate experiment -- plugging a person
with MPD into the MUDs -- has yet to be performed.  Thus we have not
yet observed one of its possibly hopeful outcomes:  healing trauma,
but preserving multiplicity;  or perhaps more pertinent, creating
discursive space for a possibly transformative legitimization of some
forms of multiplicity.  The answers to the questions posed above --
why is MPD so important to an examination of communication technology,
and is there room for non-traumatic multiplicity in clinical accounts
-- in fine are bound up with the prosthetic character of virtuality.
The technosocial space of virtual interaction, with its irruptive
ludic quality, its potential for experimentation and emergence, can be
a problematic and hopeful domain of non-traumatic multiplicity. Turkle
and others, myself included, are waiting to observe how the dialogue
between nontraumatic multiplicity and clinical accounts emerges in a
new therapeutic context.

--------------------

The Joan incident produced a large amount of Monday morning
quarterbacking among the habitues of CompuServe's chat system.
Sanford Lewin retained his CompuServe account.  He has a fairly low
profile on the net, not least because the Sanford persona is
inherently low key.  Many of Joan's friends made at least a token
attempt to become friends with him.  Not too many succeeded, because,
according to them, there simply wasn't that much in common between
them.  Several of the women who were friends of Joan have become his
friends.  One said, "I try to forget what happened.  Whether he's Joan
or Sanford, man or woman, it's his soul that I like."

The hackers in my study population, the people who wrote the programs
by means of which the nets exist, just smiled tiredly.  They were
aware that it takes time to understand, through experience, that
social rules do not necessarily map across the interface between the
real and virtual worlds.  But all of them had understood from the
beginning that the nets presaged radical changes in social
conventions, some of which would go unnoticed until an event like the
disabled woman persona and the violated confidences brought them to
the foreground.  Some of these engineers, in fact, wrote software for
the utopian possibilities it offered.  Young enough in the first days
of the net to react and adjust quickly, they had long ago taken for
granted that many of the pre-net assumptions about the nature of
identity had quietly vanished.

There is a subtext here, which has to do with what I have been calling
the online persona.  Of course we all change personae all the time, to
suit the social occasion, although with online personae the act is
more purposeful.  Nevertheless the societal imperative with which we
have been raised is that there is one primary persona, or "true
identity", and that in the offline world -- the "real world" -- this
persona is firmly attached to a single physical body, by which our
existence as a social being is authorized and in which it is grounded.
The origin of this "correct" relationship between body and persona
seems to have been contemporaneous with the same cultural moment that
gave birth to what we sometimes call the sovereign subject.  There can
be productive interventions into our cultural belief that the unmarked
social unit, besides being white and male, is a single self in a
single body.  Events in Oshkosh pointed this up.  The attention of the
audience was on the moment of rupture, conjoining the sacred and
forbidden, when the seamless surface of reality can be ripped aside to
reveal the nuts and bolts by which the structure is maintained.  At
that moment Sarah was a liminal creature, representing something
deeply desired and deeply feared.  In the same court an ax murderer
would attract a certain ghoulish attention, but nothing like the
fascination we were seeing here.  On the principle that where one
finds a circumstance which is a focus of the most intense emotional
energy coupled with the least understanding of why it is such a focus,
there is the place to dig, then it seemed clear enough that the moment
Franny appeared was that place.

Multiple personality, as it is commonly represented, is the site of a
massive exercise of power and of its aftermath, the site of a
marshalling of physical proof that identity -- of whatever form --
arises in crisis.  It vividly demonstrates the connection between the
violence of splitting off a string of identities to the violence of
representation under the sign of the patristic Word in a court of law.
In order for the prosecution's strategy to work, the victim must
mainfest a collection of identities each one of which is recognizable
to the jury as a legal subject.  We are witnesses to an exercise of
power, to an effort to fix in position a particular subjectivity.
Having thus been drawn to the grotesque -- in this case, to the
spectacle of the maimed persona -- we might reflect on how we got here
and where we were going when our attention was arrested.  Otherwise we
may miss the lesson of how we came to be capable of being constructed
as witnesses @italic<ab origine,> miss comprehending our own violent
origin.

--------------------

The trial ends with Peterson's conviction.

This outcome is a mixed grill for the various interests surrounding
the trial.  While there are several points on which new law might have
been written, two in particular are interesting in connection with the
Peterson trial.  One concerns the conflation of multiple personality
with mental illness.  Another concerns the legal status of each member
of a multiple personality.  Both of these relate to issues of how
cultural meaning is constructed in relation to bodies and selves.

