Body Electric e-lag, Penelope Complex and other e-pathologies - Derrick de Kerckhove

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Body Electric e-lag, Penelope Complex and other e-pathologies - Derrick de Kerckhove

  1. 1. The Body Electric: e-lag, Penelope Complex and other e-pathologies Derrick de Kerckhove McLuhan Program Faculty of Information Studies University of Toronto
  2. 2. Three eras
  3. 3. The telegraph: a marriage between language and electricity
  4. 4. The technobiology of electricity <ul><li>Electricity is both within and without the human body (CNS projected outside) </li></ul><ul><li>In the analogue mode, electricity emulates muscular functions of the body </li></ul><ul><li>In the digital mode, it emulates cognition </li></ul><ul><li>All digital appliances are extensions of our senses and our communications capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Some of them such as the cell phone bring the electric grid back to the body… </li></ul>
  5. 5. The technobiology of wirelessness <ul><li>Wireless means permanent, ubiquitous access to all our extensions </li></ul><ul><li>The cellular phone spells the integration of the whole world within the personal body space of the user </li></ul><ul><li>Wearable computing heralds the quasi internalization of this process </li></ul><ul><li>Cyborgism (techno-romanticism) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Three cyborgs Steve Mann Stelarc Kevin Warwick
  7. 7. The body electric
  8. 8. The body electric <ul><li>An augmented body </li></ul><ul><li>Fuzzy boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>With Wi-Fi, total interconnectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Restructuring our sensory life </li></ul><ul><li>Changing our use of time and space </li></ul><ul><li>A bionic condition </li></ul>
  9. 9. Date:   Sun, 21 Mar 2004 18:51:53 +0000 Subject: Francesco From:   roy <roy.ascott@btinternet.com> To:     <d.dekerckhove@utoronto.ca> <ul><li>Derrick Disaster struck last week – a critical crash corrupted/erased all my email files. I’m back online now but it put things out slightly. Francesco Monico might like to get in touch with me directly. The Planetary Collegium website is up and running and should explain things pretty thoroughly -  but of course I can clarify any uncertainties, as well as making sure there would be a good fit between the area he wants to research and the expertise etc we have to offer. Best wishes Roy __________________________________________ Professor Roy Ascott </li></ul><ul><li>Director The Planetary Collegium University of Plymouth Plymouth PL4 8AA United Kingdom +44 (0)7967148719 +44 (0)1752 232558 http://www.planetary-collegium.net </li></ul>
  10. 10. New bionic ailments… <ul><li>Not talking about clinical issues, e.g. radiations re: cell-phones, eyesight and migraine problems re: overuse of screen, back-aches re: bad ergonomics of PCs </li></ul><ul><li>Not talking about what happens to the technology itself (obsolescence, breakdowns, spam, viruses, black-outs) </li></ul><ul><li>Only about what happens to us as we use such an intimate array of technologies </li></ul>
  11. 11. Addictions <ul><li>Whatever it is, once you are hooked, you can no more live without it </li></ul><ul><li>PC (as in ‘chained to my PC’) </li></ul><ul><li>Cellular phone </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Wi-Fi </li></ul><ul><li>SMS </li></ul><ul><li>Social Software (LinkedIn, Orkut) </li></ul><ul><li>Games </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Chats </li></ul>
  12. 12. Symptoms of Internet addiction <ul><li>1) Using the online services everyday without any skipping. 2) Loosing track of time after making a connection. 3) Going out less and less. 4) Spending less and less time on meals at home or at work, and eats in front of the monitor. 5) Denying spending too much time on the Net. 6) Others complaining of your spending too much time in front of the monitor. 7) Checking on your mailbox too many times a day. 8) Thinking you have got the greatest web site in the world and dying to give people your URL. 9) Logging onto the Net while already busy at work. 10) Sneaking online when spouse or family members not at home, with a sense of relief. </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational impairment due to Internet Addiction: </li></ul>
  13. 13. Anxieties <ul><li>E-lag: guilt of not having answered tons of e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of virus attack </li></ul><ul><li>Passworditis </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of giving out card numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Broadband anxiety </li></ul>
  14. 14. Depressions <ul><li>Weathering down-time and… </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of connectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of self-confidence to decreasing e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Information-overload from increasing e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Losing unsaved content to unpredictable crashes </li></ul>
