Straight Up The Spine: Bypassing The Body In The Future

841 words - 3 pages

In her work How We Became Posthuman, Katherine Hayles criticizes the clamor for an information age “free from the material constraints that govern the mortal world” (13). The “posthuman” of the contemporary world currently strives towards the immaterial in an “information/matter duality” that scorns any hypothetical contribution from physical instantiation (ibid.). It is this transcendence that Geoff Ryman depicts in his novel Air. Direct, sensory experience is rendered obsolete with the institution of a new, powerful technology. The latest incarnation of the internet exists outside of the realm of time and space, marginalizing the utility of the human body. While Hayles predicates existence on instantiation to undermine the logic of the disembodiment of the posthuman, Ryman severs existence from space-time to defend his vision of the information age free from physical constraints.
Ryman grounds his case in the belief that reality consists of more than a sequence of physical interactions. No event in Air better illustrates this than Mae’s ability to tear apart a metal security fence with the sole use of her mind (Ryman 214). Lacking any especial tools, Mae cannot physically demolish the fence accepting basic mechanics. The physical laws of space are insufficient to explain how Mae destroys the fence, yet she manages to pass through it and escape the compound. For Hayles, this capacity would count as one of the “fantasies of unlimited power” granted by information, in violation of fundamental principles of life (5). Ryman, however, attempts to cement this fantasy in science. As Mae explains to Tunch, this power is limited when “the surface of what is probably closes over,” thus preventing “big” miracles – a definite allusion to quantum mechanics (308). The implication is that human consciousness has the power to effect changes with a series of probabilities. Because of this, no physical causal relation is absolute: at the molecular level, there exist not certainties of spatial interactions, but probabilities of different outcomes.
As the story of Air continues, Ryman eventually collapses the notion of time alongside space. In her follow-up e-mail to Tunch, Mae cryptically states that “Everything has always been and has always happened at once” (Ryman 310). What this achieves is subtle. As Hayles conceives of the human experience, the body is more than a “fashion accessory” – it is the essential receptacle and artifact of sensations and perceptions, parsing one moment at a time (5). In the world of Air, all experience is immediately accessible via Air; to Mae (when overtaken by...

Find Another Essay On Straight up the Spine: Bypassing the Body in the Future

Army Suits Up for the Future

1405 words - 6 pages damaging or killing the operator of the suit such like of the suit portrayed in the Iron Man movies but there are a few that will be missing from TALOS like the ability to fly, and the arc reactor. The features of the suit include a system to “detect any injury and if any is detected then a self-healing foam will be applied to an injury that can almost attach to your body,(qtd. from Mynorthwest.com). ” Other Features include super human strength

Up in the Trees Essay

2083 words - 9 pages Tree houses offer a symbiosis with nature that we strive for in a society of bustling movement always on the go. A new reflection in architecture of this notion of hideouts and nestled places for individuals to retreat has become very popular. These new innovations offer up a romance with nature and a new appreciation for craftsmanship. Tree houses symbolize a childlike freedom from supervision, a fantasy of the world’s greatest living

Up In The Air!

1001 words - 4 pages Up In The AirAs a little girl, I was fascinated with airplanes. I remember the times that I would step outside to glance at a potential airplane. I knew then, that one day I would be flying away. Many people dream of exotic vacations, and never get the opportunity to do so.It was October 29, 2003 and it was the night before my trip to Cancun, Mexico, that I had some trouble sleeping. Indeed, the excitement was overwhelming knowing that it was my

Management in the future

2973 words - 12 pages provide a shared vision of the future. In a chaotic, dynamic world of change we must be able to come up with new ideas and inventions in order to compete in the global market. Those who are good innovators are the ones who can gain competitive advantages.Change and survival are synonymous. Survival demands change. Managers must be intuitive and read the current and changing situation surrounding them and make the best decision to coordinate work and

Apple in the Future

1568 words - 6 pages 1) Apple offers two key products that are helping the company to develop a new market. These new products and trailblazing efforts will be the key factor in determining Apple's long-term strength in the industry and its ability to maintain a thriving business. The Mac is a competitive product that maintains a certain level of market shares but Apple's two key drivers of the future will be iTunes and iPod. Both are intertwined to make for a very

