Donna Haraway (1944 – still alive, suckers), is today a professor at UC Santa Cruz in the History of Consciousness department along with Angela Davis. She is famous for arguing that we are all cyborgs. Recall that Heidegger saw technology as an intimate part of human existence and tools as genuine extension of self. Haraway argues that we should create a modern myth to guide our lives in the age of computers, the myth that we are now cyborgs, half human and half machine. While much of ancient and modern mythology is concerned with purity and coherence, Haraway suggests we substitute an understanding of hybridity, of the technological otherness of modern humanity. Haraway, a third wave feminist, is also interested in the hybrid nature of humanity in terms of gender, female and male co-defining each other.
Haraway’s new myth is often considered in light of Postmodern science fiction of the eighties. Consider the film Blade Runner, in which androids are almost indistinguishable from humans, which inspired William Gibson’s famous classic Neuromancer, the book which coined the term ‘cyberspace’, the first of the cyberpunk genre. Blade Runner and Neuromancer are central examples of Postmodern fiction. It was at this time that Haraway argued that we are all cyborgs, infused with technology such that our lives and ideology are intertwined with it.