Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Robot as Other / The Other as Self-Definition

While I agree that robots are often used to symbolize the “other,” I think we as humans require that “other” to define ourselves as human.  We cannot see ourselves unless we can define what we are not (Foucault, Derrida, etc.), but in doing this we often rely on other cultures, languages, or skin colors as the other.

Continue reading

Thoughts on AWP 2011

The AWP conference concluded yesterday evening with several great events.  I could only go to one of them, but heard about a couple of the others.  I got a lot out of the conference, and for some of my initial thoughts, you can check out the blog entries I did for TriQuarterly Online.  I will be posting more of my thoughts here over the next few days, but for now check things out there.

Eric

How Nanotechnology (mis)Places Government in The Diamond Age

One thing that intrigued me was the disparate social setups portrayed in Stephenson’s novel. Very quickly, the “traditional” Chinese culture still operated a rudimentary government: developing law, maintaining a civil court system (of a sort) as well as executive functions in the form of police. In a Western trope of the East reaching back to Marco Polo, the executive head remains cloaked in secrecy and indirect. Continue reading

Voice and the Sounds of Poetry

The ability to verbalize brings us out of the darkness. To express the self and find others who express the self removes isolation and argues for our humanity. The sounds to be made in the creation of a poem are at the root of the art. Stewart points out these things in “Sound” (59-105), and she emphasizes the necessity of verbalization in the creation of an individual. (As a side-note, in her summary of Dennett’s treatise, it is interesting that the theoretical cyborg or even the realistic intelligent ape qualify in the status of personhood (61-2)). Continue reading