Cyborg Anthropology is the study of the interaction between humans and computers, and how the capabilities of our bodies are extended externally and uploaded into hypertext.
We are all Cyborgs. Increasingly, we are purchasing and discarding extensions to our selves. We're also becoming an interface culture.
How we interact with machines and technology in many ways defines who we are. Cyborg Anthropology is a lens with which to understand what's happening to us in a world mediated by dynamic objects, processes and change.
An entirely new set of social roles have developed around the use of technology. Erving Goffman's The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life relates directly to this.
The shape of a site's architecture makes people move, and the flow of people shapes how a site transforms over time. Profiles and avatars allow users to represent themselves asynchronously—that is, they are another extension of connection and etiquette that can be optimized or used poorly. These extensions of presence allow people to be accessed when they aren't even there.
In a frictionless economy, the concepts of physics are even more prevalent. Digital products often take less time and space to create and distribute.
Definition of a the prosthetic: a technology/device we use -- and must cooperate with -- to achieve a goal.
Apple and the iPhone store are currently the leaders of the most fashionable, cutting edge prosthetic devices. Attach to yourself, extend yourself.
Turned off, an iPhone looks like a oracle pool from mythology. Like magic: turn it on, "tell me about China." Done. In the same way, those who can write a line of code are magicians, in that they can write spells to make certain things happen.
In a short period of time, mind-extension prosthetics have become fluid. They change constantly. A new computer comes out every few months. Design upgrades for iPods and Phones make our proesthetic extensions lighter and faster. Our attractiveness is often measured by the ease that we exist with our external objects.
We are gods (unless we forget to charge our batteries).
Good design reduces friction: If you make users wait when coming to homepage, like having to wait for bus at bus stop.
Twitter evolves naturally (like tribobyte), adds functions organically, through interaction: @replies, tinyurl/bit.ly.
Data aggregation is evolving, digital objects sort and organize.