I just wanted to get into this discussion about Hayles and Posthumanism because it is popping up all over the place… I loved all of your posts from the Repo Man to the interview with Hayles….

Hayles’ third element of Posthumanism is probably the most salient…..

” The posthuman view thinks of the body as the original prosthesis WE ALL LEARN to manipulate, so that extending or replacing the body with other prostheses becomes a CONTINUATION of a PROCESS that began before we were born.” (3)

Well, isn’t this very similar to the Cavemen learning how to use sticks to start a fire or the Native Americans using a variety of manmade tools to improve their living conditions or rituals? Over time mankind has continuously learned, has been learning, and obviously, as we see in Repo Man, will continue to embark on new ways to push against the confines and limitations that the body presents. the question that I think needs to be addressed and that Hayles begins to shed some light on in er interview and throughout the text is….. “As some men LEARN to manipulate, who will be left out or left behind (for lack of a better word)? As Hayles stated in the interview below, so many have fought and died for the right to simply be called a HUMAN…Now that is not enough; we want everyone to be Posthuman. Well, due to the constraints and continuous leaning process, I beleive that we are all Posthuman to some extent, just not in some of the ways that we might like or need to be with the ever-changing society. The problem with extreme levels of Posthumanism (Cyborgs and such..) is that it begins to act as a line of demarcation between an US and a Them as we see in Repo Man again. Technologies invented by man are supposed to either replace a human quality that was lost or modestly augment a quality needed to better society.

Hayles grapples with this thought in Chapter four whne she mentions the question that Gregory Bateson asked his graduate students……

“If (is) a blind man’s cane a part of the man?” (84)

I say, yes! It is helping to do what his eyes cannot. This is the same for glasses, etc…. Now, we could take it a step further and say, is it weird or right for the stick or the eye glasses to be permanently a part of the person surgically, making him or her somewhat of a cyborg? I say, yes again because it is improving a HUMAN quality or condition that was lost to some degree. Now, should someone put a man-made eye on his or her arm? Only if they are blind…….