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Book Reference: ‘A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s’ by Donna Harraway

P.69. ‘Late twentieth century machines have made thoroughly ambiguous the difference between natural and artificial, mind and body, self-developing and externally-designed, and many other distinctions that used to apply to organisms and machines.’ It’s so hard to tell the difference between cyborg and organic human – whatever ‘cyborg’ is.

P.70. ‘Modern machines are quintessentially microelectronic devices : they are everywhere and they are invisible.’

P.71. ‘The ubiquity and invisibility of cyborgs is precisely why these sunshine-belt machines are so deadly.’

P.72. ‘From another perspective, a cyborg world might be about lived social and bodily realities in which people are not afraid of their joint kinship with animals and machines, not afraid of permanently partial identities and contradictory standpoints.’

P.82. ‘Communications technologies and biotechnics are the crucial tools recrafting our bodies.’

P.97. ‘High tech culture challenges these dualisms in intriguing ways. It is not clear who makes and who is made in the relation between human and machine. It is not clear what is mind and what body in machines that resolve into coding practices.’

P.97. ‘There is no fundamental, ontological separation in our formal knowledge of machine and organism, of technical and organic.’

P.97. ‘Perhaps paraplegics and other severely handicapped people can (and sometimes do) have the most intense experiences of complex hybridisation with other communication devices.’

P.97. ‘Why should our bodies end at the skin, or include at best other beings encapsulated by skin? From the seventeenth century till now, machines could be animated – given ghostly souls to make them speak or move or to account for their orderly development and mental capacities. Or organisms could mechanised – reduced to body understood as resource of mind. These machine / organism relationships are obsolete, unnecessary. For us, in imagination and in other practice, machines can be prosthetic devices, intimate components, friendly selves.’


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