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Changing Life: Genomes, Ecologies, Bodies, Commodities

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In laboratories all over the world, life -- even the idea of life -- is changing. And with these changes, whether they result in square tomatoes or cyborgs, come transformations in our social order -- sometimes welcome, sometimes troubling. Changing Life offers a close look at how the mutable forms and concepts of life link the processes of science to those of information, In laboratories all over the world, life -- even the idea of life -- is changing. And with these changes, whether they result in square tomatoes or cyborgs, come transformations in our social order -- sometimes welcome, sometimes troubling. Changing Life offers a close look at how the mutable forms and concepts of life link the processes of science to those of information, finance, and commodities.These essays -- about planetary management and genome sequencing, ecologies and cyborgs -- address actual and imagined transformations at the center and at the margins of transnational relations, during the post-Cold War era and in times to come.


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In laboratories all over the world, life -- even the idea of life -- is changing. And with these changes, whether they result in square tomatoes or cyborgs, come transformations in our social order -- sometimes welcome, sometimes troubling. Changing Life offers a close look at how the mutable forms and concepts of life link the processes of science to those of information, In laboratories all over the world, life -- even the idea of life -- is changing. And with these changes, whether they result in square tomatoes or cyborgs, come transformations in our social order -- sometimes welcome, sometimes troubling. Changing Life offers a close look at how the mutable forms and concepts of life link the processes of science to those of information, finance, and commodities.These essays -- about planetary management and genome sequencing, ecologies and cyborgs -- address actual and imagined transformations at the center and at the margins of transnational relations, during the post-Cold War era and in times to come.

4 review for Changing Life: Genomes, Ecologies, Bodies, Commodities

  1. 4 out of 5

    Robert Hudder

    Still revisiting the Science Wars, I guess. This is a lot more straight forward of a read than Haraway. More traditional and less metaphorical and literary. Also, a lot less humour and whimsy. Does it make it better? I dunno. There were three essays that resonated with me and reminded me that we have gone over some of these things before. It makes me wonder why we haven't moved the public discussion in the same ways. I know part of it is the result of the science wars where folks just gave up on Still revisiting the Science Wars, I guess. This is a lot more straight forward of a read than Haraway. More traditional and less metaphorical and literary. Also, a lot less humour and whimsy. Does it make it better? I dunno. There were three essays that resonated with me and reminded me that we have gone over some of these things before. It makes me wonder why we haven't moved the public discussion in the same ways. I know part of it is the result of the science wars where folks just gave up on science. It is just another opinion that is influenced by race, sex, religion, etc. That wasn't the point. It was to examine the sociology of science or the culture of scientists and acknowledge where work was needed. That got lost and only the idea that scientists were flawed human beings and had their own agendas was left. That's kind of reflecting in what we are seeing with the whole covid thing. Anyway, the three essays... Overpopulating the world: Notes towards a Discursive Reading. It reminded me that overpopulation is often defined by Western nations against other nations without looking with a larger lens. There is lots to be said about this but the basic thing that I was thinking was who decides which nations are overpopulated and what to do about it? On one hand, all North Americans take up a shitload of resources and you could argue that overpopulation of us is causing a lot of the problems. We don't talk about that much. It seems that we are more interested in the Yellow Peril and the rise of India. Also, the focus on women's bodies makes overpopulation and its solutions a problem to be solved in the bodies of women. Feels weird to me nowadays to not talk about that but it seems it still exists. The focus of reproductive rights is a very Western one. I'll admit, I haven't looked into this one for a while but headlines suggest that we are still focusing on female empowerment to the exclusion of other opportunities. This makes babies a woman's problem. How do we know we have environmental problems? Reminds me that our history of intervention is wobbly. Part of it is how we define the problem and who defines it. At least one example hinges on the accidental destruction of a biome or growing area to to unforeseen results of things such as people moving out of the area ends up with more erosion. So, yeah. Depending on how we use science to define the metrics, it can cause solutions that are missing social elements. Do Androids pulverize tiger bones? A quick essay that uses Dick to pick apart the weird issues around species preservation through commodization where we privilege the way that the West does this versus the way that the East does it. Tiger King. That is all. Some of the same stuff covered in the documentary. I guess the takeaway on this is that we should start looking at other ways of dealing with the disappearance of species. Right now, all of them have some similarities and they are centered around usefulness of biodiversity (for novel treatments for eg), or as a commodity (Tiger bones for medicine). What is the difference? Anyway, yeah, it is good to revisit some of these. This is in the mid 90s. So we have possible solutions or ways of thinking differently that never made it into the public consciousness. Lots of this is about adding complexity or being sensitive to nuance in circumstances. Not an easy sell for a time that is driven by soundbites. Or maybe these are just bad ideas that failed or good ideas whose time has not come.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Wythe Marschall

  3. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ilana Diamant

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