Hables Gray’s Cyborg Citizen

Chris Hables Gray
Cyborg Citizen: Politics in the Posthuman Age
Area: Digital Media
Intro: Slouching Toward the Posthuman—Does Participatory Evolution Require Participatory Government?

•    We live in a cyborg society no matter how unmodified we are as individuals
•    Participatory evolution means we should shape out future through multiple human choices
2: “A cyborg is a self-regulating organism that combines the natural and artificial together in one system.  Cyborgs so not have to be part human, for any organism/system that mixes the evolved and the made, the living and the inanimate, is technically a cyborg.  This would include biocomputers based on organic processes, along with roaches with implants and bioengineered microbes.”
Chapter 1: The Cyborg Politic Body
•    “Technoscience”
•    Postmodernity is transitory, it is a crisis, and the choices we make will determine what will replace it
•    Modern war = modernism
•    Hayles: “The postmodern may turn out to be the equivalent to the posthuman”
•    Jameson: defines postmodernism as a problem of capitalism, not of the modern world
o    A return to the modernist myth of scientific liberation through intellectual and physical domination: Marxism
•    Linda Hutcheon: postmodernism is responsibility and tolerance
o    Must be critical of our complicity because we have the power as participants to shape reality
15: “In How We Became Posthuman [Hayles]  explains how posthumanism might recoup the best parts of humanism, by showing that posthumanism is both a social construction of what it means to be human in the present as well as the technological construction of a new type of techno-bio body in the near future through cyborgization.”
Chapter 5: Infomedicine and the new body
•    As more cyborgian technologies become available, who will have access to them?
o    Only the rich and well-insured?
Chapter 7: Enabled Cyborgs, Living and Dead
•    Quality of life is subjective.  Machine integration and declining quality of life might lead to suicide.
o    No clear line between survival and pleasure
•    Penile prosthetics
100: “Cyborg technologies such as these and the more widespread life-support machinery have lead to a sea change in the public’s attitude toward suicide, which is not seen by many as an exercise of individual autonomy and a right.”
Chapter 9: Prosthetic Territories: Cybercolonializations
•    The notion that bodies and persons are things that can be made
•    Cyborgization and politics is about bodies
•    Cyborg politics are about power => knowledge is power
•    Knowledge is situated; meaning is constructed
•    Systems achieve equilibriums but they don’t survive in stasis
o    It’s thrive or die


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November 2008
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