1,155 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2015
    1. Why does Watts do that for us?

      Compelling question. What do you think?

    2. And part of me is also wondering what the hell is going on with Sarasti and the Captain.

      I like this relationship as well, but I'd like to see you, at this point, develop the discussion of Robert Cunningham.

    3. What’s the deal with that?

      Why not attempt an answer here?

    4. In my last blog post

      I like the connection back your previous posts. In the future, you could easily add a link here.

    5. I’m feeling a little trippy.


    6. This shows how blindsighted Siri is himself: he can’t see himself to observe but observes everyone else.

      Interesting, but consider that the opposite might be true: that is, if Siri had blindsight with respect to his relationship with Chelsea, then the relationship would be working without his conscious awareness of it. That is, Siri is incapable of being not conscious.

    7. I don’t understand why they’re concerned with Rorschach having consciousness being related to whether or not it will harm them. Why does consciousness for Rorschach matter this much? 

      Great question. It seems that they obsess over in much the same way that often do: we make consciousness a supreme achievement and so a measuring stick we use to assess other life forms.

    8. But why does it matter if Rorschach has consciousness?

      This is a key question here: so what?

    9. This phenomenon is better explained when you witness someone who has it:

      Great use of embedded video here. I'm digging the research you are putting into these posts.

    10. And the community in the city was terrified of what Jerusalem was broadcasting in Century Square, that the cops and Civic Center were just annihilating the transients because they were different and scary. Just like Gossamer was terrified of the audience.

      This is a nicely composed post. You pull from a specific element of the text to make a larger claim, and you link to a contemporary moment. It has the elements. That said, going forward (and this is the work of the semester), you'll want to sharpen your insights. In many ways, the larger connection you make here is too large, too general, as so too vague. That is, this moment is surely about humans being terrified of difference, but this moment is looking a particular kind of difference. The connection you make misses the particular difference of the transients. Sure they are different, but they are also uniquely different. Thus, we can read the comic as not just making a comment about the fear of difference generally, but of a fear of difference at level of bodies, for instance. This world is full of difference yet only the transients are being attacked here. Why the transients and not some other group?

      Keep up the good work.

    11. still humming a familiar tune

      Nice turn of phrase here.

    12. (pg. 66).Sounds familiar.

      Nice use of linking. Just make sure you better control where and how the line shows-up.

    13. yet you can replace transients and cops with a slew of terms and this would be a familiar story.

      This is a good move to make in these posts: how can we use the dynamics of what we are reading to make sense of the world around us.

    14. And of course, one of the famous lines from Bugs Bunny saying “Monsters are such interesting creatures”.

      Love this line and this connection.

    1. Ronald was hit in the neck and killed. Some of the news outlets ran a picture of Ronald grabbed from his Facebook page. He’d tried hard to look stern as he took it, holding up his smartphone, snapping the self-portrait in his bathroom mirror.


    2. Beyond that, simply living in the neighborhoods teaches young people new ways to behave online. The Morgan Street guys tell me some of the basic rules for Facebook. First, don’t make friend requests to rivals or accept any from guys you don’t know. Second, borrow someone else’s phone when possible—ideally a girl’s—to browse the site. But third, don’t quit social media entirely: You need to know who is cliqued up with whom, who is making threats, who might try to catch you unawares.

      Rhetors and rhetoricians.

    3. Police and other experts say the ad hoc, emotional nature of street violence today might actually present an opportunity.

      An "available means of persuasion".

    4. As with the gangs themselves, though, the gangland videos often sit on a blurry line between criminality and sociality.

      Very interesting point here. Blurry boundaries.

    5. “A couple of young guys, plus a disagreement, plus guns equals dead body,” Pollack says bluntly.

      Strong Defense of Technology

    6. drilled in real life

      The boundaries between real and not are being recomposed here.

    7. the use of online tools has turned hazardous

      Interesting language here, as the story itself seems to be suggesting that these tools are far from simply tools.

    8. easier

      "Easier" is one way to put it. Why not "more appealing."

    9. no segment of the population is more surprisingly open than 21st-century gang members

      It what ways is this not surprising?

