While it was @johnnydavis54's post that prompted my question, I'm glad the spirit of this particular place was honored by having @patanswer respond as well. As @madrush pointed out, in our own discussion on Tuesday, we touched on themes that overlap with the questions I posed as well.
Two things struck me about the responses: (1) the subjective as well as objective considerations involved (which could be expected, I think), and (2) the introduction of the quality/quantity dichotomy (which, albeit perhaps not as expected, moves the discussion in a richer direction. What is more, I found it exceedingly thought-provoking that TJ appears to see location "outside" (quantitative), yet for John it is "inside" (affective), and the reverse obtains when we come to place. This reinforces, for me at least, the thought that even though we can understand them very differently individually (and, yes, TJ, it is often -- maybe even always -- necessary to posit a individual center as a requirement when dealing with such notions.)
To me, that's not a disadvantage, it is, I believe, essential. Marco and I spent some time exploring beliefs, and I have many which I try to coalesce into a coherent understanding of reality. One of the beliefs that I hold, and which I mentioned in our chat, was the primacy of consciousness. Materialists, for example, often end up in that "negative nothingness" that Marco mentioned; materialists also emphasize quantity over quality, since we can, to their minds, only know what we can measure and what we measure are all they can admit as qualities. It is, of course, an extremely limiting and restrictivce perspective, and it is highly exclusionary. Materialism is, however, a belief, for we have not yet, and I can't personally imagine how, we can prove or disprove it. All the evidence we advance is, at least at this stage of the game, indirect. Yet, the same applies to my primacy-of-consciousness belief: it is neither provable nor disprovable, but it allows for the exploration of phenomena that materialist must otherwise exclude (e.g., a lot of the dream-reality experiences that John has often brought up, spirituality, psychic phenomena, and not the least of which the notion of an individual self).
To get back to the point; that is, the discussion of my questions and your responses; the mere fact that we have trouble nailing down the distinctions of perception here in an agreed way indicates to me that we are in fact dealing with a very fundamental phenomenon. TJ has helped make clear that there are physical aspects of these notions, and they will often be relevant when we are using the terms. John has helped make clear that there are affective aspects of them that will also often be relevant. In that the words can help us make sense -- to ourselves and to others -- of how we relate to phenomena and experience, they have a strong referential aspect, even if it is often metaphorical. (There was a time a marketing expert could tell you the three most important factors for your business were location, location, and location.) Nevertheless, there is a concreteness about them that gives them a strong literal aspect as well. (If that location wasn't on a corner, its effectiveness was greatly diminished.) But now, online? Most things have become alocational, if I may put it that way.
Gebser, as we all know, made a very big deal (and I believe necessarily so) of the notion of aspaciality. Now, here, as above with alocational, I'm using the prefix a- in the sense of "free from" not in the sense of negation. (Physicists may be able to negate space and time, but I haven't grokked that yet.) But what I've also been wrestling with is the question of whether Is it possible to free oneself of place? Linguistically, it is difficult because we don't have good place-related adjectives. What is more:
(Whereby it is interesting to note that the Latin sacer from which our English word "sacred" derives is one of those linguistic gems from by-gone times in which some words meant something and their opposite: sacer can mean "blessed" or "cursed" (those places John may avoid); altus can mean "high" or "low" ... we've only got one such words left in English as far as I know, cleave, but I digress ...)
As I like to say, you are wherever you are whenever you are, and you're never anywhere else. Until that "where" is imbued with experience, it can't be a place. You can only place yourself within the vast set of relations among phenomena, objects, and experiences (that is, space) when you become aware of what you are experiencing. Should the phenomenon/object/experience be absolutely concretized, you can most likely locate it as well, e.g., 2 miles down Rte. 30 heading south on the left-hand side of the road, the pain is in my left little toe, but also Heartbreak Hotel. Should it so manifest that you can share (not in the sense of merely communicating, as I can do with the pain in my little toe when I'm at the doctor's, but in the sense of a sharing of the experience) this where (whether really or vicariously is, I think, irrelevant) with others, you can also create a place. We can be space-free and time-free, to put it in Gebserian terms, but I'm not sure we can be place-free.
I have the strong suspicion that this is what Sloterdijk is trying to put his finger on as well, but he opted for space not place. Since, as Gebser shows, we can be free of space, Sloterdijk's insistence on its ontological fundamentality gets in his own way. Given that he is obviously wrestling seriously with his own ambivalence toward what we might call spirit and soul and self, and the terribly nihilistic legacy of post-modernism (negative nothingness), he's forced to describe his spaces in exclusionary ways. There is a feeling of hollowness that accompanies them. There are lots of empty spaces on this planet, but there are never empty places, for places are, I believe, a human creation. Wherever we experience place humans were there.
And, that's how I see our little platform here for discussions, as a place.