I don't have time for a real post because at least for this month my time is linear. DAMN, grad school making me function in linearality.
So I am just posting something I read today.
Eve Keller, in her book Generating Bodies and Gendered Selves, considers many fun and amazing things about the body. In one part we get to see a bit of what I was talking about yesterday. Here she is summarizing the arguments of Andy Clark, who claims that we are not just in the world but rather a part of it. We are interconnected and our subjectivity, our "I" is embedded in this network of connections.
If someone on the street asks you if you know the time, typically (assuming you are wearing a watch), you say "Yes, I do" before, if only a second before, actually looking at your watch. You would never respond that same way about a query about a word you do not know, even if you had a dictionary close by. The point, Clark says, is that the ubiquituous and easily accessible wristwatch, unlike the more cumbersome dictionary, has in a sense merged with our sense of what constitutes our self...1
Then she quotes him:
The ease with which we accept talk of the watch-bearer as one who actually knows-- rather than one who can easily find out--that time is suggestive. For the line between that which is easily and readily accessible and that which should be counted as part of the knowledge base of an active intelligent system is slim and unstable indeed. It is so slim and unstable, in fact, that it sometimes makes both social and scientific sense to think of your individual knowledge as quite simply whatever body of information and understanding is at your fingertips....According to one diagnosis, then, you are telling the literal truth when you answer "yes" to the innocent-sounding question "Do you know the time?" For you do know the time. It is just that the "you" that knows the time is no longer the bare biological organism but the hybrid biotechnological system that now includes the wristwatch as a proper part.2
First of all, let me give a bit of a less academic response - AWESOME! While I think that Clark's example is problematic (something Keller admits), his claims are spot on. As humans interacting with objects, they become a part of us. For me, the better example would be that impulse to look at your watch when asked the time. This object becomes so ingrained in who we are and how we live that it basically becomes apart of us. Linear time becomes apart of us. Who knew asking the time could be so intense?
-Your Humble Author
1. pg. 30. Keller, Eve. Generating Bodies and Gendered Selves: The Rhetoric of Reproduction in Early Modern England. Seattle: U of Washington P, 2007. <<
2. pg. 42. Clark, Andy. Natural-Born Cyborgs: Mind, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence. Oxford: OUP, 2003. (qtd. in Keller 30)<<