This weeks lecture and reading encompassed ideas connecting media, minds and bodies including brief histories of the main models of these and the effects these models have on the theories.

The readings were based on theories including behaviourism, cybernetics, cognitivism, constructivism, embodied mind, enactivisim and extended mind.

A brief summary of these theories:

  • Cybernetics as described by Ray Ascott is the art of interaction in dynamic networks. This involves the social system, regulatory system, the game theory which is influenced by the systems theory which reflects behavior and decision making and feedback (involving information past and present which extends to effect the present and future), any action that generates change.
  • Cognitivism is the value of knowing something. Cognitivism also relates to the mechanics of the mind, understanding something. In order to know something, thinking must occur.
  • As an extension of ‘thinking’ this relates to constructivism which is influenced by new contextual media such as new cultures and technology.

These theories reflect the influence of new media within the 21st century.  These new internet technologies are integrating with the processes within our brain and therefore our minds. An example is the mobile phone. In the group discussion at this weeks tutorial, our table was how our mobile phones have truly integrated, as, a part of our brains (whether we like to admit it or not). This is especially so within smartphones that enables users to download applications of new media, such as social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The mobile phone has become our secondary source of memory in regards to friends’ birthdays, phone numbers and basic reminders. We don’t have to memorise dates of birthdays anymore because they are all stored within Facebook’s ‘memory’, phone numbers are stored within contact lists and basic reminders can be written on ‘note’ applications on smart phones. We have been trained and conditioned to manipulate these pieces of media to our advantage, as an extension of our brains.