Subject Outline for A Cyborg Manifesto
Posted by Amanda
Posted on Wed May 10 08:37:20 2000
From IP  

A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist- Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century

- A possible feminist entry into the postmordern circuit of
Informatics of Domination¡Xcommunications and
- The intense emphasis of the flow of information in these
sciences¡Xthe language of microelectonic coding
- ¡§Copies without originals¡¨ ¡Vfeminist may construct new
social relations, new sexualities, and new ethnicities.
- ¡§Cyborg Myth¡¨¡Xa new fiction integrating women and
- The fiction of the women of color and the fiction of
science fiction--two possible fictions of ¡§Cyborg

An Ironic Dream of a Common Language for Women in the Integrated Circuit

- The center of the ironic faith--the image of the cyborg
- A cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and
organism, a creature of social reality, a creature of
- A creature in a post-gender world
- A matter of fiction and lived experience that changes
what counts as women¡¦s experience in the late
twentieth century.
- Our ontology
- A condensed image of both imagination and material
- A fiction and an imaginative resource

- The main trouble with cyborgs¡Xthey are the illegitimate
offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not
to mentions state socialism. But illegimate offspring are
often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins. Their
fathers, after all, are inessential.

- Three broken boundaries
A. The boundary between human and animal
B. The boundary between animal-human (organism) and
C. The boundary between physical and non-physical

- The cyborg myth¡Xtransgressed boundaries, potent fusions,
and dangerous possibilities
- Premises
A. Most American socialists and feminists see deepened
dualisms of mind and body, animal and machine,
idealism and materialism in the social practices,
symbolic formulations and physical artefacts.
B. The need for unity of people trying to resist world-
wide intensification of domination has never been
more acute. But a slightly perverse shift of
perspective might better enable us to contest for
meanings, as well as for other forms of power and
pleasure in technologically mediated societies.

Fracture Identities

- There is nothing about being ¡§female¡¨ that naturally
binds women, not even such a state as ¡§being¡¨ female.
- Gender, race, or class consciousness is an achievement
forced on us by the terrible historical experience of the
contradictory social realities of patriarchy,
colonialism, and capitalism.
- Chela Sandoval¡X¡§oppositional consciousness,¡¨ ¡§Women
of color¡¨
- Katie King¡Xthe limits of identification and the
political/poetic mechanics of identification built into
reading ¡§the poem.¡¨
- The common achievement of King and Sandoval is learning
how to craft a poetic/political unity without relying on
a logic of appropriation, incorporation and taxonomic
- Both Marxist/socialist-feminisms and radical feminism
have simultaneously naturalized and denatured the
category ¡§women¡¨ and consciousness of the social lives
of ¡§women.¡¨
- The major effect of Mackinno¡¦s theory¡Xthe totalization,
the unity of women
- MacKinnon¡¦s ¡§ontology¡¨¡Xa non-subject, a non-being,
another¡¦s desire is the origin of ¡§woman.¡¨
- Socialist/Marxian standpoints¡Xunintended erasure of
polyvocal, unassimilable, radical difference
„ÃMacKinnon¡¦s intentional erasure of all difference
through the device of the ¡§essential¡¨ nonexistence of
women¡Xnot reassuring.

The Informatics of Domination

- A picture of possible unity (576-7)
- The objects on the right hand side cannot be coded as
- Any objects or persons can be reasonably thought of in
terms of disassembly and reassembly; no ¡§natural¡¨
architectures constrain system design.
- The entire universe of objects must be formulated as
problems in communications engineering or theories of the
text. Both are cyborg semiologies.
- One should expect control strategies to concentrate on
boundary conditions and interfaces, on rates of flow
across boundaries¡Xand not on the integrity of natural
- No objects, spaces, or bodies are sacred in themselves;
any component can be interfaced with any other if the
proper standard, the proper code can be constructed for
processing signals in a common language.
- The privileged pathology¡Xcommunications break-down.
- One important route for reconstructing socialist-feminist
politics is through theory and practice addressed to the
social relations of science and technology, including
crucially the systems of myth and meanings.

- Communications technology and biotechnology¡Xcrucial
tools recrafting our bodies.
- Communications sciences
- The key questions¡Xa theory of language and control
- The key operation¡Xdetermining the rates, directions
and probabilities of flow of a quantity called
- The biggest threat¡Xinterruption of communication.
- The fundamentals of this technology¡Xthe metaphor
C3I, command-control-communication-intelligence.
- Biologies
- The translation of the world into a problem in coding
- Biology¡Xa kind of cryptography.
- Communications technologies depend on electronics.
Microelectronics is the technical basis of simulacra;
that is, of copies without originals.
- Microelectronics mediates the translations of labour into
robotics and word processing, sex into genetics
engineering and reproductive technologies, and mind into
artificial intelligence and decision procedures.
- Communication sciences and biology are constructions of
natural-technical objects of knowledge in which the
difference between machine and organism is thoroughly

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