Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Irene wasn’t kidding when she said this reading was dense. Oh my. It had so many terms and ideas and concepts that I was confused half the time reading it. I think I reread it like 3 times just to get a hint of what he was talking about. So, to make sure I have the idea down, I will first try to sum up what he said.

Virilio provides a rather disparaging view of the future as he suggests that we will become automatons limited to no free movement. It seems that as we become more reliant on technology, the less able we become. The quote “Having been first mobile, then motorized, man will thus become motile, deliberately limiting his body’s area of influence to a few gestures, a few impulses, like channel-surfing” (17) best sums it all up.

I’m sure Virilio argued several other ideas in that essay but I was unable to pick them out. As I read his ideas of how the world is going to end up being a dead log really somewhat irritated me. I Maybe it was because I had such a difficult time grasping his arguments. Or it could be because he was basically insulting how I was raised.

As a product of the 21st century, I’ve come to rely on the technologies he criticized. It seems that he sees no advantage of such wonderful technologies that allow us to be in many places and different times. While he does have a valid point in saying that we are stationary when we do such activities, it allows us to expand our horizons beyond what people could have ever perceived. If anything, it allows us to stretch our arms and legs further than ever imagined.

With that in mind, technology becomes an extension of the human being, bettering ourselves in many ways. With advancements in robotics and things like the data suit, we are not just limited to a “few gestures, a few impulses, like channel-surfing.” With robotics becoming much more complex and agile, it can become, literally, an extension of our body. We can now do tasks that were once considered too dangerous for human activity. Also, for those who lost a limb in the war, a data suit and prosthetic robotic arm can increase their mobility, not limit it.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Silbi Song said...

I really loved what you said about this reading. I absolutely agree with you. The reading was hard and bit frustrating. I too felt that he had such negative opinions about technology, and bascially he did insult the way I was raised like you said. I really appreciated the cool pictures that you added on your posting. This reading really reminded me of "The Giver." It is such a negative view of the future, and I refuse do believe that this will happen to us. I think that we are doing pretty well with our technology without losing ourselve. Go 21st Century!!!

3/12/2007 1:02 AM  
Blogger Valerie C said...

Although I don't condemn technology or further development for newer technology, I can't help but agree with what you point out as one of Virilio's main points. Of course, I rely on technology myself, but I also tend to believe the technology and progress in this 21st century society is destroying human functionality. I like technology that can improve our standard of living, but not necessarily make us lazy and immobile. I especially hate when technology makes life and interactions impersonal. For example, those notes on facebook and when people use them to thank others for things. It's like a mass thank you that's so completely impersonal. If you really mean a thank you, then you wouldn't mind the work and effort it takes to individual thank the people face-to-face. Another example of technology destroying human functionality to me is antibacterial items or similar things. There are some things we were meant to be in contact with that really don't harm us, but once we destroy the connection, they hurt us the next time they come around. I think technology has improved our lives greatly in many ways, but it has also modified our natural ways so much.

3/14/2007 12:00 AM  
Blogger Miriam said...

Also being a 21st century protegy I did feel insulted. I often find myself dependent on these necesities. With the same, he did make me wonder what life might be like without these sometimes self-negating instruments. Who controls who? Do we control technology or does technology control us? If we are dependent on them, then are we really in control?

3/19/2007 10:07 AM  

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