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My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts Paperback – October 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0226321486 ISBN-10: 0226321487 Edition: First Edition

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My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts + How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics + How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226321487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226321486
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A deeply insightful and significant investigation of how the science and rhetorics of cybernetics have reshaped the boundaries of human identity." - Village Voice "In her important new book, N. Katherine Hayles... traces the evolution over the last half-century of a radical reconception of what it means to be human and, indeed, even of what it means to be alive, a reconception unleashed by the interplay of humans and intelligent machines." - Chicago Tribune"

About the Author

N. Katherine Hayles is the John Charles Hillis Professor of Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of three books, including How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics, and the editor of Chaos and Order: Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Buchliebhaber on January 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful intellectual venture that takes readers to a fresh vantage point. A new path for digital humanities, an exciting field.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Auerbach on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The technical knowledge on display in this book is thin indeed. Whatever one makes of the theory, there are so many factual errors in the presentation of computer science as to make the book wholly untrustworthy. Here is a sample:

"Some of the strategies C++ uses to achieve its language-like flexibility illustrate how it makes use of properties that do not appear in speech or writing and are specific to coding systems. Procedural languages work by what is called "early binding;' a process in which the compiler (the part of the code hierarchy that translates higher-level commands into the machine language) works with the linker to direct a function call (a message calling for a particular function to be run) to the absolute address of the code to be executed. At the time of compiling, early binding thus activates a direct link between the program, compiler, and address, joining these elements before the program is actually run. C++, by contrast, uses "late binding;' in which the compiler ensures that the function exists and checks its form for accuracy, but the actual address of the code is not used until the program is run. Late binding is part of what allows the objects to be self-contained with minimum interference with other objects."

Where this is not simply wrong (C++ IS a procedural language and predominantly uses early binding unless virtual inheritance makes it impossible), it is nonsense (the last sentence).
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