Cyborg Tactic

This post has been updated with two amazing animated GIFs by the ever brilliant Michael Branson Smith.wreckthecyborg tumblr_n4mgvxNBPi1rjkuv5o1_500

“The main trouble with cyborgs” she [Donna Haraway] reminds us, ”is that they are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism. But illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins.”

A “Domain of One’s Own” is a cyborg tactic, I reckon. Kin to the learning management system. Kin to Web 2.0. But subversive to today’s Internet technologies and today’s educational technologies, connected as these are, as Haraway’s manifesto reminds us, to command-control-communication-intelligence.

A cyborg tactic, an “illegitimate offspring,” the Domain of One’s Own is fiercely disloyal to the LMS — Jim Groom and his team always make that incredibly clear. And I hope eventually too, fiercely disloyal to Google.

The Domain of One’s Own initiative prompts us to not just own our own domain — our own space on the Web – but to consider how we might need to reclaim bits and pieces that have already been extracted from us.

I can’t speak for the folks at Emory University or my UMW colleagues, but listening to Audrey Watters articulate such a brilliant, poetic, and precise vision of Domain of One’s Own as subversive intervention into the current state of the web may very well be the highlight of my professional life up and until this point. Cyborg tactics #4life! My only issue with the talk is that I have to follow it up tomorrow 🙁 But the talk is just the tip of the iceberg, talking with her and Kin Lane yesterday and today only gets me that much more impassioned and excited about preaching the reclaim word. I’m donning the frock for God, Country, and Domains!!!

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3 Responses to Cyborg Tactic

  1. Maha Bali says:

    Hey Jim, you know of course that I am one of those cyborgs who has decided to reclaim my domain.., there is still a small catch, though. There are some “dependences” we continue to risk (cannot claim as our own): dependence on the hosting provider (if shared hosting, not local) and dependence on social media like twitter and fb to disseminate… Am I missing something?
    But oh, man, I cannot believe how I have turned against the LMS the past few years. Glad I am not the only one!

    • Reverend says:

      Maha,
      You are absolutely right, I would also add to that you only lease your domain, can’t really ever own it. So I agree there are real limits to ownership here, but at the same time the fact you can start imagining the implications for framing your own learning network in a space you have far more control over is powerful. And that’s what keeps me fired up!

      The next stag of those dependences, though, the Reclaim Your Domain piece of this wherein we start to enable folks to backup and manage their activity on social media sites like FB, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. That’s what Kin Lane and Audrey Watters have been working on to great effect recently. I think there is a serious there there right now, and the answers to those issues are really starting to be addressed now.

  2. Pingback: Dominant sub-discourses of dissentReflecting Allowed | Reflecting Allowed

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