Yonec – 11/3

In Marie De France’s Yonec, there is a moment where the lovers are found out and (at least in my version of MDF – http://users.clas.ufl.edu/jshoaf/Marie/yonec.pdf), Muldumarec says,

“My sweet love, my friend, Your love’s brought my life to its end.
I told you it would happen thus:
Your form and face have slain us”

Why those specific words? What do you think of this in the scope of the posthuman as well as Shaw’s essay? Obviously Muldumarec’s “form and face” are different than the wife’s but why does it seem hers are more egregious and therefore their downfall?

Shaw – Embodiment (11/3)

David Shaw writes “the day that we can no longer tell the difference [between bodies and AI] is the day when we can safely leave embodiment behind as a criterion for the human or posthuman”. In a way, this is the contemporary Turing Test, but how much do you agree or disagree with this statement when we look at medieval bodies that we cannot tell are human on first encounter? (Yonec’s father, the Hairy Hermit, talking Werewolf, Bisclavret)

Limitless 10/20

How does Eddie’s use of NZT-48 compare to an extension of the body such as the Surrogates or a prosthetic arm? What would Hayles say about the use of such a drug that modifies consciousness to a superhuman capacity?

Limitless Humanity

Eddie presents several interesting questions in the terms of post-human ideas, especially in the idea of modifying oneself.  Does the use of NZT-48 make him more or less than human, given his almost supercomputer like abilities on the drug?  Eddie starts off human like Nili, but has improved himself using chemicals rather than machinery.  Is this form of post human easier to accept than cyborgs or does this make the viewer more uncomfortable despite the fact that Eddie chose, like Nili, to do this to himself?

Surrogates 10/18

Upon discovery that Steeplejack is a surrogate himself who is trying to disable the rest of his kind, we also find out that his creator is the man who created the first surrogate, Lionel, and believes that the human race’s dependency on them is unhealthy. How can previous texts from class help lend us an argument either for or against Lionel’s deactivation?

The Surrogates- Replaceable humans?

  1. Throughout the graphic novel, there is the question of being ‘alive’.  Are the Surrogates, the shells that people project themselves into, ‘abominations’ as the followers of the prophet claim, or are they more advanced forms of the cosmetic surgery that many people use today to achieve their desired forms?  Are these types of humans easier to accept than other versions of the ‘other that we have seen that are human looking, like the Cylons or Yod?

Sexism Machina 10/13

“In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female… In their traditional exhibitionist role, women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact.” Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema”


According to Gee, “people with gendered ideas make robots that conform to gender norms which then perpetuates existing stereotypes.” In what ways does technology in Ex Machina perpetuate existing stereotypes? In what ways are gender stereotypes subverted?

Interesting article about robots

I am not sure if anyone is familiar with the original Westworld, but it’s being remade and this article raises some points that people might enjoy about robots.