  15. 15. Phobias <ul><li>Cyberphobia </li></ul><ul><li>Cyberphobia is the fear of computers. This term was coined in 1985 as an aversion or anxiety caused by technology (Harris). A Dell Computer study shows 55% of people have some fear of technology. 36% of office computer users feel their skill levels are inadequate. </li></ul><ul><li>Technophobia </li></ul><ul><li>Technostress </li></ul><ul><li>Matrix </li></ul>
  16. 16. Fear of Matrix <ul><li>Fear real-life Matrix will be monitoring you By MADELEINE BARAN DAILY NEWS WRITER </li></ul><ul><li>The Matrix has arrived. The most massive database surveillance program in history, the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange could soon offer authorities extensive information on the lives of New Yorkers. </li></ul><ul><li>Potentially more information than they'd ever expect: past addresses and phone numbers; marriage and divorce records; arrest records; real estate information; photographs of neighbors and business associates; car make, model and color; hunting and fishing licenses; and more. Much more. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Contaminations <ul><li>Viruses were invented in the early 1980s, and while historians differ in their opinions as to which was first, it may have been Cloner, a 1981 Apple II virus whose only symptom was that it occasionally displayed a poem onscreen. Shortly thereafter, researcher Fred Cohen published a technical paper called &quot;Computer Viruses-Theory and Experiments,&quot; and by 1986 a number of new viruses were starting to appear &quot;in the wild,&quot; as computer security experts like to say. Virtually all of these viruses were spread by the relatively inefficient means of floppy disks. Computers in which many different floppy disks were used-as in campus computer centers-tended to be the centers of contagion. It was not until the IBM Christmas virus (which probably spurred this NEWSWEEK story) that an infection was seen actively spreading through a network-in this case, IBM's worldwide collection of mainframes. </li></ul><ul><li>Spam </li></ul><ul><li>Cookies </li></ul>
  18. 18. Obsessive-compulsive behaviors <ul><li>Owning the latest equipment, the highest performance (My CPU is bigger than yours) </li></ul><ul><li>Wi-Finitis </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Googlis’ </li></ul><ul><li>File-saving </li></ul>
  19. 19. Neuroses <ul><li>Fear of invasion of privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Penelope Complex </li></ul><ul><li>DDD (Deletion Deficit Disorder) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Surfing for symptoms” </li></ul>
  20. 20. Spam rage <ul><li>Spam rage drives some e-mailers to extremes By Jon Swartz, USA TODAY </li></ul><ul><li>SAN FRANCISCO — Charles Booher was so mad, he did what others have longed to do: He told a spammer to stop — or else. But the Silicon Valley tech worker went too far, prosecutors say. Last year, he allegedly threatened to shoot and torture an employee of a Canadian company that spammed him, court documents say. </li></ul><ul><li>The testicular cancer survivor was especially enraged at spam touting penis enlargements, he says. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Identity crises <ul><li>Emigration of mind from head to screen </li></ul><ul><li>Digital persona </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul><ul><li>Gender bending </li></ul><ul><li>Anonymous poking or pseudos handles </li></ul>Mark Ngui
  22. 22. Partial or total lobotomies <ul><li>Hard-disk loss (who keeps back-up anyway) </li></ul><ul><li>Unexplained and sudden crashes at the most interesting moment </li></ul><ul><li>Wipe-out of whole directories (Eudora) </li></ul><ul><li>Your system may need reconfiguring, but so do you… </li></ul><ul><li>A stressful condition </li></ul>
  23. 23. How can we deal with it ? <ul><li>Guru meditation # 787848798478794 </li></ul><ul><li>Is there a tecchie in the house ? </li></ul><ul><li>Hope (for an improved round of technology, i.e., XP over Millennium) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Do we need a new specialization in psychotherapy <ul><li>Adding to the Bios program </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Total, ubiquitous, broadband, always on, mobile access </li></ul><ul><li>Change of self-image (body-image) </li></ul><ul><li>Change of scale </li></ul><ul><li>Change of physical distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Change of time (macro and micro scales) </li></ul>What is health in the Digital Era ?
  26. 26. In the electric age, we wear all mankind as our skin
  27. 27. Estienne 1545 Estienne 1545
  28. 28. Vesalius 1543
  29. 29. Spieghel 1627
  30. 30. Mascagni 1823
  31. 31. Brödel c.1910
  32. 32. Wishart c.1930
  33. 33. OUTS
  34. 34. We shape our tools and… … thereafter, our tools shape us Marshall McLuhan
  35. 35. Whatever Stelarc is looking at goes on line for anyone to see
  36. 36. Stelarc connects his CNS to someone else’s via the www
  37. 37. Warwick implants sensors for contextual cues from the environment

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