On Being With Technology
We are cyborgs: where do tools stop and begin?
- “A cyborg is a hybrid of technology (or machine) and organism”
- “All the experiences we have, thoughts we hold or actions we take are either enables, expressed or informed by technology.” – ‘Skipping of original unity’; Harraway 2000:292
- argument against that??
Tools and technology:
- Techne – know how to use it at its best
- Technology has an effect and makes a mark on the world
- “anything that can have an effect is a tool” – G. harman (2002) tool-being, p.20
- consumed by tool e.g. hammer break, tool is lost
- technology has an effect/leaves a mark on the world
Pre or sub-personal – are you independent?
Equality feminism – Harraway is a feminist
- challenge boundaries/not fixed identities/change shape reality
- equality is in a state of flux
Harrrawy: we are cyborgs
- different meanings of technology
Harman: capacity to have an effect; as beings we’re shaped and changed by tools around us
Harraway: “we are actually morally obliged to acknowledge our status as cyborgs”
Several different definitions of technology – which one is true?
- We use tools and need tools to live
- acknowledgement calls attention to our responsibility to create ‘noise’ or kinds of living to become something other (Haraway 2000: 292,312)
Moral obligation: recognising life is not fixed; ever-changing.
Argument: statements in supports of a conclusion
Fallacy: bad or weak argument
Forms of arguments:
- What she says about Johannes Kepler’s astronomy of the 1600s must be just so much garbage. Do you realise she’s only 15 years old? – very little support; attack person rather than addressing ideas; assumption; undermining girls view; 15 year old – what does she know?; weak argument
- He’s rich, so he should be the president of our parents and teachers assumption. – conclusion: he should be president because he’s rich; rich = power; appeal to money; wealth = success; weak argument
- Well it’s time for a decision. Will you contribute £20 to our environmental fund, or are you on the side of environmental destruction? – black or white; false dilemma; pay £20 or you’re a bad person; weak argument
Thesis of connection: working-with or playing-with
Have an idea then find a tool to use? Or use a tool then find an idea to work and find what you can do with that tool?
Nicholas Carr: The Shallows – digital technology makes us shallow
- e.g. smoke is a trace of fire; paper on top of a door handle- imprint of door handle