Class summary for day 3
On Day 3, "Natural Born Cyborgs,"
We first watched the Selarc video, which mentioned the idea of the body as a sculptural medium and an evolutionary architecture. Many people in the class seemed disturbed and/or intrigued by the art. Thinning the boundary between self and other makes us feel existentially uncomfortable.
We reflected on our initial postings and the Clark reading:
- technology is more simplistic than we might first assume -- for example, we usually think of computers, but simple tools like pens are also technology
- where is agency located? You can't completely blame technology for your actions... shared agency?
- a relationship with technology is driven by desire/intention; no one is being forced to use a cell phone
- we are wired to create interpersonal relationships with our environment
- there is a prejudice about technology separating people
- is the use of technology really a biological desire or just social programming? This brings about the nature-nurture debate, which is just another boundary that needs to be blurred
- he tries to redefine the cartoon image of a cyborg
- he encourages us to accept and embrace ourselves as natural-born cyborgs
Thinking points and metaphors:
- Clark explains that as a species, we have been using technology for a long time
- full-integration with technology in the future
- we already have extended cognition into technology -- for example, feeling disabled when your computer breaks
- the body is a "fortress" designed to be breached
Adaptation and evolutionary psychology:
- Clark tries to argue against evopsych -- it's not relevant or helpful to talk about our behavior in relation to hunter/gatherers
- adaptation as an active feedback loop? Perhaps our capacity to adapt increases as more technology is present
- as we create new technology, we are creating ourselves
- ethical choices about what to create?
Back to class thoughts on Clark...
- Clark doesn't seem to discuss the downsides of embracing our cyborg nature
- if we don't have to remember things now (i.e. phone numbers), will that impair our ability to remember details later in life?
- connectivity brings burdens -- example: parents thinking you're dead if you don't answer your phone for a few hours
- is the act of rejecting technology unnatural?
- does "natural" refer to the biological world or the social world?
- by naming our technology, we make it a part of us
- does this mean it's natural for us to want to connect to everything?
- union of body + technology = scaffolding
Haraway vs. Clark:
- Haraway wrote her article to model her thesis -- she has a political agenda; she wants to challenge and change the way we think
- Clark doesn't seem to be challenging us, just trying to prove his point
- Haraway's writing is more timeless and allows for multiple interpretations
- Clark's writing could easily be outdated