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FleshFactor: RE: Re: re: Something has been bothering me...

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"

The idea of products or services constructing themselves on a computer
screen as a result of information "coming down" from the Internet and the
World Wide Web is a very attractive prospect for entrepreneurs. There is a
sense of power and control the owner of a server has, once removed from
the flesh market. Similarly, most developers of agent technologies refer
to the agents as servants, butlers, helpers and personal assistants. Again
we encounter the "top down" hierarchy with the master and assistant
metaphor. For instance, one of the most celebrated bots on the net is
Julia, created by Michael Maudlin of Carnegie Mellon University -- on the
Web page about the program she is represented as a maid. 

Yes, "machines are just machines", but the developers are embedding
conceptual frameworks that to a large degree determine our relationship to
them. Tom works towards the idea of extension while Robert's critique
(somewhat rude), rather reinforces the idea of master/slave relationship
that I consider to be largely the problem.

Victoria Vesna   <vesna@arts.ucsb.edu>

Associate Professor,
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

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