CYBORGS (January 11, 2010)


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sample lecture from Intro to Digital Media

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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
  • CYBORGS (January 11, 2010)

    1. 1. CYBORGS January 12, 2010
    2. 2. Goals (week 1) <ul><li>prehistories of cyber- ideas </li></ul><ul><li>technology/identity relationship </li></ul><ul><li>intersections with culture/politics </li></ul><ul><li>concept of anti-essentialism </li></ul>
    3. 3. cybernetics communication + control systems
    4. 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 &quot;Giant Brain.” [Wikipedia]
    5. 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. 6. cybernetic concepts <ul><li>homeostasis through feedback </li></ul>
    7. 7. cybernetic concepts <ul><li>homeostasis through feedback </li></ul><ul><li>control and communication </li></ul>
    8. 8. cybernetic concepts <ul><li>homeostasis through feedback </li></ul><ul><li>control + communication </li></ul><ul><li>Interactivity + integrated systems </li></ul>
    9. 9. implications of cybernetics <ul><li>cyber- = to steer (Greek) </li></ul>
    10. 10. implications of cybernetics <ul><li>cyber- = to steer (Greek) </li></ul><ul><li>human/organic no longer distinct </li></ul>
    11. 11. implications of cybernetics <ul><li>cyber- = to steer (Greek) </li></ul><ul><li>human/organic no longer distinct </li></ul><ul><li>“ the integration between the gadget and human beings in society” </li></ul>
    12. 12. cyborg cybernetic organism
    13. 13. late capitalism - 06/2006
    14. 14. postmodernism from Alexandre Syrota on flickr
    15. 15. third-wave feminism from tomswift46 on flickr
    16. 16. Are YOU a cyborg? when/where/how?