-----------------------------

Ruth Reeves, Sarah's downstairs neighbor, is a woman with no
particular investment in much of the debate.  "I've met most of them
(the personalities), and they're real," she says.  "It's no different,
really, than talking to a roomful of people."

"Do you think she's sick...mentally ill?  I mean, multiple personality
as a disease..."

"Well, her personalities mostly just seem to live their lives.  It's
not like one of them's a murderer or goes around busting up the
furniture.  Some of them aren't healthy for her, though.  I hope
therapy can help her, so she doesn't have to do things like eat
crayons or burn herself.  But--"  She looked thoughtful for a moment,
searching for words.

"You know," she said, "if the therapy turns out to be effective I'm
going to miss the personalities.  They're a wonderful bunch of folks."

---------------------------------

The verdict upholds existing Wisconsin law. The law states that it is
a crime to have sex with a mentally ill person if the person is so
severely impaired that he or she cannot appreciate the consequences of
their behavior, and if the other person knows of the illness.  Because
the trial made no attempt to separate the issue of MPD from issues of
mental illness, the verdict reinforces the general conflation of
multiple personality with mental illness.  This seems natural to the
great majority of mental health professionals who viewed the trial.  A
few, who perceived the opportunity to "decriminalize" MPD, are
disappointed.

"Multiple personality" covers a broad range of phenomena, which
includes within its spectrum such things as spirit possession.
"Multiple personality disorder" is the official term for a condition
which includes, among other things, blackouts.  That is, only one
personality is out at a time, and if there is a dominant personality
it suffers memory gaps during the time the other personalities are
out.  "You find clothes in your closets that you have no memory of
having bought, and worse yet, they aren't the cut or color you would
ever think of buying", one multiple says.  "You get court summonses
about traffic violations you didn't commit, you wake up in the morning
and find you have burns and bruises and you have no idea how or where
you got them."  In general the dominant personality is frightened and
troubled by these occurrences.  The dominant personality may also have
difficulty coping in the world, and it is this maladjustment, or the
fear and disorientation caused by the blackouts, that generally bring
the person into the doctor's office.

At the other end of the spectrum are persons who also consider
themselves multiples, but who do not suffer blackouts and who claim to
retain awareness of what the alter personalities are doing when they
are out.  These persons find themselves in a difficult situation.  If
they assert their multiplicity, they fear being pathologized, so they
tend to live "in the closet", like other marginalized groups.  They
live largely clandestine existences, holding regular day jobs and
occasionally socializing with other multiples of similar type.  They
worry about being discovered and being forced to quit their jobs, or
about being declared disabled or mentally incompetent.  They have no
common literature which unites them; the multiple equivalent of Well
of Loneliness has yet to be written.  Their accustomed mode of
existence, sharing a single body with several quasi-independent
personalities, is emblematic of a fair percentage of everyday life at
the close of the mechanical age.

-----------------------------

Having been a technical and scientific writer as well as an author of
fantasy and science fiction, I am aware that the boundaries between
science and fiction are fluid.  The most troubling stories are
precisely those that are difficult to analyze -- those stories that
are situated in the boundaries between categories and that must be
analyzed in multiple ways before their meanings can be understood.  In
the listener they frequently produce a sense of unease, a feeling that
the way things are might shift unexpectedly or slip away.  I find that
frequently these are the most interesting stories, because their
shapeshifting qualities make them powerful agents of transformation.

The encounters I have related here are about relationships between
bodies and personae/ selves/ subjects, and the multiplicities of
connections between them.  They are about negotiating realities, and
the conjunctions of social spaces and activities bound together by
webs of physical and ideological force.  They map out a field of
discourse for which they act as experiential demarcations:

@begin(display) @begin(boldface)@bullet  Many persons in a single body
(Multiple personality);

@bullet  Many persons outside a single body (personae within
cyberspace in its many forms and attendant technologies of
communication);

@bullet  A single person in/outside many bodies (institutional social
behavior). @end(boldface)@end(display)

The two constants in these accounts are bodies and experiences of
self, whether they are called avatars, persons, selves, or subjects.

