How We Became Posthuman 1 – Definition and Subjectivity – Hayles

June 17th, 2010

Hayles, N. K. (1999). How we became posthuman: Virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics: University Of Chicago Press.

Katherine Hayles puts forth this text on post humanism, which essentially discusses how information lost its body, that is, it is inspired by Hans Moravec’s prediction that one could in the future download an entire human conscious into a computer where it could exist and operate. Hayles breaks down “What is the posthuman?” into four defining factors (pgs 2-3). The posthuman view: Read the rest of this entry »

The Gutenberg Galaxy – Experiencing a new technology – McLuhan

June 15th, 2010

McLuhan, M. (1968). The gutenberg galaxy: The making of typographic man: Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968.

This text, obviously enough by title, largely addresses the effect of the Gutenberg press on both oral and chirograph communication. There is much to this that will be of use to me as I get further into my studies and seek to add more historical foundation. However, of most relevance today is the book’s consideration of what occurs when a new technology is presented either from within or external to a culture.

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Movies: The Reel World – McLuhan

June 14th, 2010

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. 1st MIT Press ed. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994.

In this chapter, McLuhan begins by noting that movies, which for the purposes of this post only certain aspects refer also to video, merges the mechanical and the organic in a special way. On the base level, the idea of a camera (mechanical) recording something organic like the growth of a flower or the fluid movement of someone walking is such a merging. However, on a somewhat deeper level, film takes something that may not be organic and makes it seem so by presenting a sequential series of still images into a moving picture, such as making a chair walk across a room. Film also links technology with print in that they both generate fantasy in the viewer or reader. Read the rest of this entry »

Pre-Proposal posted

June 13th, 2010

I am aware that I’ve been getting many new readers to this blog over the past few weeks and months. Furthermore, I realize that someone embarking on this blog anew might be at least somewhat lost, as if opening a text to the middle page and beginning to read. I frequently reference the “OVC” and the “AOC” among other concepts that by now should be quite familiar to frequent visitors to my blog, but which are likely meaningless to those newer visitors. Therefore, in an effort to provide readers (familiar and new) with an overview of my study, I have added the Pre-proposal to this blog.

You can find this page under the Research menu as well as on the link to the right under “What’s this all about?” However, once I write the full proposal and it is approved, which should be around October this Fall, I will likely remove the pre-proposal (or archive it) and just post the full proposal.

The Spoken Word: Flower of Evil? – McLuhan

June 12th, 2010

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. 1st MIT Press ed. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994.

“Language does for intelligence what the wheel does for the feet and the body. It enables them to move from thing to thing with greater ease and speed and ever less involvement” (113).

McLuhan begins this essay with an example of a rather animated radio DJ that reacts with sounds, comments, groans, etc. to his own comments, noting that it is in this way that the audience participation is created. This is a condition of the one-to-many broadcast. Of course it is arguable that by merely passively listening, the audience is participating. However, the DJ’s reactions perhaps make it seem more active, since operating solely in the spoken and not written realm of experience, he may feel the need to put forth those emotions and reactions, which one might normally draw out more in a written work, since the author tends to add richer detail to prose. Read the rest of this entry »