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May 20, 2008

This weekend I finally got to see Ironman, Marvel’s first independent and remarkably successful production after years of sharing revenue with mega-studios that produced films about their heroes.

Ironman is one of the heroes ‘covered’ in the latest Met exhibition: Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, a very swanky cool exhibition exploring the hero image through costumes, and through cloths inspired by them. One of the things that separates this summer’s superheroes such as Batman and Ironman from the regular superhero, is the fact they were not born with super powers, but had the superpower ‘technology’ inflicted upon them. They use gadgets and technology (‘web’ technology specifically ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) as aids. They, as the exhibition curator show stresses, exemplify the decreasing gap between the body, and technology, and the grey line between them.

The borders of the human body and the ‘self’ are an ancient debate, and an eternal philosophical question.
The power of technology brings a spark to my eyes and a shiver down my back. Where is the point where humanity and technology become one, how can this be controlled, do we want it to be controlled and what does ‘control’ mean anyway? (e.g. can we say today that technology is already controlling us as most of our lives revolve and are organized around it?).

This really reminds me of one of my favorite information theories – ANT: Actor network theory. It is impossible to get into this theory in a blog, let alone i a single post, so I strongly recommend those of you working in IT environments to read about it, as it speaks of looking at IT systems and processes in a holistic manner, analyzing technology and systems ‘need’ and ‘behaviors’ just as much as those of its human counter-parts. It’s a relatively radical theory which puts technology and humans on the same level of analysis and importance, and just like Ironman, is beautiful and scary at the same time.

If you were given the option of becoming Ironman or Batman, a hybrid of a human and a gadget, were you to take it?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Andrรฉ permalink
    May 22, 2008 2:19 pm

    I sometimes wonder if I’m practically becoming Ironman when I go to the dentist and they install root canals and crowns. I recently saw an oral surgeon that recommends I get my jaw bone reduced and have metal plates screwed in.

    Do you have a link to an article online explaining the ANT theory? Sounds interesting.

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