    10. The Chicago police fielded calls from departments in four different states, where officers were struggling to understand why people in their jurisdictions were declaring themselves to be warring branches of the Disciples and fighting over some kids from Chicago’s South Side.

      It spreads through the medium.

    11. and young Chicagoans followed in real time as it escalated

      And did the real time nature of this following take part in the escalation?

    1. How much should ethics play a part in new technologies and medicine that come about today?

      In many ways, we don't yet have the ethical terminology to begin discussing such possibilities. That is why I find science fiction such as this compelling: it's a chance to work out approaches to these issues through literature.

    2.    According to “The Gaurdian”, the first ever human body transplant is only two years away.

      Great connection!

    3. For example, if some point in the future, humans were able to become genetically modified to the point where they are considered to have beyond human capabilities, would it be considered ethical to start changing the human race?

      This is the sort of question that posthumanism is interested in asking. How are ethical norms established.

    4. The main character, Siri, is a transhuman who had half of his brain removed due to epilepsy

      What I find interesting about this fact, is that such procedures aren't science fiction, but happen today.

    5. I began to become more intrigued in the plot

      Glad to hear it.

    6.      Overall, I must admit I was not thrilled to read this book because I never related to comic books before.

      This is a solid post on the whole, but it never connects to the issues of posthumanism. What is it about his world and our world and the Grinch's world that generates this cynicism. The posthuman is interested in cynicism not simply as a personal trait but as something that emerges from, for instance, environments.

    7. I immediately thought of the increasing number of Republican candidates running for office. More specifically, the controversy regarding Donald Trump. Spider’s upset regarding the President made me relate to American people’s frustrations with Donald Trump running for president.

      This is a potentially interesting connection, but you don't fully develop it here.

    8. Although this pair is unlikely, the cynicism of the two could not be more alike. They are both upset with how the world has unraveled, and decide to completely remove themselves in order to get away from the world in which they believe is so corrupt. Ultimately, they both end up leaving their comfort zones in the mountains to explore what is below them.            With this being said, Transmetropolitan made me realize that there are people in the United States today that share the cynical beliefs that the Grinch and Spider.

      This is a solid move here. You make connection between the reading and an external source and then you move to indicate why this connection is meaningful or otherwise important: that is, what can we learn or take away from this connection.

    1. the randomization of traits of people: human nature.

      Interesting. Are you positing, then, that we defines a human is "randomized traits"?

    2. The ability to create humans from laboratories has destroyed the concept of a family in the society of Blindsight.

      I'm not sure that this is totally true.

    3. By a posthumanism standpoint, technology had changed the definition of humanity from a society that values individuality and the unique qualities that are brought together in a group to a formation of people by genetically and biologically picking and choosing what qualities or abilities a person should have.

      I am finding this sentence hard to parse. What are you claiming here?

    4. Therefore, technology has advanced so far that it has taken a piece of humanity out of the human race.

      According to aliens who may or may not fully understand humans.

    5. The aliens describe creation of humans through vats (genetics) as “dehumanizing.”

      I'm really digging this opening paragraph. You're suggesting that we get from the novel is an understanding of ourselves as humans from aliens: how do they imagine what a human is? What do they see as dehumanizing?

    6. His examples of compassion and humanity help to show the good side of his rough personality.

      This is a solid post on the whole, but it never connects to the issues of posthumanism. For instance, what is it about the highly mediated world that Spider lives in that might be driving him. Why might the city of Transmetropolitan be host to so many religions?

      Furthermore, it doesn't really delve into specifics but rather provides a somewhat cursory summary of Spider's actions. Because it is cursory, you aren't able to deal with the contradictions of Spider's character. There are elements of the story that show Spider to be anything but compassionate and humane. Indeed, what might be taken away is that his pursuit of truth, which is his primary pursuit, works in opposition to compassion. Certainly, these two pursuits aren't mutually exclusive, but their relationship is very complex.

    7. all criminals

      How many "criminals" does he go after? I see what you mean here, but it's not simply criminals that he targets.

    8. Aaron,

      You'll want to give your Tumblr page a title as well as a theme you think works for the critical perspective you will develop here.

    1. “What is Human history, if not an ongoing succession of greater technologies grinding lesser ones beneath their boots?”

      What I like about this quote is that it suggests that the technologies themselves are the agents.

