Thursday, March 25, 2010

“One should expect control strategies to concentrate on boundary conditions and interfaces, on rates of flow across boundaries—and not on the integrity of natural objects [….] Control strategies will be formulated in terms of rates, costs of constraints, degrees of freedom. Human beings, like any other component or subsystem, must be localized in a system architecture whose basic modes of operation are probabilistic, statistical” [Haraway, 163].

Haraway writes about ‘integrated social systems’ creating the practice of ‘experimental ethnography’ [162]. This practice results in the reduction of human action and interaction to protocol, to ‘statistical modes of operation’. This reminds me of Moulthrop’s vision of the future of hypertext: “Hypertext and hypermedia are also interactively ‘cool,’ so following this analysis we might conclude that they will undergo a similar implosion, becoming ever bit as institutionalized and conservative as broadcast networks” [You Say You Want A Revolution? Hypertext and the Laws of Media, 42].

Hypertextual structure mirrors the free-associative structure of the human mind. If hypertext becomes institutionalized, molded to a [social] protocol, when pushed to its absolute limit, it follows that operations of the human mind and agency will become constrained when pushed to their limit as well. And what is this limit? Haraway seems to argue that the complete and fluid integration of human and machine is the ultimate limit of human agency.

On a completely separate note: I was confused by Haraway’s letter substitutions [usually ‘d’ for ‘ti’, etc.] They were relatively prevalent, but seemed inconsistent [?]; I couldn’t find a pattern [“The picture is more systematic and involves reproduction, sexuality, culture, consumphon, and producdon [166]]. What was her intention?

Emily for Matt's section

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