From Twitter: Humans and perfection

I was minded about the warning contained in the Matrix that the pursuit of perfection (if transhumanism could be seen as such) in humanity could very well drive us insane, or lead to systemic failure (2 minutes onwards), but I also thought this was quite an amusing take on the scene.

From Twitter: The Matrix

In the 90’s movie “The Matrix”, Neo enters in to a fully simulated virtual reality by means of having a spike jammed in to a fit-for-purpose socket on the back of his skull. To consider what is consciousness, Neo’s guide and mentor explains a few facts about this universe. This sort of immersion is a common theme in sci-fi, but it has relevance to learning too. Just plugging in to a machine to learn something is quite a compelling idea. I first remember this concept at secondary school when we read a book entitled “Devil on my back“.

From Twitter: Music and video for Block 1

We were encouraged to think about how music might relate to our themes

Pinned to “Future” on Pinterest

The idea of security by the machine is taken up by Eset, an internet security/Anti-Virus company, the products and services of which I have used in the past. Fitting in with the idea of AI, but also perhaps fitting with Harroway’s genderless cyborg. We assign a male gender to this robot (or do we?), so perhaps we feel more secure under its watchful eyes than a specifically genderless design, but would it work similarly if the robot was obviously female?

Just Pinned to Future: Reference ESET, (Sep 11th 2011), ESET Smart Security 5 is here! ESET ESET [ONLINE]. Available at: [Accessed 6 February 2016]. Smart Security Robot by Puppetworks Studios for Eset. Ideas for robotman character.

Pinned to “Future” on Pinterest

The lips almost appear to be stitched, were the vertical lines extended to the top lip. Quite unsettling. I take less notice of the chunk of silicon welded on to the side of the face.

Just Pinned to Future: The process was quite amazing. I couldn’t wait to see what I would look like when I had it done.

Pinned to “Future” on Pinterest

Just Pinned to Future: Cybershot of Linh Cinder leaked from the Cyborg Draft Research Facilities located in the Imperial Palace. Our Anonymous source claims this is from the first round of test trails run on Linh Cinder by the once esteemed Dr. Dmitri Erland,now Crown Traitor!

From Youtube: PostHuman: An Introduction to Transhumanism

Transhumanism is a concept mentioned by Bayne (2014) which she claims is often used interchangably with Posthumanism despite being in “radical tension with each other” (p5)

Bayne, S. (2014) What’s the matter with ‘Technology Enhanced Learning’? Learning, Media and Technology, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2014.915851

From Twitter

This post links to someone deeply involved in the writing, research and seeking solutions around the issues brought up by humanism. I like the practical focus of solutions and ideas, but somehow cautious of what is being sold.

From Twitter: Through experimentation with technology, we bring about our own downfall – a twist in the tail

My reading and viewing activity tonight took me in to a future world which has animal, machine and human merged in near perfect symbiosis. Harroway with animals as kin. But what might happen before we reach the cyborgian/transhuman utopia is that the animals get wise and start to take us out before we get there. The series “Zoo” (linked in the tweet below) offers an entirely different take on sci-fi than what I was expecting. My wife started watching it and told me about, so it seemed relevant to post here as a counterpoint to it all. If transhumanism would have us shake off our tribal instinct, this series sees us amplifying it. Perhaps there is room for sci-fi where it is not the augmented, super human from the future that we’ve to fear, but animals. Oh wait. That’s what Planet of the Apes was about….

Why would anyone write anything if they didn’t intend for their words to change their reader?

I listened to the video below. Certainly it gives a far more digestible account of the writing of Haraway (2007). The youtube content producer Jon Clerk (2014) gives a descriptive account of the article, covering his views on the main themes well. Certainly in more detail than I was initially able to draw out.

I am left wondering though what his thoughts on WHY Harroway wrote the article? What was the point behind creating the article if it was not an attempt to influence the thoughts of others.

The idea that we should embrace our very nature of animal, machine and human makes me wonder if I’ve missed something in Harroway said. If the machine is being programmed with a series of expectations from the cyborg mind. It will not be immune to imperfections of the programmers. There is no steady state implied merely through the act of coding or otherwise instructing a machine. There is genesis, it started somewhere that can be traced. The creation of a cyborg had its roots somewhere that could be called its birth. There is still room for evolution. If the human adapts to its cyborg state, then it could change to become something, but does that change anything. Is it merely that the cyborg has large parts of its human biology removed that makes the ideal for a society that’s free from concern of gender?


Clerk, J (2014)  ‘Donna Haraway’s ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’: A Brief Overview’. Youtube [online] Accessed: 2nd February.

Hawaray, D. (2000) ‘A cyborg manifesto: Science, technology and social feminist in the late twentieth century’, BELL, D; KENNEDY, B. The Cybercultures reader. London: Routledge, pp. 291-324.


