Technology and Her

The “Body Electric” reading about electric belts and the intimacies of technology reminded me of the movie Her, in which a man falls in love with his computer’s operating system. The de la Pena article is closely related to this movie through the general theme of societies’ different uses for technology, and also the connections humans can develop with technology. In the reading it is a purely physical relationship, but the movie is more concerned with the emotional aspect (although there are some uncomfortable scenes that tackle both). Currently, we use technology to connect with other humans, for the most part; but artificial intelligence as it is shown in the film would likely change that dynamic drastically.

Aside from the fact that I really enjoyed this movie, I wanted to write about Her because its imagined future so closely resembles the electric belt craze of the very real past. Considering one of the goals of this course is to make the ordinary foreign and vice-verse, what could be considered strange about our culture’s behaviors and attitudes regarding technology?


Race Outside of the Ferguson Case

Liz Lin analyzes the influence of Asian Americans on the topic of Ferguson. She argues that few Asian Americans talk about the subject or even participate in the effort of the case. Furthermore, she talks about the advantages and disadvantages of being Asian American. Although her article is about Asian Americans, her ideas also reveal the disadvantages of being hyphenated Americans in America. Asian Americans are advantaged because they are generally described as hardworking and smart. However, they are disadvantaged because they belong to neither the American or Asian side.

More importantly, Lin highlights the definition of race in her article. Lin, a professor and a consultant states, “Race is complicated for us. On one hand, we’re disadvantaged in many ways.  We’re perpetually seen as foreigners, as people who don’t belong here…Multiple laws have been passed to exclude us from immigration and citizenship” She suggests that hyphenated Americans are always considered foreigners despite assimilation to America or naturalization. The second part of the quote ties back to readings in lecture that talked about immigration exclusion acts. The article proposes the question: Does race matter outside of the case? Is race an issue in the protests and other events of the Ferguson case?