Friday, April 5, 2013

The Woman in the Machine

We're all cyborgs.

If you're reading this, you use a machine to communicate, to get your news, to listen to music, to play games. You probably use a machine to get from one place to another (yes, a bicycle counts). The banking system, negotiation and trade--almost all business--takes place over fiber optic lines, with terabytes (probably even peptabytes...exabytes?...yeah, I had to look those two up) of data floating in the Cloud. Some use machines to help them see or hear. We don't have to talk about nanotechnology (in our pants?), artificial intelligence, robots, or biotechnological implants to see how completely we are linked to our data.

The way in which we are weaved within our technology has fascinated me since childhood. I've read stories of cybermen and Martians as long as I can remember. Star WarsGargoyles and The Hobbit are just a few examples (since, as Arthur C. Clark famously argued, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic").

Chuck & Beans, from the Shoebox Blog
And now, as a writer, I have a very odd relationship with my technology. Not only is it the mechanism by which I create, it's also my greatest distraction. I can sit down, with the best intentions to be productive, and end up sucked into the Siren spell of Facebook, cute cats, geek memes, or even YouTube for hours instead. Not probably what Philip K. Dick had in mind when he talked about the machines taking over in A Scanner Darkly or one of his other quasi-dystopic and tripped-out novels (or maybe he was), but these distractions still serve to keep us from making progress on our own projects. Sometimes it can feel like this collection of circuits and light actually sucks away creativity.

So this is my resolution (yeah, I'm a little late--deal with it): I'm going to use this platform as my own leverage for my writing process. If I don't write or edit another project, I will spend at least a little bit of time each day working here, ruminating on ideas that move me (probably of a geeky/sci-fi/artistic/literary nature), writing out bits of contemplation or ideas, reviewing a book or two (or maybe even a website or movie!), or maybe even encouraging discussion once my readership allows for it. I'm going to spend some time putting my brain in that writing space each day, and this will be one of my many outlets for that process. I look forward to sharing, to thinking, to plugging in with you, and hope you enjoy the ride.

Ready for launch?


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