Cyber-psychology/ Cyborg Psychology

Below you will find the table of contents and summary of the book I am currently working on. Emotional literacy is an aspect of this larger picture. I should explain that I called this subject cyber-psychology long before the "cyber" affix was added to everything but the kitchen sink. I am considering changing the title to Cyborg Psychology. No matter, if you want to download the whole book I can make it available to you via e-mail . I can also get you a spiral bound hard copy or a diskette of it; if you are interested you can order them.

If you are interested in further reading along these lines you might want to look at Robert Anton Wilson's Home page. I recommend his book Prometheous Rising.

You may also want to read Transactional Analysis in the Information Age a lengthy paper regarding the subject.

NEW! Free!! A recent revision of The Other Side of Power is available for viewing and downloading.

CYBER-PSYCHOLOGY

Love, Power and Redemption

In the Age of Information Machines

 

 

by

Claude M. Steiner PhD

 

1997 Claude Steiner. 2901 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705, U.S.A. (510)843-9667FX:848-9789 csteiner@igc.org    www.claudesteiner.com

Table of Contents page

INTRODUCTION. Beyond the Information Age

BOOK ONE. Technology and Humanity.

Chapter 1. The Global Cyborg.

Chapter 2. The Incredible Shrinking Planet.

Chapter 3. Technological Explosion, Emotional Implosion.

BOOK TWO. Information.

Chapter 4. Information; Info-Hunger and the Info-Economy.

Chapter 5. Cybernetic Information; Friend or Foe?

BOOK THREE. Power Literacy, Info-literacy and Emotional Literacy.

Chapter 6. Power Literacy; Violence or Charisma?

Chapter 7. Info-Literacy; Passivity or Interactivity?

Chapter 8. Emotional Literacy; The Heart and/or The Machine

CONCLUSION. Games Cyborgs Play

Appendix. A Cybernetic Age Glossary.

 

 

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BOOK ONE

Technology and Humanity

Humanity, at the beginning of the third millennium of modern civilization, has, as a side effect of some of its technological achievements, brought the biosphere to the verge of catastrophic population dysfunction and environmental pollution conditions. At the same time, parallel technological developments are responsible for integrating people with machines, especially information machines  -- the "cyborgization" of society -- and linking people around the world in a global communications net. The indiscriminate integration of people with machines brings with it a catalogue of increasingly negative psychological side-effects; anxiety, depression, hopelessness, cynicism, alienation, physical end emotional abuse, murder and suicide. When these psychological effects become wide spread in society they lead to wide spread violence, ethnic persecution and "cleansing,"  terrorism, genocide and finally, ecocide; the daunting consequences of surrender to the cybernetic -- self guided -- machines  On the other hand, those very machines could be utilized, in fact are essential--given emotionally literate use--in the redemption of a sustainable, humane future.

 

BOOK TWO

Information

Human behavior is determined by information. Information is at the core of life and people need information, just as they need air, water and food, to stay alive. Information hunger can be perverted and exploited just as other human needs for food, sex or affection. In the Cybernetic Information Age, deceptive and false information -- info-junk -- as well as information overload are acquiring the power to defeat people's genetic and experiential capacities to survive. These two toxic information conditions –- info-junk and information overload -- obscure life-threatening situations developing around the world, inhibit us from protecting ourselves from them and prevent us from using feedback for bringing about necessary change. On the other hand we are developing the info-technology to adequately provide everyone with accurate knowledge, including knowledge about information; herein lies the key to our future.

 

BOOK THREE

Power Literacy, Info-literacy and Emotional Literacy

Human power, has been largely expressed in our patriarchal culture through violence and control. However human power has an unacknowledged "love-centered," emotionally based component which needs to be brought forward and made a part of our evolution as human beings. We are at a crossroads; partnership building technologies in the hands of "emotionally literate," love-centered people have the capacity to do what is necessary for our survival as humane cyborgs. The power of truthful, valid, feedback-based information distributed through the global network and its potential for democracy can halt and reverse the damage caused so far by the indiscriminate misuse of technology by autocratic, control and war-inspired governments and leaders. The difficult years of adjustment ahead require such a paradigm shift -- from Control Power to Love Power -- a dramatic leap in mimetic evolution, in a critical mass of the world's population, facilitated by information technology. Only in a truly democratic, partnership based open society can the human being, body and spirit, thrive.

CYBERNETIC AGE GLOSSARY

biot: see cyborg

console cowboy: a Gibsionian neologism referring to a computer expert specializing in the navigation of cyberspace

Cyberia: a virtual country complete with territory, (cyberspace) population, (cyberians) language, (cyberspeak) and culture. Discovered by Rushkoff, who describes it as "heralded by the '60s, potentiated by the computer and other technologies, mapped by chaos math and quantum physics (and) fueled by psychedelic drugs and brain foods."

