Wifi soup

“This whole world is swimming in wifi. We’re living in a wifi soup. Suppose something got inside it. Suppose there was something living in the wifi harvesting human minds – extracting. Imagine that.” Doctor Who,The Bells of St John, BBC1 March 30th.

One of the questions for block three of the course was about whether or not cyberculture was still too structured by binaries such as promise/threat. And if so, how would Haraway’s cyborg disrupt this thinking. The threat of cyber attack, cyber infiltration, or cyber domination is often used as a dramatic narrative within creative media; this makes good television and film, and has done for many years. However, most things ‘cyber’ are now not the embodied robot of, say, Dr Who’s Daleks or Cybermen,(which are clearly fictitious, although still hide-behind-the-settee-scary), but rather unseen, often not understood, and yet all-pervasive ‘things’ and this can give the dramatists a more insidious, creeping element to their menace. And whether or not there is an element of Life imitating artthere does appear to be at least some distrust of modern technology within the population whether for health reasons, privacy or crime to name but a few. I would suggest that Haraway’s cyborg would not recognise this menace, primarily because she would not recognise the firm boundaries between the technology and human, this ‘border war’ Haraway p.35. She would also not be afraid, but rather she would take ‘pleasure’ (ibid) in the meetings and meshings of human and non human.

 

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