Cyborgs the body, the information and the technology
Cyborgs: theBody, Information anTechnology(Murphy, A., & Potts J.,Culture and TechnologyMichelle Thomas
Edgar AllenPoe 1843“a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upa mechanical or electronic device”“For the exogenously extended organizational complexfunctioning as an integrated homeostatic system,unconsciously we propose the term „Cyborg‟•Cyborg – Indefinable?”a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities areextended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elementsbuilt into the body.”A cyborg essentially a man-made system in which the controlmechanisms of the human portion are modified externally bydrugs or regulatory devices so that the being can live in anenvironment different from the normal one]The concept of a man-machine mixture was widespread inscience fiction before World War II. As early as 1843 Edgar AllanDescribed a man with extensive prostheses in the short storyThe Man That Was Used Up".OxfordDefinitionOther dictionarydefinitionsClynes andKlyne 1960New YorkTimes 1960
FACT: „Cyborg is amerging of the wordscyber and organism ormerging of organic andcyberneticFACT: Term appeareddue to HCI or HumanComputer InteractionCyborgs: A global debate• The definition of cyborg is debated in manyfields: medicine, art, technology, religionbut more prevalent are the conversationsover context and implications.
Haraway’s definition:„a creature of social reality‟AND„a creature of fiction‟Harawy‟s defining ambiguityis bought about by anunknown future and implicationsCyborgs: Why the Debate?• The constant blurring of boundaries in ourdefinition of cyborgs brings about dystopianand utopian theorists
•Question 1:• Why can we not agree about what a cyborg is?
DYSTOPIAN• Many foresee doom inthe form offear, entrapment, soulessness and a lack of moralresponsibility.• Stelarc: “I see technology as anevolutionary energizer.. The firstphase of technology containedthe body, whereas nowminiaturized technology can beimparted in the body…the endof evolution is at hand”UTOPIAN•Cyborgs: Utopian Vs DystopianA second line of text could go here
• “Our best machines are made of sunshine, theyare all light and clean because they are all lightand clean because they are nothing butsignals, electromagnetic waves, a section of thespectrum and these machines are eminentlyportable, mobile.. the ubiquity and invisibility ofcyborgs as precisely why these sunshine-beltmachines are so deadly. They are as hard to seepolitically as materially (1991b_153 – Haraway)• Information exchange has alwaysbeen constant in our society but thenotion of cyborgs brings about anew age•Another dimension: Information ascybernetics
A new godOur spiritBasicnecessity oflifeAn AddictionAn AfflictionJoining withus in theposthumanform•What is information becoming tous?
• “when computers were virtually realmachines, women wrote the software on which theyran. And when computer was a term applied to fleshand blood workers, the bodies which composedthem were female.” (Sadie Plant, 1997)•The Age of Posthuman• There will be no autonomous individuals as such.Leaving gender an uncertain future.(KatherineHayles)• „autopoises‟ living individualspart of a system constantlyreinventing itself.( „autopoiesis‟ )- Humberto Maturana andFrancisco Varela
• Who is in control of this transition to posthuman?•Haraway’s“The Cyborg Manifesto”
•Implications: Are we renderingourselves redundant?• Are we outmoding our body• Bringing on genetic disasters• Nanobots invading our bodies• Bringing on devastating forms of warfare• Intelligent machines dismissing ourselves or even worse feedingupon us.• Over population – population control and food shortages• Genetic screening – “ Human genome project 2000‟• Doctrine of science in all the advancements such as DNAtechnology becoming profit based
• Will there be regrets?• The human race has forever gained technological ground only toregret taking steps with confidence without being absolutely sureof the consequences.• When the computer was invented no one was actually sure what itwas to be used for.
•Finding the path between utopianand dystopian
••Question 2• Can becoming cyborg really mean to engage withour information culture meaning our conscious choiceto have a second online presence and modifyingourselves both with information and technology?• QUESTIONS: