While reading the Towards embodied virtuality chapter in N. Katherine Hayles’ How we became posthuman: virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics (1999), I found the above video helped me to begin thinking about the concept of feedback loops.
As I consider further the blurring of boundaries between human and machine, I read the below from Hayles (1999: 2):
‘Central to the construction of the cyborg are informational pathways connecting the organic body to its prosthetic extensions. This presumes a conception of information as a (disembodied) entity that can flow between carbon-based organic components and silicon-based electronic components to make protein and silicon operate as a Single system. When information loses its body, equating humans and computers is especially easy, for the materiality in which the thinking mind is instantiated appears incidental to its essential nature. Moreover, the idea of the feedback loop implies that the boundaries of the autonomous subject are up for grabs, since feedback loops can flow not only within the subject but also between the subject and the environment. From Norbert Wiener on, the flow of information through feedback loops has been associated with the deconstruction of the liberal humanist subject, the version of the “human” with which I will be concerned. Although the “posthuman” differs in its articulations, a common theme is the union of the human with the intelligent machine.’
(Hayles 1999: 2)