WE ARE NOT ALONE
As human beings we have lived in an organic environment that we classified as biological and sorted all of the beings into six organic kingdoms: Eubacteria, Archaebacteria, Protista, Plantae, Fungi, Animalia. But there is another kingdom, so vast, so close, so personal that is almost invisible. Kevin Kelly, tech enthusiast and senior maverick at Wired, named it the Technium and defined it as ‘anything useful invented by a mind’. With our own will to survive and procreate we became the origin, the maker of another kingdom, a kingdom much less ecological, biological and organic; a kingdom of various materials, tools, mental concepts, social organizations, in short, a kingdom of technology. This kingdom has been living and evolving along and with ourselves as species and has formed a new life, we are the origin but it also has a life of its own that grows by its own accord.
Technology has a life that we explore, use and learn about like we learn about all other organic kingdoms of life and we also use it to explore, communicate, upgrade, cultivate biological life that by now needs our intervention just to be, survive and prosper since it’s been so intertwined with technology that the latter has become a vital part of nature itself, actually technology has become naturalised and nature has lost it’s wildness and harmony that once covered the mythical place of golden age.
TECHNOLOGY IS THE DYNAMIC BY WHICH ORDER MAY EMERGE FROM DISORDER. IT IS THE WELLSPRING OF PHENOMENA.
The dynamic force that shapes techno_logical organisms with little concert to the kinds of biological or nonbiological material it chooses as long it is formed into an organism that can intra_act with the biotope it inhabits.
HUMAN MICROBIOTA_MULTIPLICITY OF BODIES
The human microbiome or human microbiota is the aggregate of microorganisms, a microbiome that resides on the surface and in deep layers of skin, in the saliva and oral mucosa, in the conjunctiva, and in the gastrointestinal tracts. They include bacteria, fungi, and archaea. Some of these organisms perform tasks that are useful for the human host. However, the majority have been too poorly researched for us to understand the role they play. Those that are expected to be present, and that under normal circumstances do not cause disease, but instead participate in maintaining health, are deemed members of the normal flora. Though widely known as “microflora”, this is, in technical terms, a misnomer, since the word root “flora” pertains to plants, and biota refers to the total collection of organisms in a particular ecosystem. Recently, the more appropriate term microbiota is applied, though its use has not eclipsed the entrenched use and recognition of “flora” with regard to bacteria and other microorganisms. Both terms are being used in different literature. Studies in 2009 questioned whether the decline in biota, including microfauna, as a result of human intervention might impede human health. Most of the microbes associated with humans appear to be not harmful at all, but rather assist in maintaining processes necessary for a healthy body. A surprising finding was that at specific sites on the body, a different set of microbes may perform the same function for different people. For example, on the tongues of two people two entirely different sets of organisms will break down sugars in the same way. This suggests that medical science may be forced to abandon the one-microbe model of disease, and rather pay attention to the function of a group of microbes that has somehow gone awry.
According to Karen Barad‘s theory of agential realism, the world is made up of phenomena, which are “the ontological inseparability of intra-acting agencies”. Intra-action, a neologism introduced by Barad, signals an important challenge to individualist metaphysics. For Barad, things or objects do not precede their interaction, rather, ‘objects’ emerge through particular intra-actions. Thus, apparatuses, which produce phenomena are not assemblages of humans and nonhumans (as in actor-network theory), rather they are the condition of possibility of ‘humans’ and ‘non-humans’, not merely as ideational concepts, but in their materiality. Apparatuses are ‘material-discursive’ in that they produce determinate meanings and material beings while simultaneously excluding the production of others. What it means to matter is therefore always material-discursive. Barad takes her inspiration from physicist Niels Bohr, one of the founders of quantum physics. Barad’s agential realism is at once an epistemology (theory of knowing), an ontology (theory of being), and an ethics. Barad coins the term onto-epistemology. Because specific practices of mattering have ethical consequences, excluding other kinds of mattering, onto-epistemological practices are always in turn onto-ethico-epistemological.