Snippets on the Posthuman

As hormone flows control the stimulation of thought in each of our brains, so do electronic capital flows control advertising, the stimulation of thought in our collective virtual brain. Each of the above are examples of information, models of interconnected data themselves interconnected to form ever more complex patterns of knowledge and simulation.

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McLuhan's concept of the Global Village may be one of his most misunderstood. Many have the mistaken impression that McLuhan was theorizing a global network where all people joined together in a utopian state of peace. While he was indeed optimistic about the future of electric man — if only we would heed his advice and become aware of the effects of our technologies — I do not believe that this is what he had in mind. Instead, he was pointing out that the 6 billion people on the planet were being drawn closer together by global communications networks, and therefore more aware of each other and more impacted by their actions, both good and bad.

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Neuroscience research informs research on computer networks and vice-versa: our real and virtual brains are analogous. McLuhan was wrong, though, about equating our real bodies with our virtual ones, which is the implication of the Global Village. Instead, our real bodies, when outered into electric space, become the neurons of the virtual brain, of which there can only be one.

As we perform activities in real space that alter our information models — such as buying season tickets, filling out a consumer survey, or scoring 37 points for the Lakers — our action potentials are realized and a synapse fires in the global virtual brain.

This is the essence of Haraway's "informatics of domination."

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We must recognize and emphasize the art inherent in our sport: for example, the first time we execute a skill; the high speed ballet that is WR and DB dancing down the sideline; the rat-tat-tat of the tic-tac-toe pass; the sound of mesh snapping as the ball arcs through the rim. This cyborg aesthetic is our only organic armour against the domination of — indeed, the annihilation by — the cybernetic.


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