c y b o r g   m a n i f e s t o   2 . 0   ::   t e c h n o l o g i e s
::   t y p i c a l i t i e s

Hans Lenk, in his article "Advances in the Philosophy of Technology: New Structural Characteristics of Technologies" poses as many as 30 typicalities for the new information technologies which relate closely to the characteristics of hypertext in our present-day society, a couple of which I find highly applicable to the aims of this project.

First, he argues, information technologies lead to a closer integration of fields and subfields, and they both require and invoke a more interdisciplinary approach, not only from different theoretical paradigms but also from theories, technologies and society at large. The boundaries between technology and society get broken down. This idea was already also envisioned by Donna Haraway's cyborg metaphor" which was in some ways preceded by Marshall McLuhan's notion of the 'medium as the extension of man'. Second, the boundary between 'real' and 'virtual' becomes unclear, as the 'virtual' or 'artificial' actually becomes more real than the 'real' itself. We can also see this argument in Jean Baudrillard's concept of the simulacra where any reference to the 'real' has effectively disappeared in a postmodern, information-driven society, and we are left with simulacra that are themselves hyperreal. Bolter and Grusin elaborate on this idea even further in their notion of the three logics of remediation. Lenk even goes as far to claim that "quod non in systemis non in realitate" (what is not in an information system is not real). This would mean that all that wants itself to be a reality necessarily should go through mediation. Lenk claims that this will lead to 'system-technocratic tendencies' in our society: political, social and cultural problems will tend to get discussed and attacked more and more through information-technological means.

Finally, and very importantly, he notices that a complex dispersion and redistribution of power relations through the new technologies will pose the urgent ethical question of responsibility. Technology then "appears to take on the characteristic of a fate or destiny" and there lies a moral task of conceiving a new way of assigning responsibilities.

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