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How Technology Is Reconfiguring our Bodies


#1

In advance of its forthcoming issue on the theme of bodies, the stellar tech-and-culture journal Logic has published the editorial from the issue. Entitled “Meatspace,” the editorial not only gives a tantalizing preview of the issue, but also touches on the many ways that technology reshapes, exploits, and nurtures our bodies. Crucially, the piece eschews the cliché that technologies like the internet and smartphones alienate us from our bodies. Instead, it suggests that technologies “network our bodies in new kinds of relationships.” Check out an excerpt below.

In the past decade, cheaper and smaller computers have brought cyberspace into meatspace. Now that the internet is everywhere, it is not only tracking our bodies. It is changing them, too.

What even is a body? It may seem like the original ground truth. But the word is also a metaphor. It can mean anything we are supposed to see as one thing , anything we want to hold together. As in: A body of land. A body of knowledge. The body politic.

It’s a myth, this idea that we could ever be whole, or entirely singular. No body is an island. Hiccups are catching; menstrual cycles sync. The artificial hormones used to make plastics and pesticides seep into the soil and rivers and make mutants: male lizards start spawning eggs.

A pregnant human is a two-hearted monster. The aquatic creature within feeds and pisses across a fleshy interface. As you meet eyes with a stranger across the library, mirror neurons fire: the part of your brain for hand lights up as they wave at you.

New technologies network our bodies in new kinds of relationships.

Image via National Geographic.