Jomo Fray '10, English 65, The Cyborg Self, Brown University (Fall 2006)

A major part of the fascination with surfing the net comes from an inherent "live" real time quality experienced by the user. In Tara McPherson's essay "Reload: Liveliness, Mobility and the Web", she describes this fascination as "a key dimension of our experiences of the internet, a medium which also promotes itself as essentially up-to-the minute." [pg. 461, "Reload: Liveliness, Mobility and the Web"] Yet later in her essay she contradicts the nature of this live quality by stating "most of the ‘breaking news' I access via my personalized MSNBC front page is no more instant than the news I would watch at 6 pm. On KTLA"[pg. 461, "Reload: Liveliness, Mobility and the Web"]. The internet is such a large database that time itself is simply an illusion. Tara McPherson describes herself reading on JFK death "both here (in LA) and there (in Dallas), both then (1963) and now (2002), but I am always present, moving, live, in command." [pg. 463, "Reload: Liveliness, Mobility and the Web"] The user is deceived into believing the real time effect that is associated with the net. The "in-the-now" nature of the net trick users into the illusion that they are surfing live and are thus only moving because they wish to move. Tara McPherson has chosen to call this sensation volitional mobility .

Course Website cyborg Body & Self Literature

Last modified 31 December 2006