Monday, January 31, 2005

iPod therefore iAm

Wired News writes about Prof. Markus Giesler's ethnographic study of iPod users called "iPod Therefore iAm." Giesler uncovers the formation of a new "cyborg consumer":
According to Giesler's preliminary research, the iPod isn't simply an updated Walkman. It's an entirely new beast: a revolutionary device that transforms listeners into "cyborgs" through a process he calls "technotranscendence."

Unlike the Walkman, the iPod taps into a "hybrid entertainment matrix," in which functions like random shuffle are a key construct, not just a cute marketing device.

"IPod and user form a cybernetic unit," said Giesler. "We're always talking about cyborgs in the context of cultural theory and sci-fi literature, but this is an excellent example that they're out there in the marketplace.... I have seen the future, and it is called the cyborg consumer."

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