Many writers, though mostly in my own recollection women, have responded to
the prosthetic aspects of virtual spaces and their connection with the
natural. Not to be an essentialist (rather to be a man who learns from
women), I think the construction of this natural relation among person and
world and thing is much different than the male sense which makes every
prosthetic extension a tool. The difference is between doing something in
the world and doing something to the world. Carolyn’s comments join a
conversation of woman thinkers as widely dispersed as Donna Haraway and
Helene Cixous.

Haraway says that “High-tech culture challenges…dualisms in intriguing
ways. It is not clear who makes and who is made in the relation between
human and machine. It is not clear what is mind and what body in machines
that resolve into coding practices.” Her cyborg formulation calls us to
attend to our lack of clarities rather than force clarity, to see that we
code ourselves in our (inter)actions, whether with fork, or stick, or book,
or webspace.

The problem (a problem) has been that the former pair (fork and stick)
tempt us to think we are doing to a world while the latter pair (book and
web) help us understand that we are doing in a world (which we are
ourselves within). World and one permeate one and (an)other.

No wonder we sometimes drop the rice from the chopsticks. As Helene Cixous
says, “The person who doesn’t tremble while crossing a border doesn’t know
there is a border and doesn’t cast doubt on their own definition.”

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