Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ties and Prosthetics

The most striking point to me this week was Thrift’s mention of technological prosthesis as fundamental to the condition of qualcation. Though it is fairly mundane to observe that there are categories of haves and have-nots, I wonder what role that prosthesis play in the relationship of networks, especially in the case of a person with prosthesis attempting to connect with a prosthesis have-not?
Weak ties can be more useful in accomplishing a goal, like getting a new job, and ultimately work to widen the reach of a dense, deep group of connections. Put simply, weak ties can connect smaller networks, resulting in a larger variably dense network itself. But how could the rise of technology, and these prosthesis that affect people’s cognitive condition, ultimately limit the possibility of weak connection?
In Sleep Dealer, Memo’s father lacks the imagined literal prosthesis, nodes, and is fatally misunderstood by those within the network. While Memo had triggered the alarm, his father was interchangeable as a person outside of the network. It is only once Memo becomes a part of the web, given nodes and representation within the network by Luz, that he can connect with Rudy. The tie between Rudy and Memo is still a weak one, but still exists within the same system. What does it mean for the ability to connect if prosthesis so determine our understanding of reality that linking between someone within the network and someone outside of it is unimaginable? 

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