    2. much like I wouldn’t feel like myself without my phone

      Excellent connection. This is what I mean about seeing ourselves as already posthuman. Our identity as human is constantly in flux and mediated by particular technologies.

    3. famous quote from Winston Churchill
    4. I think this is very unique because I feel that humans take a lot from their past experiences.

      I don't think this means that vampires don't have memories or that don't learn from them. It simply means they are always experiencing the past, which is actually an intensified version of the quote here about learning from the past.

    5. They are not a modified posthumanistic creation

      As a kind of modfication is certainly one understanding of posthumanism. However, we can also understand posthumanism as a way of exploring what it means to be human. That is, posthumanism isn't simply about augmenting ourselves with particular technologies: posthumanism doesn't haven't in mind some specific way of being human. We are already posthuman: we daily struggle with what it means to be human, what counts as human, etc. Posthumanism, then, is a way of making this struggle visible. Science fiction is too.

      Posthumanism Infographic

    6.  This fear is all a product of convenience.

      Great point. Convenience can bring a lot of new experiences to the table.

    7. The convenience and accessibility of it in this society allowed the world to be a dangerous, scary place.  People could take huge risks and face minuscule (if any) consequences. This resulted in a dangerous world with very few rules.

      This is a great, posthuman insight: that particular technologies don't simply reflect human values, but that access to those technologies can change human values and behavior. Technologies aren't simply value neutral: they suggest things. As Carlile points out, this would have been a great opening paragraph that then gets developed with examples from the comic.

    1. When I think of posthumanism, I think of these crazy futuristic inventions that can do amazing things that make life much simpler.

      This is certainly one understanding of posthumanism. However, we can also understand posthumanism as a way of exploring what it means to be human. That is, posthumanism isn't simply about augmenting ourselves with particular technologies: posthumanism doesn't haven't in mind some specific way of being human. To jump ahead to your final paragraph, then, there is nothing particular about Siri's world that makes it more posthuman than our own. We already live in a posthuman world where we daily struggle with what it means to be human, what counts as human, etc. Posthumanism, then, is a way of making this struggle visible. Science fiction is too.

      Posthumanism Infographic

    2. simply not human

      Importantly, and as I point out about, posthumanism doesn't suggest certain configurations of the human. What posthumanism wants is to explore exactly what, in this instance, you mean by "simply not human?" What is a human to you? What counts as human? Why do you only count certain things as human? These are all important questions to ask: and these questions are what posrthumanism is?

    3. created from chemicals

      We are ourselves, to a certain extent, created from chemicals. And, increasingly, in case such as IVF, cooked in labs.

    4. Is what makes humans, human the quality about us that makes us only fight for what’s best for us and no one else, just as Spider Jerusalem does? Or is it something else that distinguishes humans from all other organisms?

      These are great questions. It is these questions that you start with; it is these questions you should use the readings to answer.

    5. I am intrigued by these couple of scenes because I think it has a bigger meaning to it.

      What do you mean by "bigger meaning"? This is pretty general through here. For instance, I agree that people act like this in our world. Your post needs to do more than point this out: why do people live this way, for instance? And is there something in the texts we are reading that can help answer this question? What factors are at play in shaping particular behaviors?

    6. He is a “religious”, journalist who is journeying back from the mountains to seek out a posthuman world.

      I'm intrigued by this possible "religious" connection.

    1. The Human Melting Pot

      Love this title. Also, I can't get over how creepy your image is. I just keep staring at it.

    2. “a Chinese Room.”

      Nice link.

    3. Without its parts neither the body nor machine could do work.

      I like the productive tension between this sentence and the sentence ending the previous paragraph. Both of these paragraphs capture something about the human, but neither can fully account for the human.

    4. but to be human cannot be limited to these nouns alone.


    5. searching for answers.

      In many ways, we are doing more than just searching. We are constantly answering this question by the way we live our lives. Each's person's life could be understand as an answer to this question.

    6. We cannot provide an indefinite explanation of the human without committing an injustice to humans. We have the basic foundation, but we will always be searching for answers.

      Strong assertion here. I think you mean to say "definite explanation" here.