Policing in the Future

2034 words - 8 pages Policing in the Future Police are granted, with the authority to use force to perform their duties. A police officers utter presence, intimidating demeanor and verbal commands can be considered by many citizens as a use of force. Police use force to makes arrests, overcome resistance and to protect themselves and others from harm. There are various levels of force police can use to accomplish this task. The level of force used by the police

Policing in the Future

1705 words - 7 pages activity that we see going on it gives terrorists the terrorists the perfect timing to do more harm to us. And it shows to them that we as Americans are too busy to care what is going on right in front of us let alone our surroundings in which we live, work, and play in everyday.Another way that we can help prevent terrorists attacks from happening in the future is to work with our law enforcement personnel by reporting anything that looks

The Future In Technology

604 words - 2 pages and energy regulated by computers that build and program themselves. Imagine these worlds connected by transport and communications systems, always kept up to date automatically, and modified as needed by the people who live in these habitats. Can you imagine a machine that makes money obsolete, anything you need is anticipated designed and made ready as fast as physically possible? Can you imagine this machine whose soul purpose is to keep

The Body

1849 words - 7 pages perpetuation of rape culture, the hierarchy of gender, and gender performativity. The one thing they all have in common that is essential to understanding how men have been able to oppress us for so long and continue to oppress us. “The body” is the one thing that can maintain our inferiority and powerlessness, but it can also be the one thing that can free us from the same system of oppression. Works Cited Butler, Judith. "Imitation and Gender Insubordination." The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Theory. Ed. Linda Nicholson. New York: Routledge, 1997. 300-15. Print. Cahill, Ann J. Rethinking Rape. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2001. Print.

the body

972 words - 4 pages THE BODY In Castel Rock Maine, There were four boys Vern Tesio, Gordie La Chance, Chris , and Teddy Duchamp. They have a tree house in a abandon parking lot where they play cards and hang out. Vern comes and tells the gang that when he was under his portch looking for his penneys that he had burried when he was eight he over heard his brother talking to his friend charlie hogan about the child that was

the Body

1603 words - 7 pages his life’s work to lift up the Filipino nation. A short background on the company FrancisM Clothing Company describes the business as a dream made reality. Founded by Francis Magalona, Carlo Maniquiz, Villajin and Willy Valesquez in the year 2005 and officially started in 2006. At first, the initial plan was to determine the Filipino identity, especially in youth through their products. Now the goal of “Filipinizing” the whole world has become part of their vision. (FrancisM Clothing Co).

Similar Essays

Nasa’s Future: Up In The Air

1189 words - 5 pages In 2005 former President George W. Bush instituted the Constellation Program. This program set ambitious, local goals for the National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA)(Chang). When President Barack Obama took office, however, he set out to change NASA’s objectives. Shifting focus away from local space, President Obama’s plan centered on exploring asteroids and later even Mars (Malik). Unfortunately, or rather maybe fortunately, the funding and

The Scared Straight Program Essay

1993 words - 8 pages for delinquent behavior. If the kids are not delinquents or will not be delinquents in the future, it is difficult to discover the actual success rate of the program. In Part three of Finckenauer's book on the scared straight program, he discussed his study methods. Many of the criticisms of this study were based on his skepticism of the program. L. Sherman when mentioning studies on shock treatment cited the Finckenauer study as biased

Islam The Straight Path Essay

994 words - 4 pages Islam The Straight Path      An evaluation of the book by John L. Esposito: Islam The Straight Path. In this book , Esposito provides a succinct, up-to-date survey of the Islamic experience, an introduction to the faith, belief, and practice of Islam from its origins to its contemporary resurgence. He traces the emergence and development of this dynamic faith and its impact on world history and politics. He discusses the formation of

Setting The Record Straight In History

2016 words - 9 pages highlighting the ignorance of slavery ideology. At the beginning of our novella, Douglass brings up the roots of our country by highlighting that “The State of Virginia is famous in American annals for the multitudinous array of her statesmen and heroes” (1254). He is alluding to various well-known and “important” heroes such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Furthermore Douglass brings attention that we, in our history books, have forgotten one