We are like machines?

Cover of "The Cyborg Experiments: The Ext...

Cover via Amazon

I am writing a 10,000 word Dissertation about the cultural and psychological effects of technology [Embodiment, Prosthesis, Cyber Culture]. I’m adopting the attitude of an author, just acting like I’m releasing a book soon, and my publisher has tightened the deadline. And who knows, maybe if it’s good enough at the end I can make it an Internet PDF eBook that you’d like to download?

On my reading list, number 8), the author Joanna Zylinska, is the lady I met last week to discuss my writing. She will be personally supervising my Dissertation, so it’s nice to know I have the advice of a well published author. Her topics on our relation to technology, as well as the ethics and issues, are completely relevant to my interests. But I want to attempt a fresh angle, not mimic the authors below.

My reading list so far:

1) Materializing New Media: Embodiment in Information Aesthetics (Interfaces: Studies in Visual Culture) – Anna Munster

2) Facebook and Philosophy (Popular Culture and Philosophy) – Dylan E. Wittkower

3) How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics – N. Katherine Hayles

4) TechGnosis: Myth, Magic & Mysticism in the Age of Information – Erik Davis

5) Internet Culture – David Porter

6) The Body (Key Concepts) – Lisa Blackman

7) The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future – Marquard Smith and Joanne Morra

8) The Cyborg Experiments: The Extensions of the Body in the Media Age (Technologies: Studies in Culture & Theory) – Joanna Zylinska

9) Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man – Marshall McLuhan

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

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Censoring the Internet? Now?

The eye for the final series of Celebrity Big ...

Image via Wikipedia

China have been slated internationally for their harsh censorship of the Internet; blocking sites for hours at a time, and some completely, when it suits their political or “ethical” agendas. Google has been at the epicenter of these disputes, with the US company defending against China’s over zealous censorship. But this time the US are responsible. The Senate proposes a law which forces Internet service providers to block certain websites. “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA)”

Due to the vague nature of the law, pertaining copyrighted material, and insinuating that the list can be added to at authorities’ discretion, even sites such as Youtube could be targeted. This stinks of bad karma, seeing as Youtube recently won a court case against Viacom. This means that Youtube can operate, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), providing they remove any copyrighted material they are informed of, and regulate accordingly. Fair is fair.

Copyright isn’t the real issue here though, I am not arguing the ethics of crediting owners, or intellectual property theft. My point is that blocking whole sites, just because a few people misuse them, is complete censorship, Internet Tyranny, as oppose to appropriate regulation.

Are we all going to be subject to Green Dam censorship software? Is Big Brother watching our every move? Is censorship going too far, and will it spread like an epidemic?

All these questions are things we will eventually need to consider, literally or not. I remain cynical about the motives of complete censorship, and doubt that ethics are the main factor, rather political reasons. I agree more with justifiable regulation that does not breach our personal freedoms. Read more and help out using the link below.

Sign the online petition please, it only takes a few seconds: http://demandprogress.org/blacklist/coica