    7. The more and more we alter our religious foundations, the further we stretch the boundaries by which we live

      This is very well put here. Indeed, this is what I was looking for when I asked above about the overly negative examples and terms you were using. This idea of stretching boundaries is indeed risky, but it also seems to be part of the human experience generally.

    8. This man clearly conjured this cult from his cherry-picked value of anger, and used it to his own benefit.

      I don't disagree, really, but I am wondering if "cherry-picking" always carries with it a negative connotation.

    9. self-serving cultists

      What makes them "self-serving"? Is what they are doing such a bad thing?

    10. Cherry-pickers could potentially pave the way for post-religion.

      If they haven't already.

    11. religious modification

      This is a cool connection. Here I will point out that "modification" in a posthuman context is not always about human choice. Indeed, the idea that humans are autonomous actors making choices is seriously challenged by posthumanism. Recall my example of intestinal microbes that can potentially influence mood. Now, imagine you make a decision under the influence of this mood: was that choice truly your own. Or did that choice emerge from the relationship between you and the inhabitants of your gut?

    12. cultists

      What makes them "cultists?"

    1. I’m not so sure that modification can somehow improve or raise your level of consciousness.

      Nice point. Indeed, aspects of the novel seem to suggest that if we advance far enough we will move "beyond" consciousness. That is, someday we might know all the mysteries of the universe; we just won't know that we know it at that point.

    2. but nobody can actually explain or fully comprehend it

      Which is sort of doubly creepy: being able to accomplish things we cannot then explain.

    3. From a posthumanism perspective

      Obviously, we will spend some time talking about what posthumanism is. I say this because I am not sure what is actually posthuman about the perspective you've developed here. The posthuman isn't simply anything that is about the human. That is rather than simply saying that religion is a part of humanity, you need to explore how religion shapes what we mean by "humanity."

    4. But, the dishonesty I witnessed by the most integral members of the church caused me to question the sanctity of it all.

      I am not sure what the connection to posthumanism is here.

    5. When Spider starts cracking skulls, overturning tables, and condemning people for being dishonest, it is paralleling when Jesus went on a rampage, flipped tables, and drove out all of the vendors from a temple.

      Very interesting and suggestive connection here.

    6. Even in a dark, filthy, and sinful world, it’s everywhere.

      Especially in dark, filthy and sinful worlds.

    1.            Siri and Caitlyn relate to posthumanism because what it means to be human doesn’t just mean man or woman. It can also now mean to be transgender or to be someone who chooses not to affiliate him or herself with a certain sex

      This is a very compelling point. Typically, we understand the human in the binary terms of male and female. What Caitlyn and other transgender individuals suggest is that this might be a limited way of understanding the human. A posthuman perspective, such as the one you develop here, pushes us to question such an understanding. In other words, how else can someone be human?

    2. Even though they both are technically “new”, they are still the same person deep down inside.

      Hum. Given the argument you are making, is this actually the case. Indeed, the very notion "deep down" is what is being challenged here. This is, of course, a complex question, but my reading of the novel leads me to believe that such changes do indeed result in new people--not completely new, but significantly altered. As you go on to suggest, these changes are "drastic" and perhaps go to the core of our very being.

    3. Siri is not like the normal beings of his time.

      I see what you are getting at here, but textual evidence suggests that many individuals in this world have been significantly augmented. Think of his crewmates, for instance.

    4. Spider even quoted himself “Point: Journalism is not about plans and spreadsheets. It’s about human reaction and criminal enterprise. Here the lesson begins.” (pg. 87) Throughout the entire book I really felt Spider tested the traditional way of being a journalist.  And that showed me one of a million ways how humans are constantly rewriting the definition of what it means to be human.

      This is a fantastic connection, Hillary. In the future, I would strongly encourage you to lead with this kind of paragraph. That is, start with the insight and the connection to posthumanism and then build from there. That way, all of the connections you make will fall in line behind the claim you are making.

      Starting with this insight will also allow you to develop it. My one critique here is that this great connection goes underdeveloped: it feels tacked on here at the end.

    5. When we all know that there isn’t one specific right way.

      This is very much a kind of question posthumanism is interested in asking and exploring.

