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Does Linking Humans and Technology Create Reliance?

spreston's picture

Something I found interesting in Teknolust was the theme of dependence on others.  Rosetta is dependent on the SRAs in order to live a full life (she can only live the life of a science geek).  In turn, the SRAs are also relaint on Rosetta (shown when they complain when she does not have the time for them). Not until Ruby meets Sandy is she less reliant on Rosetta, yet this just creates a reliance on someone else. The SRAs are reliant on men in order to keep their immune systems healthy.  I think Rosetta is also reliant on men because not until the SRAs see her with a man do they think she can survive on her own.  Both Rosetta and the SRAs absolutely rely on technology in order to communicate (communicate through the microwave). 

What is Hershman-Leeson trying to say about reliance?  I thought it was a little bit strange that as a feminist, Hershman-Leeson did not create a single woman character who seemed like she could make it on her own.  Rosetta is completely confined to being a stereotypical, awkward science geek and while the SRAs (Ruby, in particular) may be viewed as strong women who contradict society's norms, they get by using sexuality and also display many dependencies. 

Looking at the dependency issues that arise in Teknolust also made me think back to the Chorost excerpts we read.  If humans become more linked to technology, will this just create even more dependence in our lives?  While technological advances make our lives easier in so many ways, each advance makes us less independent.  When we already rely so heavily on phones, computers, GPS systems, etc., is it wise to increase the connection between humans and computers and make us even less independent?  I am nervous that if humans and internet were able to be integrated into one hyperorganism, as Chorost describes, we might lose too much of what makes us "human" now...how would having instant access to so much information decrease our creativity and curiosity to learn on our own?

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tangerines's picture

In response to this idea of

In response to this idea of dependence: something I thought was interesting in the movie was the fact that when the men developed the virus/rash, their computers crashed – “illness” of their computers is mirrored by physical illness. To me this was a clear commentary on our dependence on technology – I think most of us, like leamirella, would be completely lost without our computers/smart phones/etc. Many (if not most?) facets of this class, in fact, would be impossible to achieve without technology – or even if either students or teachers in this class were not computer-literate.

As for the feminist(?) reliance that spreston comments on, I too thought it was weird that this movie seemed to regurgitate stereotypes of women. Ruby, who is comfortable with their sexuality, treats sex like a commodity and has difficulty understanding various human concepts. Rosetta, is awkward, unattractive, sexually repressed, but is intelligent enough to bring her theory on SRAs to life. Perhaps this reliance on sexist tropes is itself a commentary on the human tendency to rely on what we know rather than exploring new possibilities in any field, whether gender/sexuality, science, technology, etc.

 

shin1068111's picture

Fear of the change

I think the fear that humans have about technology rises from such concern that we might lose too much of what makes us human now as she mentions. Even though it seems reasonable to have such concerns, I believe that there is no reason to fear to lose what makes us human now because we are living in a society where technology changes human lives very fast and we are used to such life style.

I think what makes us human now has been intensely shaped by technology and there is no doubt that no one has predicted the life style we have now with cell phones and internet. Although there were lots of concerns about use of such technology and how it would affect human lives when they were not readily available to everyone, we now cannot even imagine life without computers because we are completely adapted to the technologies we have nowadays.

I have no doubt that human lives will completely change in the near future by technology and it is natural to have fearful emotions toward such changes. However, I strongly believe that we, as humans, will comfortably adapt to such changes because we are so used to advancing technologies.

leamirella's picture

This is an interesting question

I really like your question about whether or not technology makes us dependent. Personally, I do not know where I would be without my Blackberry - I didn't have it over winter break and almost had a meltdown because I couldn't access my emails on the go. And if my computer were to crash? Yeah, I'd be so heartbroken and unable to function. However, my question is whether or not this dependence is a bad thing. This concept of being "human" is something, that I believe, is constantly changing. I'm not so sure that being "human" means not being interconnected with technology. Technology isn't an entity in and of itself. We humans created it, use it, like (or in my case, love) it. Its really become a part of us that to say we're less human by using technology is a little strange to me.

Technology has made things so much more efficient. I wouldn't be able to get to class on time if it weren't for the alarm on my phone. (And the alarm on my shelf too...) If there was a possibility of integrating everything and having everything in my head, I'd take it. (And maybe, I'd be able to wake up more easily in the mornings) The instant access to information could work to our benefit - we could train ourselves to use it. I don't think it would affect our curiousity to learn or our creativity. Sure they would come in different forms but I think they would still essentially be there. I don't think that having a lot of information doesn't stop us being curious about things or being creative with what we have.

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