Notes
Introduction
1
Bruce Robbins (1992) argues for renovating the idea of
cosmopolitanism to better reflect globally networked
socioeconomic realities. Today the Web forms one of
the central realities working to undo the local/global bi-
nary at the level of networked individuals’ personal and
everyday experiences. Robbins argues for a “rooted cos-
mopolitanism” whereby we each keep one foot rooted
in place with the other free to travel through cosmo-
politan global networks. Robbins’s proposal recalls the
adaptation of Diogenes by the Stoics that rendered the
ideal of cosmopolitanism as one by which one dwells
simultaneously in two communities—one of which is
the local community into which each of us is born and
the other is that of human aspiration, argument, and
discourse. Phenomenologically, this is apposite to an
individual’s Web experience: his or her body remains in
the here and now, a rooted foot on the ground, while
Web applications, particularly those providing access to
moving images set within virtual landscapes, encourage
the individual’s imagination to go “elsewhere” in search
of the ecumenical potential of sites, both sacred and
profane, that can evoke fetishized and utopian desires
for idealized other places on the other side of the screen
or computer display. Manuel Castells has proposed that
a principal influence of electronic networks may be “to
reinforce the cosmopolitanism of the new professional
and managerial classes living symbolically in a global
frame of reference” (2000:393). Adopting a more tren-
chant view of such forms of capitalized cosmopolitan-
ism, Guy Debord notes that “what brings together men
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