  2. jacksoncritic.tumblr.com jacksoncritic.tumblr.com
    1. Technology is a tool to assist you in life, not a way to live.  

      I see the point you are making here, but there is perhaps a more interesting lesson to pull from the book. Rather than a kind generic assessment of the place of technology in our lives, it might be more interesting to see how technologies (of all types) mediate our relationships. For instance, within this novel language is treated as a technology, as an adaptation.

      This statement, then, depends on how you are defining technology.

    2. Families being separated due to technological advances

      Perhaps, but there are many instances of the opposite: drugs that stimulate familial affection.

    3. People do not have real relationships

      Is this, strictly speaking, true? Recall, as well, that we are hearing Siri's version of these events and the world of them.

    4. Untitled

      You're gonna need a name and theme pretty soon.

    5. This series of events in Spider’s world show how the Media can influence history as it happens, which happens in today’s world sometimes. 

      This is potentially good connection to make here, and a better understanding of posthumanism, which you will work on throughout the semester, will help you make it. One of the things posthumanism is interested in is how human agency is mediated by technologies. Think of all the elements that shaped the eventual impact of Spider's story. It wasn't simply the individual choices made by Spider, but the larger network of which he is but a part: other individuals, sets of particular technologies all played a part. To understand the "Media" then means to take into account all of its components.

    6. People will hear about things that they would not have heard about 30 years ago.

      This is a solidly composed post. You pull from a specific element of the text to make a larger claim, and you link to a contemporary moment. It has the elements.

      That said, going forward (and this is the work of the semester), you'll want to sharpen your insights. In many ways, the larger connection you make here is too large, too general, as so too vague. That is, this volume of Transmetropolitan is obviously about news and media. So, the connections you are making are there. However, the connections you make miss the particularities of Spider's world.

    1. Then, vampires get dropped in to the mix and the definition begins to morph once again.

      Nice. I find the idea that the definition of the human is shaped relative to other, related species compelling.

    2. we instead have someone completely untouched by the obsession with technology we have.

      Is this, strictly speaking, true? He seems to interact with a lot of technology. Indeed, he has hard line connection to the ship's AI.

    3. Most importantly, they’re a genetic jump backwards in time, but forward in ability.

      Excellent point. The novel seems interested in exploring the dynamics of the relationship between humans and vampires? Is one species more "advanced" than the other? Does the distinction even matter?

    4. the fact that vampires exist in this world

      Nice. It's easy, actually, to gloss over this fact, which proves to be pretty significant for the novel.

    5. All three could be argued as pivotal points of the human definition.

      Nicely put.

    6. These are constantly shifting and in an increasingly social and technological world, they could change drastically in a very short amount of time. We could go from the norm of doctors and patients, to the norm of people running a scan on themselves, buying a fix, and applying it within the hour.


    7. The story doesn’t specifically touch on doctors, but with the ability to turn random matter into specific objects and the connectedness of all individuals, it begs the question of what protection there is.

      Great point. Think about a matter compiler (or a 3D printer) impacts, for example, legal norms. Is there a three day waiting period if I can print the components for a gun and then assemble them at home?

    8. But the pace of these discoveries will only increase as computational power continues to skyrocket and the human mind evolves, in ways we can’t yet imagine, again showing how difficult it will become to define what makes us human.

      This is a key insight. It isn't simply that technologies "change things": it's the technologies rewrite the very ground from which future things become possible. To borrow a key term from our next reading (Blindsight), the baseline keeps changing.

    9. The transients personify this possibility.

      Nicely put.

    10. I believe that pharmaceuticals, as they become increasingly potent, complex, and curing, will fundamentally change the ways in which we define the human being in multiple aspects.

      Solid opening paragraph, and a strong connection to the concerns of the class.

    1. This begs the question, is Siri Keeton a human being? Does he have a soul? My guess is we’ll find out, as we finish up the book this weekend.

      What's important to consider is that whole novel is told from his perspective. In other words, we see this whole thing through his eyes.

    2. With that being the case, would the gang then have four different souls? Or possibly all one soul, but quartered off depending on who is in charge.

      Interesting question: does each "set" of eyes correspond to some inner life? Is each persona it's own entity?