Technologies that enable near-instantaneous communication among social
groups pose old problems in new guises (similar to the unexpected ways
in which the invention of the automobile affected postadolescent
courting behavior in some industrialized nations), but also pose new
problems: not simply problems of accountability (i.e., who did it),
but of warrantability (i.e., did a body/subject unit do it).  The
issue of @italic<warrantability> -- i.e., is there a physical human
body involved in this interaction anywhere -- is one such.

Social spaces and social groups do not spring into being only as
concomitants of technology.  Some workers study technologies as
crystallizations of social networks, the technologies and the networks
co-creating each other in an overlapping multiplicity of complex
interactions.  Technologies can be seen as simultaneously causes of
and responses to social crisis.  Consider following the history of
communication technologies as a study of social groups searching for
ways to enact and stabilize a @italic<sense of presence> in
increasingly diffuse and distributed networks of electronically
mediated interaction, and thus also as ways to stabilize self/selves
in shifting and unstable fields of power.

Let's consider bodies and selves in relation to communications
technology in three ways:

@begin(boldface) 1. Selves and relationships between selves
constituted and mediated by technologies of communication; i.e.,
@italic<an apparatus for the production of community.>

2. Technologies that mediate cultural legibility for the biological
substrates to selves, substrates that legally authenticate political
action; i.e., @italic<an apparatus for the production of body.>

3. Technologies mediating between bodies and selves which may or may
not be within physical proximity; i.e., @italic<interfaces.>
@end(boldface)

Implicit in many of these accounts are assumptions about what bodies
should be or do, what form bodies should take, and what conditions
relationships between bodies and selves should require.

Over time, the relationship between bodies and their attendant
"selves" has undergone a slow process of change.  Although its effects
have been profound and lasting, the classical bourgeois world view,
incorporating a mechanistic view of the universe/ nature and an
egoistic view of "man", with its implications for the ways body and
self might be coupled under a particular set of political and
epistemological constraints, was a preeminent factor in the production
of knowledge for a period of only about 150 years.  Its influence
began to be felt perhaps in the late 1600s and was signaled by (e.g.)
the publication of Newton's @italic<Principia,> and was challenged,
though not silenced, in the 1840s at about the time of  (e.g.) the
discovery of non-Euclidean geometry and the development of critical
psychology.  Powerful social forces channeled the structure of this
world view into the form  of binary oppositions:  body/mind,
self/society, male/female, &c.  In the deployment of a series of
epistemes whose informing principles include the ontic status of
binary oppositions, we can see both the workings of the totalizing
mechanisms that produced the new classical sciences and also the
substructure for the academic disciplines -- the deployment of each
being deeply informed by the emergence of capital as a primary
influence upon the structures of knowledge production.

This deployment of knowledge structures was accompanied by
improvements in systems of measurement both in the realms of the
physical and the symbolic (as in cartography and psychology).  Partly,
I suggest, this represented a complex response to a political need to
order the relationships between the emerging "subject" and its
presumed associated body in ways that assured the maintenance of a
social order that was already in dangerous disequilibrium.  In this
sense of the term, social order implied spatial accountability -- that
is, knowing where the subject under the law was.

Traditionally accountability referred to the physical body, and most
visibly took the form of laws that fixed the physical body within a
juridical field whose fiduciary characteristics were precisely
determined--the census, the introduction of street addresses,
passports, telephone numbers--the invention and deployment of
documentations of citizenship in all their forms, which is to say,
fine-tuning surveillance and control in the interests of producing a
more "stable", manageable citizen.  The subtext of this activity is an
elaboration and amplification of spaciality and presence -- a
hypertrophy of the perception of @italic<where,> which was reflected
in the elaboration, within the sciences, of new fiduciary
understandings of cosmic and molecular (and later, atomic) velocity
and position.

The symmetry implied by the increasing precision with which both
velocity and position could be determined in the macro and micro world
was ruptured in the 1920s and 30s by the theoretical work of (e.g.)
Niels Bohr and later by Werner Heisenberg.  The deep ontic unease
which these proposals generated, even though they were frequently only
imperfectly understood, was accompanied by increasing preoccupation on
the part of a political apparatus at the macro level for precisely
determining action (as speed, e.g., cf. Virilio) and position in
everything from satellite ranging to postal codes.  Implicit in this
elaboration of the concepts of spaciality and presence is the
development of the fiduciary subject, i.e., a political,
epistmological and biological unit which is not only measurable and
quantifiable but also understood in an essential way as being in
place.  The individual societal actor becomes fixed in respect to
geographical coordinates that determine physical locus -- a mode which
implies an ontic privilege of the physical body and an unusual but
identifiable invocation of a metaphysics of presence which may be
familiar from other debates --rather than being located in a virtual
system, i.e., in relation to a social world constituted within an
information network, a social world whose primary mode of interaction
is that of narrow-bandwidth symbolic exchange.  In the context of this
research, by a metaphysics of presence I mean that a (living) body
implies the presence within the body of a socially articulated self
that is the true site of agency.  It is this coupling, rather than the
presence of the body alone, that privileges the body as the site of
political authentication and political action.

