The Trial of Roboboy

Anybody who has read globatron for a while knows that Akbar Lightning loves nothing more than controversy.  It’s true…but I think that such tensions, if dismissed, can be lost opportunities for the revelation of real knowledge, the kind that comes when a few people do things differently.  I am pasting an email below, the one I wrote to Roboboy today, as an invitation to join in this discussion of ownership, judgment, art, the blog as art, etc.  People who participate in such discussions require a particular kind of courage, that type that asks us to be willing to admit to weaknesses in our thinking, or our ways of perceiving.  Most likely, if Roboboy, Akbar and Globatron enter into this discussion all of us will discover ways in which we are blind, and this is why I am encouraging us to do so.  This is Globatron, this is essentially what it represents to me, a place for encounters that are like nothing else you will see out there in the digital world, discussions led by people deeply invested in the pursuit of truth, entered into without the ability to predict the consequences.

Email written to Roboboy:

Hi Roboboy,I just read your poem Fingazz…it’s beautiful, i really like your stuff…as you have probably read, i have been debating things over at globatron.  actually globatron has a history of such debates, and as it works to ask itself what it ‘ought’ to be, how a blog might be a work of art, it is always an exercise with unknown ends, driven to find governing principles.

i suppose my point is this – i think it would be fruitful to have you join the debate.  although, under usual circumstances this would seem ridiculous…i have been asking myself a lot lately about these things, about how we behave in particular ways, and those ways are just habitual.  you are a very skilled thinker, and i think that globatron could learn from your involvement, and that would require a very high level of vulnerability on your part, i am sensitive to that.

a lot of this revolves around expectations about creativity and art…and the answers here are, i posit, unknown to all 3 of us, and so it would be a risk…but it would be a creative risk.  when i read your mission statement, to build an orphanage, i just can’t help but thinking that we are ‘of the same tribe’, and globatron is a good man, he just struggles with some insecurities.  anyways, if you want to play the socratic role, if you would like to push back in an intellectual struggle, i would gladly create the opening and help out.  i think it would be great for the site, and i think we could all learn a great deal.  these types of social counter-intuitions have always been my bread and butter, and i have always encouraged people to try new approaches toward unity, as we have a habit of reacting and splitting apart.

there is no pressure…but i figured i would ask….because i really like your work and your ways of thinking, and i would feel bad if i did not move forward out of a feeling of embarrassment.

Akbar Lightning

From Roboboy’s mission statement:

My dream is to build an orphanage. In revolt agains the ineffective mind-numbing and vulgar education system that has been created I will show that with the right education we can create individuals who will have great positive impact for the world as a whole.

New Poem Fingazz:

One morning the shadow that the light cast from my fingers

Looked like herrings swimming up a river

I guess it was a trick of the mind

But I did have fish for dinner that night

Useless babble



  1. Roboboy
    May 14, 2010

    This trial is a farce.

    It assumes that Roboboy accepts that he is being accused of something and that, not only is there validity to this claim, but also that the judges in the case have the moral right to pass judgment in the issue at hand.

    Roboboy has been shouting his messages into the cold night since the beginning of time as he knows it. Never once has he stopped to think of whether this upsets the delicate preconception of the people that happened to overhear him.

    And now the people who heard his shouts and invited him in want to silence his voice. Not argue with him in public but silently suppress those parts that they happen not to agree with.

    Roboboy would much rather shout into the cold silent night but be free, than to have a place at the fire but have to hold his tongue for fear of being cast out.

    So Roboboy refuses to acknowledge the validity of this trial and once again steps out into the dark unknown.

    There are no regrets nor any real anger. Just a feeling of Deja Vu and a memory of what could have been.

    Roboboy chooses the hemlock!

