Home > Uncategorized > Cell phones in our skin?

Cell phones in our skin?

A few weeks ago, I witnessed a professor (I think he’s the one who teaches in the Hank seminar room across from our classroom) smoking a cigarette right in front of the Dean’s Residence. I probably looked silly or confused as I stared intently at the device; to me, it just wasn’t quite right. I asked Professor Rejack about it in class, who told me that the man was smoking an electronic cigarette. While some of you may have already heard of this contraption, this was entirely new to me. Growing up with a chain-smoking brother and sister-in-law, I’ve only ever seen the regular cigarettes that come in small paper boxes. This new piece of technology truly floored me.

In addition, it was ironic to me that at the time, we were intently discussing Neuromancer and Gibson’s apparent arrangement of human versus technology. When we divided into groups to analyze passages from the cyberpunk novel, my group came to the conclusion, based on our textual evidence, that Gibson implies that the technological world and reality are merging. While some may believe the two realms to be separate, mutually exclusive entities, Gibson argues that they are actually amalgamating. We discussed how ambiguous the matrix and Case’s meat space become as the novel progresses. I would even take it a step further and suggest that Gibson might be warning his audience that this phenomenon could take place in the future; maybe he believes that someday we won’t be able to tell the difference between cyberspace and meat space.


Although I’m not entirely certain about the above statement, I certainly think that Gibson would see the electronic cigarette as a perfect example of the unification of humans and technology. Although fire may be considered a technological innovation in itself, I personally consider smoking quite humanistic. This human habit is now integrated even more so with technology, as the cigarette is entirely a gadget! Aside from the claims that the electronic cigarette is a healthier (yet “satisfying”) alternative to regular cigarettes, it’s entirely fascinating to me that someone can now smoke his or her electronic cigarette, puff fake smoke, then re-charge the gadget for the next use! That’s crazy! Unless you are exceptionally observant, you probably won’t notice the electronic cigarette. In this way, a piece of technology (the electronic cigarette) is indistinguishable from reality (a regular cigarette). The blurring of cyberspace and meat space climaxes in Neuromancer when the reader is no longer able to clearly determine which realm the narrator is describing. Perhaps the electronic cigarette is the first step in the full consolidation of humans and technology.

I can only imagine what the next step might be…

Cell phone implants in our skin?

Categories: Uncategorized
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