I have recently finished reading Sterne’s ‘The hystiograpgy of cyberculture’ and was intrigued by some of the thought-provoking suggestions that he offered. When I think of a cyborg I picture a half human/half machine hybrid that has all the personal qualities of a person blended with the enhanced offerings of robotics.
What initially I didn’t think of was the way in which technology can enhance our senses. I appreciate that the focus of Sterne’s piece was of the making of history and the timeline of technological integration, and he clearly states that he is merely using sound as an example to re-enforce his point – however I think his analogy is worthy of reflection.
I recently attended a conference on assistive technologies and one of the keynote speakers, Gareth Ford Williams – Head of Accessibility for the BBC – described the public broadcaster’s efforts to enhance their radio transmissions towards a modernised and futuristic sounding “3D Radio”. In short, they are adopting technology to manipulate our brain’s interpretation of sound to create a better than life experience and to immerse people in transmission rather than passively listening.
The same can be said for virtual reality. Our sense of sight is being manipulated to take us to places that we couldn’t otherwise go. 3D technologies allow us to explore internal organs in their functioning form and explore geographical location outwits our reach. I would suggest that mechanical enhances the physical, virtual enhances the spiritual.
But to what extent to the physical and spiritual need to be enhanced for us to concede that whether we like it or not, technological advances are becoming an integral part of our every day lives and society? Perhaps we have reached the glass ceiling of humanity where we have reached our potential but see and crave the need for more.
I have also been considering the histiography of cyberculture that Sterne proceeds to investigate. He mentions transition from analogue to digital – To that I’d add digital immigrants to digital natives, human to cyborg, offline to online and physical to virtual.
Kelly, S. (2016). The head giving you 3D VR sound. Retrieved: 26 January 2017. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03smbxv
I liked this post. I have been considering my views on some of the key questions that you raised:
Should we embrace technological advances to prolong and improve quality of life?
In my opinion, longevity – yes. Immortality no. I think that technology can improve quality of life far beyond the limits that we could achieve ourselves.
Where should we stop?
Can we stop?
Has our technological power outpaced our ability to make informed moral choices?
Would you agree that technology has shaped us as a race and as a society. That we want everything instantaneously at our fingertips?
Will it create further conflict and inequality and society?
I think it could solve some issues too – but certainly yes – I think that technology offers people an alias to escape the boundaries set by society.
from Comments on: Miller – The Body and Information Technology http://ift.tt/2jMj1FK
The first week of Education and Digital Cultures has been really quite incredible. Not only because I am in awe at the technologies that we have been using but also the idea of cyberculture and posthumanism.
It really does boggle the mind trying to comprehend the influence that technology has on today’s society and culture, both from the perspectives of where we would be without it and the seemingly limitless places that it will take us to. It is just as difficult trying to imagine a boundary where the human race would be willing to slow technological progress and go it alone.
It is well documented that machines can make us bigger, better, faster, stronger and push us well beyond our physical capabilities, but this week I have been considering the spiritual side of machinism. Can what makes us unique and individual be enhanced through technology? There certainly seems to be an expectation that machine intervention will inevitably lead to improvement. However there is a danger that it can damage the qualities in life that make us function as humans (love, compassion, kindness etc).
Perhaps this is why this week I have noticed a paradox in human beings craving advancement but seemingly unwilling to forgo dominance that they have over the universe – and to that end I introduce you to my new friends Siri, Cortana and Alexa.
Machines help us reach limits that we simply wouldn’t be able to reach on our own. But do they help us develop as a race?
In recent years there has been a sharp increase in online dating services which rise in tandem with global craving for technology. I guess this can be used as a prime example of cybercuture.
Recently I have been reading about cyborgs and the concept of human-machine hybrids achieving far more than the traditional, organic human – at least from a physical perspective. This, however, prompted me to think about the influence that machine (and indeed technology) has on the mental state of the human form.
The music video embedded within this post is a light hearted sketch of an unpopular, middle aged man exaggerating his physical attributes to attract the opposite sex in online dating environments.
I suddenly remembered studying the concept of presence during my first semester on MSc Digital Education whilst enrolled on Introduction to Digital Environments. Back then I considered digital personas and opportunities that online environments afforded people to change their characteristics to create an idealistic version of themselves. I did not, however, consider the influence this practice has on a wider scale – in particular its contribution to cyberculture.
Technology affords us the opportunity for change. Is that change necessarily always for the better? Does it remove barriers and expectations that are placed upon us in the physical world and in everyday society?
I think that there is a misconception that with technology comes progress. Sure, we may become faster, smarter and more efficient. But what about the qualities that make us who we are? Kindness, honest. Love?
Is online dating better and more advanced than the traditional method? I’m not so sure.
Having played around with IFTTT and my WordPress site I once again find myself amazed at the interoperability of technologies and the intertwining of web based services. It is fascinating to think that at some point in time humans had the capacity to invent the computer and microprocessor that nowadays can surpass the physical and cognitive ability of its inventors.
I am working through the core readings for Block 1 of Education and Digital Cultures and have frequently paused to consider a life without technology. At the ripe old age of 30 I can remember the days when mobile phones were not every day commodities and to get in touch with my friends I had to walk round to their house and knock of their front door. In what seems like such a short space of time it is almost impossible to comprehend how people functioned without the technology that we now take for granted.
It is everywhere.
It is provides entertainment, education and information. It is influencing how we shop, travel, work, think, exercise, bank, communicate, remember, create, and navigate. If electricity was to disappear would it be the end of the world as we know it? I’m not sure that we would know where to start.
It is almost ironic that some of the most recent advancements in technology have shifted away from an input/output methodology towards a digital persona such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa. Are we looking to push technological advancement to new limits but save face by giving computers names, voices and personalities? This, perhaps, seems like the human race clinging on to the seemingly fading idea that “man is better than machine”.