  2. akbar lightning
    May 14, 2010

    Roboboy, ought you not wait til old age makes of hemlock merely a polite escort for a glorious exit…

    at stake in this debate is the nature of art, the nature of this new media form, and the roles of leadership and participation…do not make a tonic out of the asphyxiant…

    this blog is a work of art..and as art, it will be most sublime if it makes of its weaknesses a strength….and one of our weaknesses and our attempts to grapple with judgment…and sometimes we are wrong…

    i am now in the uncomfortable position of pleading…but all i can do is move forward with what i know is the next right step for my participation…all of the individuals are particles in a collision state…do we bond? do we repel? do we create new particles? what answers these questions are the governing social laws…the conventional social laws dictate that, as you have been dishonored, that you maintain your dignity and move on…this is a noble response…but one i think that, it can be argued, stops the learning process just when i think it was getting interesting…just as the laws of social conformity were breaking down…when real freedom was emerging, freedom from our opinions, freedom from our inhibitions…going to such places together means facing the innate forms of existence together, and therefore having a transcendent philosophical experience…perhaps, such a thing would not have been possible without a radical fracturing…

    in fact, i have often felt that globatron has benefited from some of its founder’s wild moves..that are instinctual…and i have often found myself in the unique position of trying to translate these things, of trying to find ways to use the plasma discharge to arouse an interest in the philosophical process.

    you are right Roboboy, one wants equal ownership of a fire…and it is this that compels me to speak, even when it goes against the fire-starter’s opinions…i am asking you to defend yourself, not because i feel the founder or myself have some kind of moral high-ground…in fact, it is the opposite…i’m asking you to use your powers of insight to instruct…to take this movement and redirect it, and uplift us… i wrote recently in an essay i’m working on that:

    “Simultaneous to my defense of a philosophy that is confrontational is my claim that true dissent cannot arise out of utter social alienation. True dissent draws its power from a claim to citizenship, and an expansive interpretation of the rights therein.”

    if you have been reading my exchange with can tell that i am completely skeptical of her ‘dimensional’ approach to perceiving reality…but that does not mean i don’t want her around…i want her to stubbornly resist me, to teach me, in spite of my biases…i want her to stake her claim here at globatron so that i have to open up to these ideas, so that i grow beyond my limitations…

    all that to say, that going is what you know…we all know that social experience..somebody says something mean, and the person gets up and goes on his merry way…i believe in globatron, as an experiment in ‘real’ philosophy, as a nexus for a genuinely unique revolution in how we relate.

    i have hated some of globatron’s posts…and i haven’t said anything…however, i love globatron’s passion…his dedication to continue searching, and to continue to strive to make something real out of this virtual realm. how would he have felt if i had said ‘i hate that post’, it annoys the sh$t out of me…it probably would have hurt his feelings…but, i don’t know, maybe we would have gone somewhere…i don’t know…

    my argument for Roboboy to confront these issues has everything to do with my belief that ‘curatorial’ power is a danger…and one that comes from a momentary lapse into material fear…that is my claim…and one that, i think, is actually liberating to all parties…

    i am tired now…and perhaps we will never see Roboboy again…but I hope that is not the case…

  3. globatron
    May 14, 2010

    which ones did you hate Akbar? just interested.

    i would predict it was the new agey ones.

    i’m all for people hating on my work. you never have to hold back on me
    my brother. i ask for people to react. if someone hates my work i have succeeded. apathy is the enemy to me. if someone feels nothing I have failed.

    as for the curatorial process I must say there is much growth in that as well. working with a curator can be a learning process. i have worked with editors too and they have turned writing i’ve done into something completely different and i have really enjoyed the process. for example:

    i never envisioned this to be written like this. it was two separate pieces but he collaged them together.

    I understand Roboboy does not know how to or want to take input on his work. I have been there as well. I do think there is real growth in being open to input and even editing.

    So as I stated earlier when this all started I would like Roboboy to contribute but if he does he should be open to an honest and open dialogue about his work and I would hope Akbar would do the same with my work. There should be no holding back on this site. If there is we have failed.

    Sometimes we don’t like what we hear and that should be expected especially from such a young nanobot. The ability to want to be engaged in a dialogue about art and culture should be a software upgrade for all of us.

  4. akbar lightning
    May 14, 2010

    perhaps withholding is what allows a community to exist, saving input for the those moments when one feels it is important, and not a manipulation of another’s creative process…but an act of love…

  5. akbar lightning
    May 14, 2010

    it is important to point out, for those interested in this process, that much of the discussion is happening on the Judgment Day post…

  6. globatron
    May 14, 2010

    perhaps. perhaps openly communicating about the work can be an act of love as well. as long as there is honest sharing behind the statement.

    i hate your work because…. then you can learn something.

    i didn’t do that on you last post and i don’t hate it.


Leave a Reply