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Post #2197

Quinn Norton on cyborgs

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the word “cyborg” entering English, Tim Maly is running the #50cyborgs project: 50 essays about cyborgs.

Quinn Norton just posted hers, 50 years of cyborgs: I have not the words.

She starts like this:

For a sense of place to my moment, I will tell you I am on a wireless keyboard, swinging on a homemade swing on the first floor in the three story high living room of the person that would be my it’s complicated on Facebook if I had a Facebook.

My computer itself is on the second floor. As I type these words into the air I have no way of knowing for sure that they are not ephemeral, nothing to confirm my progress and therefore distract me from my thoughts. I strongly suspect that for all the weirdness of the moment, they are (in fact) among the least ephemeral words penned by mankind

My emphasis. Awesome.

Then, birth control pills: The modified were women, and the environment was men.

Then, quoting theory: Cyborgs not only disrupt orderly power structures and fixed interests but also signify a challenge to settled politics, which assumes that binary oppositions or identities are natural distinctions.

Then, I don’t think we’ll ever notice the age of cyborgs, because we do these things one at a time.

Quinn ends by looking for new language, for ways to talk about the world of cyborgs we already live in, and the kind of un-cyborgs coming into being that we didn’t expect.

Read it all. This is terrific.

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