Thursday, October 22, 2009

consumers and cyborgs

The interview with Alphagraphics made me consider the research that we, as consumers, need to take part in to gain the truth behind commercial practices and products. On the surface, Alphagraphics would seem to be a very environmentally responsible company and if you were an environmentalist looking for a printer, they would fit the mold nicely. However, after the interview I realized how much the internet website had exaggerated their environmental stance and involvement. We should not have to partake in a 30-minute questionnaire to attempt to get at the truth behind their marketing. As consumers, we have the power to control the demand and the overall success of businesses because of the lay out of the free market economy. For the most part I feel like I am constantly being deceived by marketing ploys, false advertising and mislabeling. I don’t think we should have to constantly question and challenge corporations on their procedures. There needs to be more transparency within the system. The consumer can only become an informed consumer if they have accessibility to accurate information. This also relates to the company’s management practices, if they were using sustainable products there would be no reason to display deceiving information; they would want to publicly announce their dedication to reducing their impact on the environment.

On another note, I thought Randy’s presentation on cyborgs was very intriguing. I couldn’t quite grasp how he would utilize the framework or the terminology until the discussion got going full force. I recognize now that it is more of a working philosophy to analyze the surrounding world and our place within it. The day following his presentation, I actually encountered a review of a video online where someone had used cyborg to describe the men in the video. It was a very accurate use of the framework. The video covered a group of people that are referred to as the bird men. They have constructed wingsuits made of nylon to propel them forward when jumping off of cliffs. The wings allow them to stay afloat three times longer than skydivers and they have more control in turns because of the wind pressure in the wings. The use of bird physiology in the construction of the wingsuit takes the cyborg idea through several levels. The study of how bird wings function is examining organic mechanisms. Then those are adapted to an inorganic structure, the wingsuit, which is attached to an essentially organic being, a human. I think “cyborgic thought” (if that works) can greatly vary in the degree of detail and this is what provides it flexibility in dialogue.

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