Laughlin & Throop (on experience and reality)

October 10, 2009 - anthropology / cyborg / emergence / ethnography / evolution / experience / mapping / operating system / reality screen / the academy

“The forms of knowledge that technologies mediate is integral to both a society’s cultural information pool, and to the extramental reality in which they live. Technology itself constitutes an alteration of that relationship — especially as it intervenes in the experiential aspects of that relationship . . . Technologies are in a sense ‘artifacts of knowledge’ (Laughlin 1988b) — they are alterations in material reality that, accompanied by meaning in peoples’ minds, facilitate intentional acts. As such technologies become part of the extramental reality in which we are embedded and to which we must adapt.” (p. 158)

“We would suggest that a society’s technical knowledge is precisely that aspect of their information pool that facilitates an alteration of the relationship between experience and extramental reality through the mediation of techniques and artifacts. In other words, technologies combine information from the culture pool (as meaning) with material and energy in extramental reality that have been purposefully altered in order to afford novel intentional acts.” (p. 159)

LAUGHLIN, CHARLES D., and C. JASON THROOP. 2009. Husserlian Meditations and Anthropological Reflections: Toward a Cultural Neurophenomenology of Experience and Reality. Anthropology of Consciousness 20, no. 2: 130-170.