Hayles Chapter 5 and Murray Chapter 10

As Hayles states in Chapter 5 in her book, Electronic Literature, “If the seductions made possible by digital technology are endangering print, that same technology can also be seen as print in the making: we have met the enemy and he is us” (162); Hayles is right, we are the enemy that has created this crisis of how books are possibly coming to their end. She also writes, “Yet human cognition is unlike machine cognition in being mediated through emotions and the complexities of bodily processing” (183). We now think and act like computers because of the technology surrounding us on a daily basis. We fall onto the digital world that is around us, and with this, books are falling off the face of the earth. Hayles’ point of view of books is that, “Books will not disappear, but neither will they escape the effects of the digital technologies that interpenetrate them” (186). With Murray, she states, “The real hierarchy is not of medium but of meaning. We focus so inappropriately on the worth of the various media in part because the last quarter of the twentieth century has brought a general crisis of meaning” (274). The generation that I am living in relies on the digitized universe; we use technology to make movies from book, to create video games instead of reading stories from novels; we have lost most of the hope for literature because of the technology that is in our environment. We see the world through the eyes of not critical thinkers, but of how the technology that is in our hands can think for us. “Not only is the computer the most capacious medium ever invented, but it also allows us to move around the narrative world, shifting from one perspective to another at our own initiative” (Murray 283). Computers are dominating the world today, it is dominating our thoughts, our vocabulary, and our actions. The digitized world is taking over slowly, but surely because we are allowing it to happen. Books are also slowly becoming extinct because of our laziness of having technology at our hands all of the time, everyday, every month, and every year. With the different digitalized media that is out in the world today, we are finding ourselves in the lost world of books; and with this happening, the human race is going to be out of luck when the technology that is around us stops working, and decides to take over.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. ladybartleby
    Nov 14, 2012 @ 21:16:32

    So you creeped me out a bit with that last thought “With the different digitalized media that is out in the world today, we are finding ourselves in the lost world of books; and with this happening, the human race is going to be out of luck when the technology that is around us stops working, and decides to take over”. I have to admit that it is a really valid thought. Should we ever experience a nuclear crisis or lose electricity technology and digital narrative will not operate. It’s best we all continue to know a) how to read and b) keep printing books.

    I love the quote you used from Hayles about the difference between human and machine cognition. You sort of take the angle that we are becoming more like machines in our thinking and vernacular, but I think there may be another way to consider that idea. I like to look at Hayles’ quote as a reminder that there are some thing that machines will never have. We can advance until the end of time, but codes and wires will never have emotions. Human beings will always have a unique way of processing information and events; what a lovely thought! Computers are an integral part of our world, but at the end of the day we have to realize that they cannot offer a shoulder to cry on or the kind of understanding and comfort another human can.

    Reply

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