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Bipartisan linguistic politics and Cyborg Anthopology

December 7, 2012

At CNN: Cyborg anthropologist: We can all be superhuman by Amber Case:

As a student of cyborg anthropology, Case studies the symbiotic interactions between humans and technology.

For Case:

A cyborg is simply someone who interacts with technology … A cyborg is not Terminator or Robocop, but the experience of everyday life that’s been altered by technology. Everyone that uses technology is a superhuman. It’s not so strange anymore because it’s the norm — most everyone else around us is also a superhuman. The only time we notice it is when our devices run out of power. We’re all super humans until our devices lose energy.

And so then what does it then feel like to be that human without the super-human power? Perhaps something like a zombie? Zombie anthropology might be a sort of inverse to the cyborg phenomenon. It could be conceived as a sort of zombie-within the cyborg.

Zombies trapped inside cybernetic machines may need protection of a bill of rights. See Tori Linville’s article in The Crimson White (Student weekly of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa): “English students march for ‘zombie bill of rights’“:

Spawned from English professor Patti White’s Apocalypse in Literature class, students with bloody makeup and torn clothes slouched their way to the library from four different directions on the Quad to listen to a zombie manifesto and declare their rights as law-abiding zombies.

And in the machine world, it’s all about the code. So linguistic politics, the House passed a bipartisan bill to strike the word “lunatic” from federal law – See NYTimes: “House Approves Eliminating ‘Lunatic’ From Federal Law” – particularly removing the term of art “committee of estates of lunatics” from banking law about guardianship. Read the full text of S 2367:

This Act may be cited as the ‘21st Century Language Act of 2012’.

And see “Congress Overwhelmingly Votes to Ban the Word ‘Lunatic’” by Emma O’Connor:

Our duly elected representatives have a reputation for being forever locked in disagreement, but apparently they can reach a conclusion when facing issues of linguistic politics. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted 398-1 in support of a bill banning the use of the word “lunatic” in all federal legislation

One has to admire Rep. Gohmert for his opposition to the “modernization of language”. Gohmert voted nay in order to grandstand on the lunacy of the current federal spending policies.

Anyway, it’s kind of absurdly fascinating that the divided House could agree so easily on a term’s irrelevance (particularly as someone studying the uses of another absurd word).

Recall other Cyborg stories on ZombieLaw
And recall Zombie Linguist Grammar Rules

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