bombenkrater discussion

more aspective thoughts on cyberculture    First of all a big tnx to Jens and ↑warauduati for pondering ↵bombenkrater fusion on such a scale and for posting ↵extensive comments—which in turn induced intensive pondering at my side … exactly the way I envision blogs like this to “work”… warauduati wrote:  I think the basic problems I have are that I am not quite sure as far I should think of the ↑Bombenkrater being a case study or a general statement on cyberculture as part of culture. Your first missile heads right home upon a true anthropological core issue: “What is … Continue reading

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Favorite writing culture and cyberpunk

The above picture is a clipping from a photography by Martha G. Tyler, which served as a frontispiece in ‘Writing Culture’ (↵Clifford & Marcus 1986). It shows ‘↑Stephen Tyler in the field’, concentrated on his writing, looking away from the world, and shielding his eyes from the light by a kerchief stuffed beneath the earpiece of his ↵matte black mirrorshades ;-) ↑Evans-Pritchard allegedly once voiced that anthropology was not so much a science, but an art. ↑Hortense Powdermaker stated that the anthropologist had no instrument, that she was her instrument herself. She did not think in terms of measuring instruments, … Continue reading

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cybernetic megastructure

  The above picture is taken from the section ↑Mapping Cyberspace Using Geographic Metaphors of ↑An Atlas of Cyberspace. The image is a result of research analysing the geography of Internet address space by Martin Dodge and Narushige Shiode [↑Working papers by them]. It shows the geography of ownership of blocks of IP-addresses in the United Kingdom. When I saw the image for the first time it immediately reminded me of the following passages from Count Zero (↵ Gibson 1986):    They jacked.   She died almost immediately, in the first eight seconds.   He felt it, rode it out … Continue reading

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why cyberanthropology, why “cyber-“?

or, cybernetics as a tacit but paradigmatical cultural topos  Already in 1994 anthropologist ↑Arturo Escobar bid his colleagues ↵welcome to cyberia and hinted at a path towards an ‘anthropology of ↑cyberculture‘. But astoundingly enough Escobar takes words as ‘cyberspace’ and the like to be misnomers—he only uses the term ‘cyberculture’ as an element of analysis due to the widespread acceptance of the prefix ‘cyber-‘. (↵1994:211, fn. I.) Just having complied to fashion while formulating new concepts is not quite an academic justification—a weak one at best. I do not at all share the opinion that ‘cyber-‘ is misleading. Quite to … Continue reading

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cockroach cybernetics

  Via his thesis development plan ↑Control and communication in the animal and the machine I stumbled onto Garnet Hertz’ ↑Cockroach controlled mobile robot:  “Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine” is a cockroach-controlled mobile robot system. The system uses a living Madagascan hissing cockroach atop a modified trackball to control the three-wheeled robot. Infrared sensors also provide navigation feedback to create a semi-intelligent system, with the cockroach as the CPU. Enjoy! … Continue reading

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cybernetics

Cybernetics was defined by Norbert Wiener [see picture above] as ‘the science of control and communication, in the animal and the machine’ [↵Wiener 1948]—in a word, as the art of steermanship, and it is to this aspect that the book will be addressed. Co-ordination, regulation and control will be its themes, for these are of the greatest biological and practical interest. (↵Ashby 1957[1956]:1) Additionally a slightly longer quotation from a more recent article: Derived from the Greek kybernetes, or “steersman”, the term “cybernetics” first appears in Antiquity with Plato, and in the 19th century with Ampère, who both saw it … Continue reading

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stelarc

… completely unfinished thoughts—anyway, here we go: When the concept of ‘structure’ suddenly burst into anthropology and replaced ‘pattern’, ↑Alfred Kroeber (1876-1960) derogatory commented that this was merely an interchanging of words—old wine in new bottles. He was wrong, because it meant more. Namely a change of perspectives in anthropology. Same is true for ‘ethnic’ and ‘ethnicity’ replacing ‘tribe’ and ‘culture’ in the mid-1970s. (↵Cohen 1978: 379-380, 384-385) In other words: This vocabulary is a portal to the understanding of the history, or even the culture of anthropology itself. In 1994 anthropologist ↑Arturo Escobar stigmatised words like ‘cyberspace’ as misnomers—he … Continue reading

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rooter

Wonderful, wonderful, they have done it again. The god of the information age indeed is a trickster. The ‘World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics’ (WMSCI) has accepted a paper submitted by the graduate students Jeremy Stribling, Max Krohn, and Dan Aguayo—of course all three of them home-based at MIT, where hacker-culture was born—called “↑Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy” [.pdf | 709KB]. That’s nearly as good as Alan Sokal’s famous “↑Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” with which Sokal triggered a hard-time for the journal ‘Social Text’ and a … Continue reading

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my ‘cyberanthropology’ workshop at the GAA conference

I just got notice that my proposal for a workshop ‘Cyberanthropology’ at the Conference of the German Anthropological Association (GAA aka DGV) – Halle / Saale, 4th – 7th October 2005 has been accepted, and that I am organizing it. Here is the first version of my description of the workshop: In the widest sense ‘cyberanthropology’ means the branch of sociocultural anthropology which aims to understand the culturally informed interrelationships between human beings and those technological artefacts which can be imagined and described as cybernetic systems. This interrelationships decidedly include the attempts to fuse technological artefacts with human and other … Continue reading

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