Tactics of discipline and control directed at the body are meant to
manage the coupled self within which agency and consequent political
authenticity have been constructed to reside.  The fiduciary subject
is fixed and stabilized within a grid of coordinates that implicates
virtual location technologies -- making the boundaries between the
jurisdictions of the physical and those of the symbolic extremely
permeable -- by techniques such as psychological testing.  In this way
the deployment of the new kinds of knowledge that accompanied capital
formation and of their concomitants in the arts and sciences, and in
particular  a worldview which took for its basis a binary experiential
framework, had a profound effect on perceptions of and relationships
to the human body.  This is particularly clear in regard to ways in
which an individual acquired knowledge of the categories of physical
experience -- of experiences of one's own body.  For example, the
invention of sensual categories such as pleasure as ways of
interpreting bodily experience in European discourses of the body -- a
fairly late development -- can be interpreted as an attempt to impose
order upon the chaotic and unruly theater of sensual experiences which
the body was thought to represent, in all its disruptive and
productive potential.  Categorizing the sensual modes that bodies can
experience fulfills several functions.  It elicits a discourse system;
it represents efforts to frame the body as an ordered set of
impressions which could be disrupted and require re-ordering (implying
a structure to do the ordering); and it implies a binary view of the
ways that bodily experience is mediated -- the opposition of order and
chaos within the frame of a single physicality.

Theorists of gender and the body frequently view individuals'
experiences of their own bodies as socially constructed, in
juxtaposition to approaches which hold that the body is ontologically
present to itself and to the experiences of the (always unitary)
"self" which inhabits it; in Lacanian terms, under the older
dispensation the essence of one's own body is understood as that which
ultimately resists symbolization.  If we consider the physical map of
the body and our experience of inhabiting it as socially mediated,
then it should not be difficult to imagine the next step in a
progression toward the social -- that is, to imagine the location of
the self that inhabits the body as also socially mediated -- not in
the usual ways we think of subject construction in terms of position
within a social field or of capacity to experience, but of the
physical location of the subject, independent of the body within which
theories of the body are accustomed to ground it, within a system  of
symbolic exchange, i.e., information technology.

A typical example of the extent to which participants in
narrow-bandwidth communication engage their own interpretive faculties
and of the extent to which their interpretations are driven by the
engagement of structures of desire is indicated by studies of
client-provider interactions in phone sex (Stone, 1991f).  Phone sex
is the process of constructing desire through a single mode of
communication, the human voice.  The comunication bandwidth between
client and provider is further narrowed because the voices are passed
through the telephone network, which not only reduces the audio
bandwidth but also introduces fairly high levels of distortion.  In my
studies of phone sex, I was particularly interested in how distortion
and bandwidth affected the construction of desire and erotics.

Narrow bandwidth interactions are useful in analyzing how participants
construct desire because the interactions are both real and
schematized.  While they cannot provide information about the vast and
complex spectrum of human sexuality across time and society, they do
provide a laboratory which is large, moderately diverse, and easily
accessible for a detailed study of desire in narrow-bandwidth mode.
But it is not necessary to engage in interactions that mobilize desire
to experience the attraction of virtual systems.  An informant at an
organization that tracks high-technology businesses reports that large
public databases are experiencing difficulty in becoming profitable.
"What's happening", he reports, "is that users don't find the
services, like online ticketing, electronic shopping and stock
reports, very interesting.  On the other hand, the online conferences
are jammed.  What commercial online information services like Prodigy
don't realize is that people are willing to pay money just to connect.
Just for the opportunity to communicate."  That Prodigy fails to
understand this is clear from the way the database runs its
conferences.  Prodigy supervisors monitor its online conferences and
censor what it considers offensive language -- what Bruno Latour might
consider an example of building your morals into your technology and
what I would consider building your morals into your nature.  At this
point it does not look like imposing a set of morals of any kind on
the net is going to work.  "Centralized control is impossible", Chip
Morningstar (1991) said, speaking of the Habitat simulation.  "Don't
even try."

