Barcamp Bangalore – Technosociality & Cyborgs

What is Technosociallity ?

How technology affects the new kind of social life. life, labour & ? ?

There is myth of a dichotomy which we have of the real vs virtual and that needs to be broken.

Real is something that we call as the self in an objective reality and virutal being a fantasy world

Hypothesis is that the virtual is a consitutent of our physical self. How do one account for the 12 hours a day that one hangs out on the internet/IM and say that it was a part of the virutality. The best way to look at this is by calling two different facets as the physical and digital.

We define the identity of anything by defining what it is not. There is a certain kind of a homogenisation we do when try to define things that you know. Example is that of visual cognitive poetry

A keypoint being hypothesised is that how you understand your own self can never be outside the technology that you are born within. So in that sense every identity is a cyborg. For example we always define ourselves in the paradigm of time & space, our identity gets defined by the constructs around us. Our id gets the representation of an ego which is the result of superego suppressing our id. Technology is a key part of the ego.

Perceptual way of making meaning is not available in a digital world. In a digital world you have to have a certain way of representation. Meaning of things in physical world gets represented in a certain way. For example infant is not aware of where the body stops and the world starts. It is totally is limited by sense.

But the important aspect of this that our representation in the digital world affects our existence in the physical and the superego structures( nation states, social & other instituations etc) are realizing this and are creating influences in a way to affect our digital lifes and hence our self. Case in point Govts(for ex Govt of India)  considers the information related the the governments investment in media forms like cinema etc an information of national security. 

   It is fantastic session starting from the philosophical realms and taking it to the level were the discussion of such constructs in the practicalities of the world and how changes/dynamics there affect our normal living in the society.

   One point that I debated and argued with Nishant is that we can talk about technology being an integral of the ego not the id.  Can technology be taken to the same level as id is the whole argument of aritifical intelligence discussion which as some of you know I am strong opponent of. I believe that strong AI claims are facetious. Technology are integral part of the ego is something that I concur with & this perspective that nishant is certainly a very good framework to look at things. 


  1. vinu says:

    Rajan, you have hit upon a topic – that has been on the back of my mind for sometime. Its what I call ‘Clash of spheres’. I would love to either take it offline i.e email or have series of blogpost (which can be digested!). I am still having difficulty understanding what you have written as I think there are some things you think is obvious or is related to older posts / personal conversations.

    The three types of clashes of spheres I have in mind are:
    1. real vs virtual of the same person (ur blog and real life)
    2. clashes of sphere of people (real world e.g – parents and kids on channels in the living room, virtual – flaming blogs posts and emails)
    3. clashes of people who have access to the virtual world and those who don’t but are getting affected (the haves and have nots). Sadly just flipping off your modem no longer insulates from the internet in your life!

    what are your thoughts??

    More of my thoughts here:

  2. Rajan says:

    Sorry for the brevity in the posts , I rewrote the posts at 3.00 am in the morning. 😀 and that too I had to retype some of the stuff that I wrote earlier got deleted in wordpress. But sure I will dejargonize soon :D. Also I think it will be a great idea to bring Nishant shah in loop as he is doing a PhD in this area and I wrote that post after listening to his talk and his hypothesis.


  3. Nishant says:

    Hi Rajan, thanks for a very succint sum up of the session. It was a pleasure having you as a discussant and you forced me to spell out some of the things more clearly than I ever have.

    Vinu, I find your formulation extremely fascinating. I haven’t really conceived of the realms that you point out as spheres – spheres generally form exclusionary social formations and there is too murky an overlap within the digital world – but look at them as seprate systems which come together because of the individual users that straddle them simultaneously. One of the ways in which such fluid identities have been conceived is through the notion of “Irony”. Irony allows for the meaning to constantly be in flux between two or more existing systems, creating a world of incessant self referencing and validation. Ironic subjectivities as mediated by technologies – either by using it, by writing of it or just being implicated in the imagination of it – can be thought of as not particularly clashing but unharmoniously co-existing.

    As I was pointing out in the session at Barcamp Bangalore, we need to move away from a certain dichotomous notion of opposing systems and look upon the co-existence of two or more systems, where the capabilities and capacities in each system help structure processes of meaning making and navigation in the others lucid, intelligible and accessible.

    I would like to hear more on the thoughts. Thanks again for the interest


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