Publication Date

12-2013

Journal

M/C - A Journal of Media and Culture

Volume

16

Issue

6

Abstract

It is a central premise of the advertising campaigns for nearly all digital communication devices that buying them augments the user: they give us a larger, better memory; make us more “creative” and “productive”; and/or empower us to access whatever information we desire from wherever we happen to be. This study is about how recent popular cinema represents the failure of these technological devices to inspire the enchantment that they once did and opens the question of what is causing this failure.

Using examples from the James Bond films, the essay analyzes the ways in which human users are frequently represented as the media connecting and augmenting digital devices and NOT the reverse. It makes use of the debates about the ways in which our subjectivity is itself a networked phenomenon and the extended mind debate from the philosophy of mind. It will prove (1) that this represents an important counter-narrative to the technophilic optimism about augmentation that pervades contemporary advertising, consumer culture, and educational debates; and (2) that this particular discourse of augmentation is really about technological advances and not advances in human capacity.

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