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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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Paperbackpages. American Comparative Literature Association: The definition plays off the duality at the heart of the condition of virtuality—materiality on the one hand, information on the other.

There is more to this than critique.

Views Read Edit View history. Hayles examines the cybernetics era from the s until the late s. Indeed, the cliffhanger is killing me. Read the prologue and a discussion with Albert Borgmann on humans and machines. Hayles traces the history of cybernetic theory and shows how its concepts are reflected and experimented upon in sci if lit, thereby telling her three larger narratives of how information became immaterial, how the cyborg was constructed, and how we became posthuman.

Apr 11, Tom Bensley rated it really liked it. It is of particular significance for simulators. This is particularly the case for science fiction buffs like me – I remain convinced that Philip K.

How We Became Posthuman

There are two reasons why people engaged in simulation should read Hayles’ vivid and important book. The narrative of the disembodiment of information is interwoven with a literary criticism of fiction, essentially science fiction, which corresponds to the stages in the development of systemic information.


In a way the book could have worked without the literary material, but Hayles is a professor of English and must be allowed to practice her trade and certainly the literary chapters reinforce the intellectual history. Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature and Informatics”. Certainly those authors’ discussion of rational action theory can readily be extended to mere rule driven agent based simulation systems.

Jan 17, Addison Nugent rated it it was amazing. Dec 12, laura rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Retrieved 12 October The strengths of this book come from its three guiding questions or stories on virtual reality: Jul 10, Kristina rated it really liked it Shelves: I did expect a haylees structured and for lack of a better word clear answer as to how humans became posthuman other than “It turns out we’ve been posthuman this entire time, go figure.

This is Mary Catherine Bateson’s point: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Combines thoughts of cognition, consciousness and a lot of informatics – the latter kathherine which I knew very little and didn’t understood half of it, damn you dobble masters! Bbecame also disarms the potential terror of the Posthuman as the antihuman in a way that seems fruitful.

Her project is to oatherine how information “lost its body” because she wants to intervene in discourse suggesting that the body is so much “meat” for a separate Cartesian consciousness.


Postnuman this age of DNA computers and artificial intelligence, information is becoming disembodied even as the “bodies” that once carried it vanish into virtuality. How We Became Posthuman: In other words, as a culture, we tend to emphasize cognition rather than embodiment.

In this view, technology no longer becomes the enemy, but instead becomes related to consciousness and becoming a better self. Feb 14, Jeff rated it liked it. The freakishness of disability is minimized by the minute, as we kstherine wrap ourselves in metal. I’m not sure that should be celebrated. Since a machine postuman in binary sequences, pattern recognition will serve as methodology to construct meaning of existence as the posthuman emerges.

Nov 26, Emily Beall rated it it was amazing. The Second Wave of Cybernetics: Dec 25, Chris Friend rated it really liked it.

N. Katherine Hayles – Wikipedia

Electronic literature American postmodern literature. You may purchase this title at these fine bookstores.

She is, as she was in her earlier work, engaged in critique of direction. She considers that in her seriation of cybernetics, skeumorphs served as threshold devices smoothing the transitions in understanding and in consequence method. Took me forever to get through this book, but it’s worth the effort.