Cyberians: citizens of cyberia,"a group of young people who are characterized primarily by a faith in their ability to consciously rechoose their own reality -- to design their experience of life." (Rushkoff) Also known as Zippies. ("Zen inspired, pagan professionals.") Cyborgs.

Cybernetic Information: information produced by and residing in information machines (rather than genes or memes)

Cybernetic Information Order: the patriarchal system of domination in the cybernetic age.

cybernetics: the field of control and communication theory

cybernetic machine: a machine controlled by a machine.

cybersex: the pursuit of sexual activity in cyberspace

cyberspeak: the language of Cyberia.

cyberspace: the realm within computer networks and information machines. Cyberspace can be made perceptible through virtual reality devices so that people can interactively move within it.

cyberpunk: a Gibsonian neologism referring to an outlaw cyborg.

cyborg: an integrated system of organism and machine.

global cyborg: a system of integrated cyborgs spanning the globe

datasphere: see telnet.

disinformation: a form of deceptive information carefully designed to appear truthful.

disinfotainment: disinformation designed and highly produced to entertain.

dystopia: the opposite of utopia. A fictitious account of horrors to come.

 

edge games: games challenging the boundaries of normalcy. Played by cyberians and cyberpunks at varying levels of risk.

emotional literacy: the capacity for sophisticated utilization of emotional information

entropy: the process defined by the second law of thermodynamics which defines the inevitable, ultimate decay of the energy of the universe.

Gibson, William: science fiction writer. Cyberian guru who defined and described cyberspace

hard wired: Built in, see "read only."

hardware: the physical components (microchips, wires, memory devices, boxes) of information machines.

information: a system within the universe that opposes the entropic process. Reduction of uncertainty. Data that has been made meaningful and is communicated.

analogue: information that has been transformed into a simpler form, analogous to the original data.

definition: regarding graphic information. High or low depending on the detail involved.

digital: information that has been translated to a succession of on and off states

emotional: information about emotional states.

linguistic: information transmitted in written or verbal form

overload: a confusing excess of available information.

infotainment: a form of entertainment that proposes to convey valid information.

info-culture: the culture of the Cybernetic Age.

info-environment: the totality of information that impacts and is perceived by our senses.

info-friendly: a person positively disposed toward information technology.

info-highway: another word for cyberspace.(A Clinton-Gore neologism)

info-hunger: the genetic need for information.

info-hustler: a con man using Cybernetic Age methods.

info-junk: data organized into an entropic system. Data that has the appearance of information but is, in fact, noise or purposefully deceptive.

info-literacy: the sophisticated understanding of the cybernetic age.

info-net: see telnet.

info-pathology: the diseases of the cybernetic age.

info-psychopathology: the mental disorders of the cybernetic age.

info-phobia: the aversion and anxiety associated with Cybernetic Age technology.

info-poor: a person lacking in information and in possession of info-junk.

info-psychology: a Leary neologism; the psychology of the information age, as opposed to industrial age psychology.

info-rich: a person in possession of information.

info-technology: the technology of the Cybernetic Age.

interactive: capable of mutually responsive interaction between people and machines.

Interactive media: media that have interactive capabilities with its users.

meme: an information complex which captures the imagination and is therefore replicated. When it spreads rapidly through a population it is called a (memetic) virus. By self-replication across populations and down the generations it is the basis for cultural evolution. When it spreads with exponential rapidity it becomes a paradigm shift.

memetic information: the post-modern equivalent of learning, experience, nurture. Competes with and complements genetic information in the guidance of behavior.

morphogenesis: the belief that any experience or information held by a life form will disseminate throughout the universe unaided. A version of holographic reality.

nanotechnology: technology based on the manipulation of molecules.

nerve chip: a microchip which interfaces a machine with the central nervous system.

noise: meaningless data interfering with the acquisition of information.

read only: a data storage system from which cannot be modified and from which one can only read information. Hard wired. Genetic information is read only.

robot: a machine designed to perform human functions.

paradigm shift: "a profound (population wide) change in the thoughts, perceptions and values that form a particular vision of reality." Fritjoff Capra

simstim: A Gibsonian device, which strapped to the head will provide a completely realistic sensory experience.

software: information that drives machines.

techno-animism: the belief that technology, being produced by human, has an animistic dynamic which supports human desires, constructive or destructive.

teledildonics: sexual stimulation across cyberspace.Cybersex.

telnet: the global communications network, the datasphere.

vaporware: fictitious soft and hardware, imagined by visionary cyber-technicians and sold by the media and info-hustlers as real. A merchandising device used by Microsoft to scare competitors away from certain projects.

virtual reality: the computer production of a realistic sensual experience.

wireheading: inputting information directly into the CNS via nerve chips

wetware: a loose cyberian term referring to the genetic code and the central nervous system.

 

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