Life as an Extreme Sport

one augmented human

Laurie is my goddess. She overnighted me both my copy of Microsoft Office, and my backup discs of writing. I now have a large chunk of my life back on my computer, that has been missing since the hard drive was wiped in December. I’m in the process of reorganizing how I store my documents, and organize the data in those folders. And in that process of reorganizing, I came across this paper, written several years ago for a cultural communication/technology class taught by the guy who went on to become my adviser. It’s interesting to read it again, going on three years after writing it, and see how much and how little my writing has changed.

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Objects are Boundary Projects

[B]odies as objects of knowledge are material-semiotic generative nodes. Their boundaries materialize in social interaction. Boundaries are drawn by mapping practices; ‘objects’ do not pre-exist as such. Objects are boundary projects. But boundaries shift from within; boundaries are very tricky. What boundaries provisionally contain remains generative, productive of meanings and bodies. Siting (sighting) boundaries is a risky practice. Objectivity is not about dis-engagement, but about mutual and usually unequal structuring, about taking risks in a world where ‘we’ are permanently mortal, that is, not in ‘final’ control. -Donna Haraway, Situated Knowledges, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature

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the sound of protest

I’ve been wondering for a while now what the point of protesting [fill in the blank] is – what purpose does it serve? For example, protesting the recent bombings on Falluja isn’t going to stop the bombings; the largest protest in history didn’t stop the attack on Iraq, so why is a smaller protest going to do anything? I now think that the point is to prevent marginalizing from happening; by getting out and creating enough of a ruckus that the media – one of the creatures of the virtual that helps perpetuate mimetic circulation – covers the event, people who hold an alternate view are suddenly no longer marginalized, but instead are taking over the very mechanism that is attempting to silence them.

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Critique – Media Virus and Memes

The idea of a meme is something that has always offended my sensibilities, without ever really knowing why. Obviously its most colloquial use, such as “LiveJournal-memes” is not accurate in the Dawkins-sense of the word, or the way that Dennis Rushkoff would like to see the word used. Memes are simply supposed to be one of three variants of a virus, be it a publicity stunt, a co-opted virus, or the self-generated virus. Rushkoff argues that in all instances, the virus has some sort of “sticky surface (akin to how a genetic virus works) that then allows the infection of something else into the cell or organism (with the organism in a meme being culture itself). Rushkoff uses words like datasphere to name this interconnected, technologically adept organism, and then goes on to use chaos theory to describe how it comes into being. And this is where he hits on

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