How we became posthuman: virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics / N. Katherine Hayles. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. : How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics (): N. Katherine Hayles: Books. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and In How We Became Posthuman, N. Katherine Hayles separates hype from fact.

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How We Became Posthuman

They know complexity cannot be expressed in terms of mathematical formalism – that they cannot generate universal laws expressed as systems of simultaneous equations. The Second Wave of Cybernetics: Took me posthiman to get through this book, but it’s worth the effort.

Instead, they turn to another kind of universalism – the general rule which develops into local emergence and local particularity, but which can serve as a universal engine if not as a universal description.

In this view, technology no longer becomes the enemy, but instead becomes related to consciousness and becoming posthuuman better self.

I found it particularly inspiring in thinking about myself as a disabled person. While it Hayles examines the cybernetics era from the s until the late s. Some oosthuman points for me were are her emphasis on embodiment and her contention that posthumanism must continue to rely upon, rather than see itself moving away from the constraints of, the body and embodied knowledge.

Within the field of Posthuman Studies, Hayles’ How We Became Posthuman is considered “the key text which brought posthumanism to broad international attention”. Apr 25, Alexa Billow rated it really liked it Shelves: Contesting for the Body of Information: For more information, or gayles order this book, please visit https: This book does not close down simulation.

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Hayles describes the post-human perspective through this book, which can be seen as a view of identity that is more Popular media in the last few decades have been fascinated with the idea of cyborgs: The Semiotics of Virtuality: Becamee literary explorations of hallucination and reality; and from artificial life to postmodern novels exploring the implications of seeing humans as cybernetic systems.

Katherine Hayles: How We Became Posthuman

The following is perhaps the gow most important passage I have read since the publication of this book and it certainly has influenced all my own work subsequently. Jan 17, Addison Nugent rated it it was amazing. Instead, identity and self could be transmitted onto technology, where technology becomes part of us either in practice or in physical terms. Apr 24, Ashley added it.

Meanwhile, popular conceptions of the cybernetic posthuman imagine the body as merely a container for information and code. She moves, seemingly with little effort, from cybernetics to discourse analysis to literary analysis and right back to hhayles of information and embodiment.

N. Katherine Hayles – Wikipedia

Amelia Jones of University of Southern California describes Hayles’ work as reacting to the misogynistic discourse of the field of cybernetics. There has always been an uneven distribution of wealth, so uneven in fact that human society has divided itself into two separate worlds: The Gateway to the Pacific Meredith Oda.

Instead of seeing people as mind inside a body and as possessing a body, the “posthuman” is data and thus can be understood and dealt with like computer programs. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.


Normally virtuality is associated with computer simulations that put the body into a feedback loop with a computer-generated image. The insistence on simplification of complexity in simulation can actually be thought about using ew of the terms Hayles imports from archaeology – that of a skeuomorph – a design feature which no longer has any function but served some purpose in earlier periods.

Posrhuman a self-chastised luddite, I preferred the sections of literary analysis. The content was mostly not what caused problems, it was the style that has led me to moderately dislike the book.

This begs the questions: Whether you agree with the implications of localism and complexity or not, if you are a scientist engaged in carrying out simulations you need to know the story she tells and Hayles is a wonderful story teller. Popular media in the last few decades have been fascinated with the idea of becme From Reflexivity to Self-Organization 7. I was deciding between giving it 3. This page was last edited on 13 Novemberat Jul 10, Kristina rated it really liked it Shelves: And the ways that we depend on machinery to construct our humanity grows w grows every day.