    3. If the eyes truly are the windows to the sould, Jukka Sarasti has some serious blackout curtains.

      Nicely put. He remains a mystery because it's hard to tell who is home (if anyone). The conclusion of the novel casts additional doubt in these directions.

    4. Let’s break it down.

      Nice move: elaborating a definition through the text: how does it help us (re)think our most important concept.

    5. Initially I blew this off as a cliche

      Cliches often provide great openings for critical insights such as this.

    6. What is so critical about the eyes that he feels the need to place so much emphasis, on such a small part of the body?

      Great opening question.

    1. Being Human

      Great post. My only caveat is that you could have spent a little more time with Blindsight.

    2. human-like

      The one caveat I would add here is the because the "line between the human and the not is not black and white," as you say, then knowing what is "human-like" is increasingly tough as well.

    3. but we still see fragments of such a trajectory in our current world.

      Nicely said here.

    4. It has been a cycle of ‘look we found that something that makes humans different’ and ‘oh just kidding.’

      And what's particularly interesting here is the compulsion to discover/invent boundaries between the human and the nonhuman.

    5. My evolution professor a year ago offhandedly mentioned that there has historically been a tendency in evolution to study it in a human centered way.

      Great connection here. This novel very much messes with is telling of the human story.

    6. Media and broadcasting are more like funhouse mirrors. Sure, they are a representation of reality, but not an exact one.

      I love the phrasing here. And I like that you put the emphasis upon mirrors and acknowledge that these influences can be conscious and unconscious. Indeed, the larger, posthuman point, is that our so-called human conscious is always mediated by technologies.

    7. As seen with the following headlines, though we would like to think that the news is impartial in how it covers events, even simple wording can change the connotation of the writing and how people think.

      Additionally, we can see how the use of something like photoshop and image filtering can produce effects as well.

    8. Jerusalem’s reporting and livefeed had clearly affected the course of events of the riot.Access to the media and news have allowed for people to be in the know about various ‘things’ happening in the world. But such outlets are not completely objective and devoid of bias, so may easily affect public reaction and opinion.

      I like this connection. It is not as if Spider intends to do such a thing. It is the technology with which he is doing it that makes such an effect possible.

    9. Naturally, this trend progresses into the future as our technology improves and is very easily seen in the world of Transmetropolitan.

      This a solid opening move: seeing the future of a text as emergent from out present.

    1. The author using myriad related to reflect the distinctions between self-awareness and intelligence exaggeratively. Blindsight may represent Siri’s sight, or not.

      This kind of statement and question is where you should start your post. This post reads very much like a summary of a few aspects of the novel, but you don't really develop a specific claim or set of claims about the novel so far.

    2. Hard science fiction is a literary field I never touched before, and I regarded it as a minority literature for some specific fans. Moreover, I stereotyped these fictions have lots of complex settings only the author can understand and exaggerated persecutory delusions. It seems like a fast food prepared for a journey which has less nutrition but several meals quantity. Recently I was required to read a science fiction called Blindsight.

      This is a fine opening statement, but given the brevity of this posts, you might want to avoid over generally introductions.

    3. Feeling nervous in an “alien” environment is one of natures of human beings

      Excellent point.That said, going forward (and this is the work of the semester), you'll want to sharpen your insights. In many ways, the larger connection you make here an important one, but it leaves out the details of the story. That is, this moment is surely about humans being nervous of difference and feeling out of place, but this moment is looking a particular kind of difference. The connection you make misses the particular difference of the transients. Sure they are different, but they are also uniquely different. Thus, we can read the comic as not just making a comment about the fear of difference generally, but of a fear of difference at level of bodies, for instance. This world is full of difference yet only the transients are being attacked here. Why the transients and not some other group?

    4. Just like in the comic, the author designs the face of transient as half alien and half human, in some storyboards, when Fred talked about his experiences, sometimes the profile is totally alien side; when he said some sad cases, the author only draw the human side profile.

      Very cool observation here. The idea of both sides existing at once is compelling, and a challenge.

    5. Nevertheless, the case of transience makes me think of another familiar topic, species problem.

      It is very interesting that you should hit upon this "species problem," as such issues are ones posthumanism is drawn to.

    1. It seems a lot more difficult for us to fuck one. 

      Some forms of contact appear to be more negotiable that others.

