I really enjoyed Taylor’s documentary. It was really interesting to watch as these interviewees, when completely caught off guard by the nature of the puzzling questions, scrambled to come up with intelligent answers to some very perplexing concepts. When they were asked what they thought it means to be human, most of their answers mirrored ideas we’ve been studying throughout the semester. Some of the people interviewed actually were able to answer the questions thoughtfully even though they were put on the spot with a camera in their face. Of course, some answers were more insightful and complete than others, among the definitions given for what it means to be human were the ability to reason, possess a free will, to love, the capacity to feel empathetic, compassionate towards others, to set and pursue goals, and so forth. And then, there was that other guy. I’m not sure if he was camera shy, or maybe just a
I really enjoyed Taylor’s creative presentation, it was interesting to see people outside of class react to the questions we discussed over the semester. Personally, I had never even considered that my concept of what it meant to be human was socially constructed or how much it influenced my perception of things. As I watched the interviews, what struck me the most was the variety of responses. People noted the need for free will, intelligence, emotion, and the obvious physical aspects that commonly define humanity. Perhaps the most uniting feature of their responses was the strong strand of traditional liberal humanist notions. Everyone seems to possess this deeply engrained concept (in the United States at least) that being human means the ability to think independently and affect change on their environment. Few people realize the ways in which our aspects environment (especially technological ones) play a part in shaping our world independently of our design. For instance, we also discussed the way in which constant internet action has come to seriously change the way our brain functions. I don’t think the people who invented the internet expected that the very chemical processes of our brains would change! So, coming back to Taylor’s presentation, I find it surprising that the concept of the Post-human is not better known to society, that we still cling to somewhat outdated beliefs. For me, the Post-Human means the awareness of the constantly evolving nature of humanity, effectually inter-connected through all various cultural interactions past and present.
This week’s creative presentations presented a lot of really interesting topics regarding the post human. Ashley’s presentation on Tuesday brought up some thought provoking concepts about the idea of prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs. I was one If the main opponents tothe argument of the post human still being considered human. However, one of the people being interviewed in the video made a point about an improvement of the human is still human. Therefore, a handicapped person’s wheelchair would be considered humanbecause it is simply an extension of the person. This really changed my viewing of where the human nonhuman line should be drawn. Technology that is used to enhance the human can still be considered human even though its still mechanized technology. I always was quick to write off human enhancing technology as post human concepts but I was intrigued by the idethat mumaybe nonhuman technology could still be human. It makes sense to me that technology used to aid human brings in completing basic human actions would definiteł still be considered human. In that same way, prosthetic limbs would still be also be considered human. Though that is more commonly accepted in today’s society. It occurred to me that if these prosthetic limbs can so obviously be categirized as human, why shouldn’t a wheelchair be the same way? Ashley’s presentation and video made these now obvious observations more relevant to me.
I had a very similar reaction to Jay’s creative presentation as Hannah did. To me, it was very concerning to realize how believable it was — a project like Google Universe is one that I could totally see happening. I thought Jay did a great job of capturing just how invasive Google can be with projects like Google Glasses (and if you think about it, how invasive it already is). Continue reading
Though we all chuckled a little when one of the interviewees in Taylor’s documentary said that we had evolved as humans because of our anti slavery stance and child labor laws. However, it got me thinking. It wasn’t too long ago when a slave was counted as 3/5of a person, and children were simply seen as mini adults. Our idea of a person, or at least a person that deserves rights, as it seemed to make quite a change since even the 19th century.
As we come to the end of the semester, it’s natural to look back, and draw conclusions about the course as a whole. The dominant notion rattling around my head recently has been the idea that we’ve always been posthuman, or, since this is clearly a paradox, that posthumanism as a term is flawed.
So, in response to Julia’s presentation about the movie Zombie Honeymoon, it reminded a lot of what we have talked about in previous classes with the majority of the texts. The fact that love often gets mentioned, that a lot the texts have some kind of love story narrative, and that often the most human of characters are described as the characters who know how to love other people. Continue reading
Both presentations today, the presentation mimicking a future unveiling of a new and improved Google database and the presentation on hybridity in zombies, were very interesting. When we first started reading about werewolves in class, I wrote a blog post on the hybridity of vampires, and for my first paper I also wrote about the notion of the monster in novels such as Never Let Me Go. Continue reading