New Media, Fall 2019/Lesson 10
|85288||nmac 4460.01||Online||Fall, 2019|
Cyborgs and the Technological Singularity;
October 28–December 6
In The Age of Spiritual Machines, Raymond Kurzweil writes:
|“||Before the next century is over, human beings will no longer be the most intelligent or capable type of entity on the planet. Actually, let me take that back. The truth of that last statement depends on how we define human. And here we see one profound difference between these two centuries: The primary political and philosophical issue of the next century will be the definition of who we are.||”|
Kurzweil sees a time in the future where we will become something other than human by creating technology so sophisticated that it exceeds us in its abilities and then we will merge with that technology. He argues that process has already begun, but what are the implications for humanity? This lesson looks at cyborgology, transhumanism, and the technological singularity.
This lesson is divided into two parts.
Read and View
Full citations for works here may be found on “New Media Suggested Reading and Viewing.”
View “Cyborg Feminism and the Future of Technolgy,” “Into the Body,” and Singularity 2029. Next, read Kurzweil’s “Reinventing Humanity,” and Joy’s “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” and if you are feeling ambitious, Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto” (PDF). Look at a couple of the texts under the Cyborg(ology), Transhumanism, Posthumanism, The Future & the Singularity, or find your own that address these topics.
Journal Posts 19 (& 20)
There are no assigned posts this week, but you may write on any aspect of the texts as extra credit to bring up a missing or inadequate early post grade. Write a maximum of two posts for extra credit.
What did you get out of the assigned texts? What do they add to your understanding of new media? What do they tell us about “being digital”? How do they employ the hacker spirit? How do they fit into your experience?
Reply to at least one of your colleagues’ journal posts for this lesson.
Due Date for Part 1
Please have all of the above completed by Sunday, November 3, 2019. I will evaluate your this lesson the following day, email everyone a progress report, and post audio feedback at the top of the next lesson if necessary.
The rest of the class should be spent working on your Wikipedia project and final journal post. Work through the reading and training for the remaining weeks (12–16) on the WikiEdu dashboard. Essentially, this works toward and on your project.
Journal Post 20
Under the WikiEdu timeline for Week 15, this is the Reflective essay. This should be the last assignment you do for this class — after everything else, including your project, is complete.
Have everything in part 2 completed by Sunday, December 8, 2019. This includes your completed and corrected journal for its final evaluation. Even if you missed some entries during the lessons, you must have them all complete, edited, and posted by this due date. I will evaluate everything and submit grades over the next couple of days. Have a great holiday.
- Kurzweil, Ray (1999). The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence. New York: Viking Penguin.
- You might also see “Haraway Revisited” for more help with the latter.
- External sources are always footnoted as references; Wikipedia entries are always just linked in the text. Never cite a Wikipedia article like you would an external source.