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CYBORGS (January 11, 2010)
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CYBORGS (January 11, 2010)


sample lecture from Intro to Digital Media

sample lecture from Intro to Digital Media

Published in Education , Technology , Business
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  • Cyborg, or cybernetic organism In a larger sense about the interfaces between technologies and ideas, between humans and machines
  • started during WWII (like the internet) fundamentally different way of thinking about machines
  • Programmable machine vs. single-purpose machine self-regulating system linked to environment rather than particular observable results (note woman programmer)
  • Weiner tells the origin story of his theory of cybernetics -- military problem of ballistics Came to seem that there wasn’t much difference in the way machine systems work and the way human systems work
  • End of autonomy
  • i.e. Wiener’s scientific ethics (averting a doomsday scenario) PAUSE FOR QUESTIONS
  • BRAINSTORM: what is a cyborg (according to Haraway) -- what boundaries does it cross? this is a dense and highly intertextual text -- going to try to explain some broad concepts that it relies on
  • Haraway’s informatics of domination
  • AFFINITY politics (could have done separate slide) On to Haraway’s intervention... Important: BOTH domination and resistance in one Legacy of cyborg theory Call back to cybernetics


  • 1. CYBORGS January 12, 2010
  • 2. Goals (week 1)
    • prehistories of cyber- ideas
    • technology/identity relationship
    • intersections with culture/politics
    • concept of anti-essentialism
  • 3. cybernetics communication + control systems
  • 4. computer ENIAC [Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer] was the first general-purpose electronic computer... capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems... ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the U.S. Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory... announced in 1946 it was heralded in the press as a "Giant Brain.” [Wikipedia]
  • 5. the antiaircraft gun is not an isolated mechanism.... The gun pointer is a human element.... The actual fire control is a system involving human beings and machines at the same time. It must be reduced, from an engineering point of view, to a single structure, which means either a human interpretation of the machine, or a mechanical interpretation of the operator, or both. (67-68)
  • 6. cybernetic concepts
    • homeostasis through feedback
  • 7. cybernetic concepts
    • homeostasis through feedback
    • control and communication
  • 8. cybernetic concepts
    • homeostasis through feedback
    • control + communication
    • Interactivity + integrated systems
  • 9. implications of cybernetics
    • cyber- = to steer (Greek)
  • 10. implications of cybernetics
    • cyber- = to steer (Greek)
    • human/organic no longer distinct
  • 11. implications of cybernetics
    • cyber- = to steer (Greek)
    • human/organic no longer distinct
    • “ the integration between the gadget and human beings in society”
  • 12. cyborg cybernetic organism
  • 13. late capitalism - 06/2006
  • 14. postmodernism from Alexandre Syrota on flickr
  • 15. third-wave feminism from tomswift46 on flickr
  • 16. Are YOU a cyborg? when/where/how?