    2. virtual reality and pornography

      The question about being the first generation to masturbate left-handed is a fully posthuman question.

    3. It seems that Watts would rather avoid virtual sexuality

      Again, I would caution against attribute this to Watts.

    4. Hint: yes

      You went for it here, didn't you?

      "Fertilize the screen" is a great line!

    5. At points, Watts sinks into this bad habit.

      Well, the most we can say is that Siri sinks into this bad habit. But he is an unreliable narrator at best.

    6. Is there anything wrong with sexually engaging with a virtual/robotic/mechanical entity (ehem)?

      Such a great film in this regard. I hope we are able to screen it later this semester.

    7. In BOTS, we see that this relationship is mutually affecting: slightly more worrisome.

      This idea of *mutually affecting" is going to be big theme this semester.

    8. I’d like to think its more than sadomasochism that hooks Jerusalem to the city, as its more than sadomasochism that attracts me to stories about men attracted to cities.

      Yes. This is what I am looking for in these blog posts: the move beyond the obvious reading. Posthumanism suggests that we can't simply look to the isolated, discrete individual for explanations of action and motivation: we have to look to the larger context, a larger, more complex set of relationships.

    9. The city seems to attract, despite its atrocities. Transmetropolitan magnifies this duality; For someone who hates the city in all its grotesqueness, Spider Jerusalem sure loves to look at it.


    10. (read up)

      Some solid info here, I think. Good link.

    11. If we speak of the city strictly based on its material power, we are led to gravity. Jerusalem gravitates toward the city, otherwise he wouldn’t have to hide up a mountain the escape it. 

      Excellent way of putting this. The city exerts a kind of agency over and through Spider.

    12. primal level than one could expect from such an obligation

      Yes. Something more than obligation is at work: something more affective and embodied.

    13. So Jerusalem is drawn to the city, despite its barrage of effects.

      There is certainly a tension here: he is aware that the city will do things to him. He is passionate and ambivalent, we might say?

    1. Watts has helped to develop my perception of the Human.

      I think I see what you are getting at here, but this sentence is still a bit too generic. What specifically have you added here in terms of your thinking? Great post!

    2. I thought that it was interesting that Peter Watts used this word because it hints that when all else is taken away, humans are all one common model.

      Nice focus in on a particular word here.

    3. the voice that comes from it

      The focus on voice is compelling here. It will be interesting to see if these theme continues to show up for you across the rest of the readings for the semester.

    4. Is a human only human if it is made of flesh and bones? Is a human defined with a particle sound? The potential “aliens” in this novel seem to have a “human” voice. Does this define them as human?

      Again, great questions.

    5. What physically makes us human? What does a human sound like?

      I really like this question. Rather than treating the "human" as some kind of abstract category, can we see it as particular kind of physical presence?

    6.  Evil can be found in many forms in our society and especially in Spider’s society. Although Spider breaths and bleeds vulgarity, and his character highlights the worst parts of our society, he seems to be doing so in order to hold what he, and most journalists find to be most important: the truth.

      Two final comments:

      1. There is no real connection to posthumanism other than the brief connection in the introduction. "Worst parts of society" is simply too general an insight.

      2. You need to zero in on one connection and really develop that.

    7. This is a problem that sounds very familiar to situations that have occurred in our world. Riots among citizens fed up with racism and police brutality have become the norm in America recently in Baltimore, Ferguson, South Carolina and more.

      This is a potentially strong connection, but you don't develop it. You instead move onto another connection.

    8. A post humanism perspective on the idea of evil in our world may suggest that all humans are contributors to the problems in society.

      Here at the beginning give us a brief statement about what you think this perspective might suggest. In short, give away the ending of your post right here.

    1. The inverse of post humanism is able to be seen through the personification of the ship comparing against the post humanism of the characters.

      Once we open up the category of the "human" we find other things potential sneaking into it.

    2. Personification is post humanism reversed.

      I like this line of thought. This book does a lot to upset the categories of human/nonhuman and animate/inanimate. You have done a good job of attending to that here.

    3.  Siri had technological changes to his body, so why can’t a machine have human qualities? Such as emotions or human traits.

      Cool question.

