By Sarah Kember

ISBN-10: 0415240263

ISBN-13: 9780415240260

Cyberfeminism and synthetic lifestyles examines the development, manipulation and re-definition of lifestyles in modern technoscientific tradition. It takes a serious political view of the concept that of lifestyles as details, tracing this throughout the new biology and the discourse of genomics in addition to throughout the altering self-discipline of man-made existence and its manifestation in artwork, language, literature, trade and leisure. From cloning to computing device video games, and incorporating an research of undefined, software program and 'wetware', Sarah Kember extends present realizing by way of demonstrating the ways that this really marginal box connects with, and connects up worldwide networks of knowledge systems.Ultimately, this ebook goals to re-focus challenge at the ethics instead of at the 'nature' of life-as-it-could-be.

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Through the course of natural selection, the kinds of genes – and therefore the kinds of societies – we have are regarded as being the only ones we could have. They are the inevitable outcome of natural law; the struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest. And if ‘3 billion years of evolution have made us what we are’ then what is the point in trying to effect change through one hundred days of revolution’ (Lewontin 1993: 90) or a few decades of feminism? Among the universal human characteristics identified within sociobiology are; warfare, male sexual dominance, love of private property and hatred of strangers (Lewontin 1993: 91).

A dialogic engagement between feminism and alife must therefore amount to more than a response to the threat of sociobiology in a computerised context. Sociobiology is that discipline which claims to identify biological and specifically genetic causes of human social behaviour. It may stop short of advocating public policy (unlike evolutionary psychology) and is primarily a naturalised view of society. But the naturalisation of social phenomena is itself a deeply political act (it is the politics of de-politicisation) which justifies the status quo and absolves us of the (respons)ability to act.

As if a theory which, according to Darwin, is at times ‘highly speculative’ and possibly ‘erroneous’ (1901 [1871]: 926) were actually innocent, Jacob argues that ‘evolution by natural selection was immediately used in support of various doctrines and, since there are no moral values in natural processes, it could just as well be painted in 34 Meaning of life part 1: the new biology pink or in black and be claimed to uphold any thesis’ (Jacob 1993: 23). Thus, socialist, capitalist, colonialist and racist ideologies have co-opted Darwinism as has, more recently, ‘scientism’ in the form of sociobiology (24).

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Cyberfeminism and Artificial Life by Sarah Kember

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