In an ironic mode, I consider that to be a vastly hopeful remark -- in
part, at least, because centralized control is not the only kind of
control.  Just as technology, in Gibson's words, finds its uses on the
street, control finds its uses in virtual systems, and I hope to
observe the transformations that control undergoes as it seeks its
level among the virtual communities.

@bold(Appendix)

This paper is part of a series of ongoing experiments in
representation and method in social, critical and cultural studies. As
such, it is a construction zone, full of visible or concealed rocks
and potholes, and is hereby posted; please drive carefully.  The
narrative style is adapted from certain techniques of fiction; with
its descriptive digressions, interruptions and shifts of voice, it is
of particular concern to me, because of the sensitivity of the
material and the problematic juxtapositions of personal violation with
theoretical material, and consequently I am still rethinking it.  It
is intended to evoke multiplicity, firstly by jump cutting between the
(problematic) firsthand viewpoint of the trial, the chat line
conversations and their consequences, and the theoretical discussions
of medicopsychological texts that interrupt the accounts of the trial
and each other.  In addition, none of the main threads, taken
separately, are meant to be read as linear narratives.  I have taken
portions of RossU text out of the order in which he presents them in
the primary source.  In this action I am using RossU theory to
construct a different sort of theoretical ambiance than Ross himself
might like -- an act of wholesale appropriation in a spirit of
experimentation.  It is in no sense a traditionally anthropological
account.  My intent is rather to experiment with an alternative
quasi-anthropological storytelling, accompanied by fair warning that
we are outside the bounds of traditional academic discourse.  All
courtroom scenes are reconstructions created through interviews with
persons who were present at the trial, and occasionally with the aid
of transcriptions from tape recordings of portions of the testimony.
In this regard I have relied heavily upon source material kindly
provided by Cynthia Gorney, who was present at the trial as a reporter
for the Washington Post and who produced a wonderful and insightful
series of articles for that publication (beginning November 6, 1990),
upon material provided by Deborah Bradley and Mark Hargrove, and upon
numerous interviews.  An earlier insightful account of the Joan Green
incident was published by Lindsy Van Gelder as "The Strange Case of
the Electronic Woman", first in @italic<Ms.> Magazine (1985) and later
in Rob Kling's anthology @italic<Computerization and Controversy :
Value Conflicts and Social Choices> (Boston 1991).  When I first wrote
up my version of the incident I used a pseudonym for the psychiatrist,
and although Van Gelder used his "real" (legal) name, I have retained
the pseudonym in this version because my treatment of him is
quasifictional.  Data collection for this project was of the type
generally characterized as Rin depthS, since I was interested, in an
as-yet unwritten longer account, in creating an atmospheric piece that
conveyed my own odd sense of the problematic and productive clash of
narratives between the Oshkosh trial and the virtual crossdressing
psychiatrist.  The dialogue within quotes comes from my interviews
with persons who were present or who had professional or
nonprofessional contacts with any of the principals, and where my
notes fail, from GorneyUs verbatim transcriptions.  (Official
transcripts were prohibitively expensive.)  Even where dialogue is
quoted there is no guarantee that things are in any sense pristine. On
occasion I have added dialogue from other parts of the transcriptions,
deleted portions of the testimony, collapsed several persons into one,
changed some names and not others, and in general constructed a
fictional narrative which hews rather closely to that of the trial
itself but which is not identical to it.  Where I describe gestures,
these come from descriptions of gestures made by the participants and
reported by my informants.  In the case of atmospheric phrases (e.g.,
media vans, the sound of air conditioning, something metallic dropping
in the hallway), I elicited such as were available from my informants.
For me, the problems of producing the Oshkosh narrative are the
obverse of the problems I faced when writing my (forthcoming) science
fiction novel @italic(Ktahmet,) which is heavily based on material
that I copied verbatim from my diaries.  In writing @italic(Ktahmet)
the problem was the real-life character of the fictional narrative
(Betsy Wollheim, my editor, was fond of yelling "Even if it's true,
it's fiction"), while in this paper the problem was the fictional
character of the real-life narrative.


--------------------------	End	---------------------------