    4. Our hope through this class is to discover how a human has changed over time because of the new, the old, the confusing technology that is introduced throughout their life.

      Let's hope so :)

    5. Because of that technology, his life changes faster. This fast change also causes an ever faster transformation in his life;

      I like the focus on speed here. The speed of this world intensifies these aspects of posthumanism.

    6.  With all these technological changes in Spider’s life, he has had a much faster transformation than a life time. It happened in a matter of days.

      This is a compelling insight. As you nicely point out, posthumanism is interested in the ways we are mediate by technology. What we get in this issue is a sense of the pace at which this can happen. There is, then, an interesting pun here: Spider has become television in the sense of he is now news and because his thinking has been shaped by television: he know thinks like a television. There is compelling research that our abilities to follow a narrative are impacted by commercial breaks, for instance.

    7. These are examples of post humanism and how a character changes throughout his life in the comic book.

      Good connection. It could be elaborate just a bit. Something like, "adapting to these technologies results in important changes or differences in Spider."

    8. I have became television

      This title is blowing my mind!

    1. So to sum up, I really thought I hated Spider Jerusalem because of his personality, but it turns out I actually like him because of his personality.

      I appreciate the arc of this post: from annoyance to understanding. That said, there isn't much of a connection to the concerns of posthumanism or, just as an importantly, to the world of this comic book. Focusing on Spider's personality is great, but that personality needs to be connected/plugged into the larger world around him. For posthumanism, something like personality doesn't simply belong to an isolated individual; personality emerges across complex networks of brains, bodies, technologies and environments.

      Posts need to do more than assess the personalities of characters; these posts need to explore, for instance, how personalities are complexly formed.

    2. but it is also a way to get people to think.

      I like this point here: journalism is a kind of technology: it produces effects out in the world

    3. To me, this quote perfectly describes the biggest message of Transmetropolitan (or at least the biggest message I got out of it).  There is power in true and honest journalism.

      Honest, but certainly violent. Why do you think he chooses a gun metaphor? What is the significance of this?

    4. I hate to say it, but Spider Jerusalem’s personality really bothered me

      Best educational use of gif ever.

    1. Unfortunately, Spider would be stuck between a rock and a hard place when faced with this realization that our society is filled with “newsmen” and “newswomen.”

      It would be interesting to know what a character like Spider would think of the concept of "citizen-journalist."

    2. Is it the Truth or the power and prestige behind being a Journalist?

      Actually, I think something more interesting can be asked here. Given the power of media (not just now but historically), is it possible to draw such a fine distinction as this. Spider is very much and rightly concerned with how he is seen (how he is mediated) because it has a direct impact on his ability to do his job.

      Given that the news is always going to be mediated (it's right there in the phrase "new media"), these distinctions between seriously blurry.

    3. Now I am not saying that Mr. Benjamin’s statement is false across the board. In fact, for most of the history that we are taught in school, it still applies. However, we first saw a shift away from this during the Vietnam War.

      I like the complexity here. Both of these statements can be true.

    4. but we did not discuss an idea that I think Spider’s ego would thoroughly enjoy: victors no longer write history, media does.

      This is a really cool insight. (Also, the idea of ego is itself challenged here. Whatever "you" might want to do, media have minds of their own.)

  3. itsmargeethings.tumblr.com itsmargeethings.tumblr.com
    1. Spider, ultimately, just wants people to hear and see the truth about the world around them.

      While engaging in the study and critique of characters is a good place to start, it doesn't necessarily entail engagements with posthumanism. A posthuman look at Spider would attend to the larger network of forces around him. You do this a bit here and there with your attention to his drug use, but you avoid any specific engagement with the posthuman. This reads more like a general assessment.

    2. This makes the reader question whether he is in a sane state of mind or if he is just high on drugs.

      This question gets close to something like a posthuman concern. In the future, work to develop precisely these kinds of insights.

  4. Aug 2015
    1. Course documents can be found here

      These will be updated as needed throughout the semester.

    2. Daft Punk’s “Technologic”

      This is a great song, the title of which captures one of the themes of this course: how technologies have their own logics and how those logics shape being human.

  5. Dec 2014
  6. www.nathanielrivers.org www.nathanielrivers.org