Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday section post

Haraway defines social reality as “lived social relations, our most important political construction, a world-changing fiction.” I find the term “world-changing fiction” especially interesting. A fiction, by definition, is a existence different from reality that has no impact on the reality. However, here, the fiction can be “world-changing”, which makes it no longer a fiction --- it becomes reality (social reality). The division of labor and the invention of machines and assembly categorize people into different “divisions” with labels that are constraining and exploiting: gender roles, alienation labor, structure of class etc. All is translated into a certain form of order. All activities have certain kind of boundaries. “Simulation” replaces “Representation”; “subsystem” replaces “small group”; “replication” replaces “reproduction”; “stress management” replaces “hygiene”. (Haraway) All is but a control strategy. Individuals become “utility-maximization machines” (Haraway), slaves that serve the machines, instead of owners that are in control. Human beings of the modern industrialized society are constantly being exploited by the seemingly liberating machines and technologies, and we are often unconscious of our situation, which makes us willing slaves of the society.

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