From here:

IPod and user form a cybernetic unit," said Giesler. "We're always talking about cyborgs in the context of cultural theory and sci-fi literature, but this is an excellent example that they're out there in the marketplace.... I have seen the future, and it is called the cyborg consumer."

The cyborg consumer, Giesler said, is one that uses several different technologies -- from cell phones to Viagra -- and is highly connected, technically and socially.

The iPod, for example, isn't just an MP3 player. It's an extension of the memory: storing the soundtrack of a lifetime, as well as names, addresses, calendars and notes.


Oh, he's seen the future, has he? He thinks he's got some great cyborg metaphor, does he? Apparently he missed (though smart money is that he hasn't) Donna Harraway's 1984 "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century". You can read that shindig here, though it's admittedly a real challenge to understand without checking out some of her other writings. (Her book Primate Visions helped me out a good deal).

I realize he's trying to pay tribute when he says, "context of cultural theory"; that's a bit of a key phrase there. But she does talk about exactly this -- what's he's got is a natural extension of her manifesto. To call her work cultural theory and his some sort of new fangled consumerism is to, in some ways, have created a scandal similar to Levi-Strauss' "incest scandal" that Derrida exposes in his [Derrida's] "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences". The only scandal here is a system that would make a distinction between cultural sciences and whatever jive this fellow is proposing he's doing. Haraway's work says exactly what he's saying, and said it when he was seven years old.

Anyhow, my $0.02.