A Cyborg Manifesto

It was like a dream. It maybe is. Perhaps I’ll wake up.

I read “A Cyborg Manifesto”. I say read. It was like my eyes were passing over pages, upon endless pages of text with words that for the most part I understood individually, but put together to form something that was in no way shape or form like anything I have read before. I don’t wish to denigrate the author, I wish I could critique the text I read with some sort of cleverness, but I struggle to get a holistic grasp of the article.

I fell asleep. My chair was comfy. The room was warm.

There are bits that I understood, at least, that I was able to take some meaning from. The idea that a cyborg future could befall us all, a sense of inevitability, and what might lead us there, and what might need to change in order to get there. From the feminist perspective of the article, an outline of the world that has so far created the need for feminism to be considered, and some elements of how technology, and writing about technology, has been influenced by male-dominated culture.

That noise. Outside or in. My sleep was ruptured.

I think I’m probably guessing. I feel like I am guessing at the meaning. But the piece also seems to criticise certain aspects of feminism “We do not need a totality in order to work well. The feminist dream of a common language, like all dreams for a perfectly true language, of perfectly faithful naming of experience, is a totalizing and imperialist one. … perhaps ironically, we can learn from our fusions with animals and machines how not to be Man, the embodiement of Western logos.” (pp 51-52).


I’m looking forward to the tutorial session tomorrow morning to see what others make of this piece of writing. Meanwhile, I’m off to watch some other people talking about this article to see what I missed e.g.

Hawaray, D. (2007) ‘A cyborg manifesto: Science, technology and social feminist in the late twentieth century’, BELL, D; KENNEDY, B (eds). The Cybercultures reader. London: Routledge, pp. 34-65.

Cyborgs and Week 2’s Film Festival

We are but one step away from becoming cyborgs ourselves. Unlike the guy in the video below, our enhancements are only temporary. I have modified myself with connection to keyboard and screen. I become something I am not born as. But I can, thankfully, extract myself. Much like the lady in the video who leaves her partner, unable to form a bond with the machine that he has become, a warning, that if we spend too much time even in our pre-cyborg state, our social connections will suffer.

For all our specie’s complexity and aspirations toward greatness, without food, sleep, water, warmth and social connection, we’re not much use at all.

The music video was played at the end of the Monday togethertube session I attended.  So it would appear that I can draw on this item from Week 2’s film festival through Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto”.  I just finished work at 22:45, and I’m up at 06:00….. instead of writing this post, I’ll park it, and come back to it. Instead of reading A Cyborg Manifesto, I’ll go set up my Virtual Reality and become a cyborg myself.  Actually, instead of doing any of these things, I’ll get a good night’s sleep and maybe feel more refreshed, and more human, in the morning.

From Twitter

Even when entirely consumed by a technology that separates us physically, our human need for society, tradition, ceremony and personal contact remains and will find ways to be expressed.

From Twitter: bridging the phsyical gap that technology facilitates

“The world is smaller” I read and hear around the internet regularly enough. Mostly down to communications and shared media through technology, especially the internet. Flip side is that it is also easier to be apart from people you have formed relationships with. Not necessarily physical relationships, but if it is that sort of relationship, technology can attempt to bridge the gap too.

From Twitter: Another successful Togethertube meeting

From Twitter: VR meeting spaces

If Virtual Reality (VR) is to become successful/popular/widespread, it will meet the “needs” of online communication. Something like AltSpace VR will provide a social space similar to instant messaging, facebook messages, hangouts and so on. The implications of doing so are worth studying, as we merge our human self with the machine in an “alternative” universe which exists solely through binary code running on computers somewhere on the internet.

Week 2 – reflections

This week, I *think* I’m starting to get a feel for how the course is working as constructivist activity: We’re learning by “doing” to a certain extent; we’re given relatively minimal guidance whilst still being observed; we’re using community to bolster our understanding; and we’re being asked to reflect on our past experiences with an aim to realisation that what has gone the week before was the correct step.

Reading and commenting on other blog posts has been a great motivator. IFTTT has been demotivating.

I’ve posted about core readings because that gives me some grounding. It is a recognisable action carried on from IDEL assignments and blog posts. There is comfort there. I have blogged about technology, VR particularly, because all this talk of reality, augmentations, cyborgs… and I have it sitting right in front of me. Next week, I will attempt to conduct the entire #MSCEDC activity from within “virtual reality” via my HTC Vive (At least those actions which would normally happen for me on-screen). We’ll see how that goes.

I struggle with the concepts that are put forward in some of the papers. I am a pragmatist learning about post-humanism; semantics; cyborg manifestos (which I’ve yet to read). Part of me doesn’t care as long as I can produce something at the end of it. Part of me is also massively intrigued, at least about my own capacity to understand and decode.

If anyone else has access to a VR device, let me know. Perhaps we could meet up in Altspace.