Notes on the Phases of Electricity and the Body-Mind Ratio

A few notes after reading the post on "Phases of Electricity" from the McLuhan Program weblog yesterday:

The analog phase of electricity

Professional sport athletes use their muscular power and mental abilities to create uncertain outcomes as well as certain streams of information and images. These streams are used to create virtual identities that are then transferred to consumers of fantasy sports and videogames. In this phase, a ratio of body-mind expenditure would see muscular effort as being very high and cognitive effort being very low.

The digital phase of electricity

Moving more fully into the virtual world of MMORPGs (in this case Everquest), Castronova notes the existence of a very real economy in which identities are created, powered-up and sold on Ebay to those who do not wish to go through the time and effort to create one for themselves. Muscular expenditure drops substantially, while cognitive expenditure increases substantially.

The quantum phase of electricity

This is where things get very hazy. Is it possible for a state to exist that approaches zero muscular expenditure and infinite cognition? If so, is this the Singularity and posthumanity? Is it the irreality of The Matrix? Is it transcendence? Or is it all of the above?


One response to Notes on the Phases of Electricity and the Body-Mind Ratio

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  1. sportsBabel » Archival Fragments says:

    [...] electric light is pure information. it is a medium without a message, as it were." (mcluhan) "the outformation age means the [...]