Things Can be Otherwise – Session 3

On Being with Technology

Within this session we focused on exploring on technology and our relationship with it.

Are we cyborgs?

This was a bold question in my opinion and before we could begin to answer the question we must first establish what is technology and it means to be human?

Upon exploration we looked at Haraway’s theory on cyborgs and technology. With Haraway, a cyborg is a hybrid of technology (or machine) and organism (Haraway 2000: 291). She goes on further to say; ‘All the experiences we have, thoughts we hold or actions we take are either enabled, expressed or informed by technology’ (‘skipping the step of original unity’; Haraway, 2000: 292).

Another theorist, Harman also argues; ‘the world is an infrastructure of equipment’ G. Harman (2002) Tool-Being p20. He also states that technology has an affect and leaves a mark on the world; ‘the tool is a real function or effect, an invisible sun radiating its energies into the world before ever coming into view.’ G. Harmon (2002) Tool-Being p20.

Although some may argue that we have used ‘tools’ since the beginning of time and that simply makes us human not cyborgs, I personally believe that we are cyborgs. As a species we have relied on tools our whole lives in order to survive, through using leaves and wood for shelter, to using the fur of animals for warmth and protection. We need to use what is available around us to withstand what nature may entail for us. The reason I believe we are cyborgs is because these tools are secondary sources, they are not a part of us and therefore how can we simply say that it is just human?

All in all I found the session to be rather intriguing as it really does question the core values of what it means to be human. It is the realisation that we have a dependancy on technology that simply allows us to live. However, we have now gone beyond this with  modern day technology and now have expectations that everything will be ready and available for us.



Author: marislathamgraphics

I am a student at Cardiff Metropolitan University studying BA Hons Graphic Communication.

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