There is a species of tick, a little round creature that gets in your skin. The baby tick when he hatches, walks up a tree, and remains on a twig until he smells butyric acid, that is sweat. If and when he smells butyric acid, he falls off the tree and hopes to fall on a mammal.
If in two or three weeks, he does not smell any sweat, he falls off the tree and climbs another tree. It is the absence of butyric acid, in the end, has the same effect that the presence of butyric acid would have. He’s able to work at two logical type levels. He is able to deal with the absence of information as a piece of information. The information which doesn’t come is itself information.
This is dreadfully important in the whole relation of figure relation, and so on.
Cyborg Manifesto — Donna Haraway (1983) – super store industries
Cyborg Manifesto — Donna Haraway (1983)
“Michael Foucault’s biopolitics is a flaccid premonition of cyborg politics, a very open field.”
“the relation between organism and machine has been a border war.
Transparency and knowledge – something can become invisible because its a closed black box, and something can become invisible because its too open, sunshine, light…
“However, a woman is not simply alienated from her product, but in a deep sense does not exist as a subject, or even potential subject, since she owes her existence as a woman to sexual appropriation. To be constituted by another’s desire is not the same thing as to be alienated in the violent separation of the labourer from his product.”
“It is no accident that the symbolic system of the family of man and so the essence of woman breaks up at the same moment that networks of connection among people on the planet are unprecedentedly multiple, preg- nant and complex. ‘Advanced capitalism’ is inadequate to convey the structure of this historical moment.”
“Some differences are playful; some are poles of world historical systems of domination. ‘Epistemology’ is about knowing the difference.”
The Informatics of Domination
“we are living through a movement from an organic, industrial society to a polymorphous, information system from all work to all play, a deadly game.”
The cyborg is not subject to Foucault’s biopolitics; the cyborg simulates politics, a much more potent field of operations.”
“Technologies and scientific discourses can be partially understood as formalizations, i.e. as frozen moments, of the fluid social interactions constituting them, but they should also be viewed as instruments for enforcing meanings. The boundary is permeable between tool and myth, instrument and concept, historical systems of social relations and historical anatomies of possible bodies, including objects of knowledge. Indeed, myth and tool mutually constitute each other.”
Furthermore, communications sciences and modern biologies are constructed by a common move the translation the world into a problem of coding, a search for a common language in which all resistance to instrumental control disappears and all heterogeneity can be submitted to disassembly, reassembly, investment and exchange.
communications sciences, the translation of the world into a problem in coding can be illustrated by looking at cybernetic (feedback-controlled) systems theories applied to telephone technology, computer design, weapons deployment or database construc- tion and maintenance. In each case, solution to the key questions rests on a theory of language and control; the key operation is determining the rates, directions and prob- abilities of flow of a quantity called information. The world is subdivided by boundaries differentially permeable to information. Information is just that kind of quantifiable element (unit, base of unity) which allows universal translation, and so unhindered instru- mental power (called effective communication). The biggest threat to such power is interruption of communication. Any system breakdown is a function of stress. The funda- mentals of this technology can be condensed into the metaphor C3I, command-control- communication-intelligence, the military’s symbol for its operations theory.
Communications technologies depend on electronics. Modern states, multi- national corporations, military power, welfare state apparatuses, satellite systems, political processes, fabrication of our imaginations, labour-control systems, medical constructions of our bodies, commercial pornography, the international division oflabour and religious evangelism depend intimately upon electronics. Microelectronics is the technical basis of simulacra; that is, of copies without originals. Microelectronics mediates the translations of labour into robotics and word process- ing, sex into genetic engineering and reproductive technologies, and mind into artificial intelligence and decision procedures.
The ‘homework economy’ outside ‘the home’
“The extreme mobility of capital and the emerging international division of labour are intertwined with the emergence of new collectivities, and the weakening of familiar groupings.”
“In the prototypical Silicon Valley, many women’s lives have been structured around employment in elcctronics- dependent jobs, and their intimate realities include serial heterosexual monogamy, negotiating childcare, distance from extended kin or most other forms of traditional community, a high likelihood of loneliness and extreme economic vulnerability as they age.”
Gordon, Richard, and Linda M. Kimball. “High technology, employment and the challenges to education.” Prometheus 3.2 (1985): 315-330.
“To be feminized means to be made extremely vulner- able; able to be disassembled, reassembled, exploited as a reserve labour force… factory, home and market are integrated on a new scale and that the places of women are crucial and need to be analysed for differ- l’nces among women and for meanings for relations between men and women in various situations.”
“The homework economy as a world capitalist organizational structure is made possible by (not caused by) the new technologies. The success of the attack on rela- tively privileged, mostly white, men’s unionized jobs is tied to the power of the new communications technologies to integrate and control labour despite extensive disper- sion and decentralization. The consequences of the new technologies are felt by women both in the loss of the family (male) wage (if they ever had access to this white privi- lege) and in the character of their own jobs, which are becoming capital-intensive; for example, office work and nursing.”
“Technologies like video games and highly miniatur- ized televisions seem crucial to production of modern forms of ‘private life’.”
Books, etc., did the same no?
Cyborgs: a myth of political identity
“Cyborg politics is the struggle for language and the struggle against perfect communication, against the one code that translates all meaning perfectly, the central dogma of phallogocentrism.”
“Cyborg politics is the struggle for language and the struggle against perfect communication, against the one code that translates all meaning perfectly, the central dogma of phallogocentrism. That is why cyborg politics insist on noise and advocate pollution, rejoicing in the illegitimate fusions of animal and machine.”
Anne McCaffrey’ s pre-feminist The Ship Who Sang (1969) explored the consciousness of a cyborg, hybrid of girl’s brain and complex machinery, formed after the birth of a severely handicapped child. Gender, sexuality, embodiment, skill: all were reconstituted in the story. Why should our bodies end at the skin, or include at best other beings encapsulated by skin?
The Bateson example of the blind man with the stick: ”IN STEPS TO AN ECOLOGY OF MIND, THE ANTHROPOLOGIST and scientist Gregory Bateson repeatedly uses a simple example to chal- lenge taken-for-granted assumptions about the body and the self. Consider, he says, a blind man with a stick. “Where,” Bateson asks, “does the blind man’s self begin? At the tip of the stick? At the handle of the stick? Or at some point halfway up the stick?” (Davis, Joseph E. “If the ‘Human’ Is Finished, What Comes Next?: a Review Essay.” (2007): 1–16. Print.) “Intense pleasure in skill, machine skill, ceases to be a sin, but an aspect of embodiment. The machine is not an it to be animated, worshipped and dominated. The machine is us, our processes, an aspect of our embodiment. We can be responsible for machines; they do not dominate m· threaten us. We are responsible for boundaries; we are they” – P 315