Haraway and Lahti

From what I can understand of the readings, there is to me a desire for liberation from the physical body (or communion with a machine) that I sincerely cannot see as realistic.  When Haraway writes that “there is nothing about being ‘female’ that naturally binds women.  There is not even such a state as being female…”, I am of two minds of a statement such as this.  On the one hand, I can respect and understand the desire to liberate one’s self from the baggage and burdens of history and gender and society and every context that constrains or limits our identity.  On the other hand, the desire to liberate our selves from pesky connotations and definitions by fusing our consciousness with machines and technology is to me troublesome at best and repulsive at worst.  The desire seems just as pie in the sky as any fundamentalist dream of a Marxist or Mormon paradise.  It doesn’t seem like a liberation but an escape from reality.

The communion of humans and machines is examined in Lahti’s “As We Become Machines” in various musings on the possibility of immersion into video games as they evolve in 3D capability and the ability to be make the communion more “addictive”.  It seems for Lahti a beneficial exercise as pudgy white boys “try on” the ability to run through a fantasy game world as a woman or a non-white person or someone in physical shape.  It seems to me limiting.  The benefits of understanding is a real trade off with the time wasted in an unreal escapist world.

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One Response to “Haraway and Lahti”

  1. I see your point and agree that she is a bit of an unrealistic idealist, but then perhaps it is not meant to be taken quite so literally. Maybe it is best seen as simply a critique of social constraint and a rant of socialist feminism.

    I like your imagery in response to Lahti and although I can see both his and your points, I think that his way of thinking is a bit outdated and limiting. Although a blending of man and machine seems terrifying and extremely troublesome at first, I think Haraway really allows us to look beyond these boundaries and see important benefits in immersing ourselves in the technology in which our society is saturated.

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