Dig the Dirt

Hashing Over Hygiene In the Artifice of the Real
  • John Leslie King
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 236)


It seems kind of strange that eating parasitic worms causes a cure rather than a disease. Yet, this fact is no stranger than many other man-bites-dog stories about “real life” in contemporary times.1 Such stories arise at moments of changing equilibria in the processes of the social construction of reality. They are especially evident during periods of intense dialectic in which long held theses are being upended by powerful antitheses, and the glimmer of an eventual synthesis is still occluded by ignorance and confusion about what is at stake. The emergent dialectic among the “real” and the “virtual” provides a particularly interesting opportunity to explore the mechanisms of such dialectics. The opening quote from Laurie Anderson is a device to explicate the tension between the real and the virtual, and the mechanics of reconciliation by which a new equilibrium might be forged.


Virtual Reality Hygiene Hypothesis Parasitic Worm Viewer Perception Household Cleanliness 
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    Ingesting the helminth Trichuris suis (pig whipworm) has been proved an effective therapy for the auto-immune disorder Crohn’s disease. A. Reddyand B. Fried, The Use of Trichuris Suis and Other Helminth Therapies to Treat Crohn’s Disease, Parasitology Research 100, No. 5, April, 2007, 921–927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Leslie King
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MichiganUSA

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