Teleportation, cyborgs and the posthuman ideology

Bendle, Mervyn F. (2002) Teleportation, cyborgs and the posthuman ideology. Social Semiotics, 12 (1). pp. 45-62.

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Abstract

This paper is concerned with a set of phenomena that lies at the intersection of popular culture, genetics, cybertechnology, nanotechnology, biotechnology and other advanced technologies, bio-ethics, science speculation, science fiction, mythology, the New Age Movement, cults, commerce and globalization. At the centre is a radical technophilia that finds representative expression in posthumanism, an Internet-based social movement driven by an extreme scientific utopianism. This set of phenomena constitutes an articulated cultural response to a number of underlying economic, technological and social dynamics that are together transforming the world, and particularly developed societies as they are incorporated into a global system of 'digital capitalism'. This paper first describes posthumanism and transhumanism. It then explores two key notions, teleportation and cyborgs, that receive extensive attention in mainstream media and serve as exemplars of this scientistic ideology, locating them both in cultural history and contemporary popular culture. The paper argues that posthumanism and associated phenomena are best seen as an ideological interpellation of humanity into an increasingly dominant scientific and technological order based on the cultural and scientific ascendancy of the 'Informational Paradigm' identified by Katherine Hayles in her inquiry into 'How we became posthuman'.

Item ID: 4965
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1470-1219
Keywords: cyborgs; globalization; popular culture; posthuman society; teleportation
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2009 01:11
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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