Cyborglogs ("glogs")

Clynes defined Cybernetic organisms (also known as "cyborgs", "borgs", and somewhat as "posthumans") by way of a synergy between human and machine such that operation of the machine does not require conscious thought or effort on the part of the human. The theory of Humanistic Intelligence (HI) makes this concept more precise, and focuses on machines of an informatic nature. HI is defined as intelligence that arises from the human being (being) in the feedback loop of a computational process in which the human and computer are inextricably intertwined. This inextricability usually requires the existence of some form of body-borne computer. When a body borne computer functions in a successful embodiment of HI, the computer uses the human's mind and body as one of its peripherals, just as the human uses the computer as a peripheral. This reciprocal relationship, where each uses the other in its feedback loop, is necessary for a successful implementation of HI. This theory is in sharp contrast to many goals of Artificial Intelligence (AI) where the computer replaces or emulates human intelligence.

Early cyborg communities of the late 1970s and early 1980s were constructed to explore the creation of visual art within a computer mediated reality. Then with the advent of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, cyborg logs (glogs, short for cyborGLOGS) became shared spaces. Such logfiles resulted in Wearable Wireless Webcam (a WWW readable cyborg logfile of daily activities), and more recently, Ito's Moblog (inspired by Wearable Wireless Webcam and Rheingold's Smart Mobs). Not to confuse Moblogging with Mobbing.

The main difference between weBLOGS and cyborGLOGS is that blogs often originate from a desktop computer, wheras glogs can originate while walking around, often without any conscious thought and effort, as stream-of-(de)consciousness glogging:

Not all glogs need be webcast, e.g. a glogger Personal Safety Device (PSD) is to the individual person as the "black box" flight recorder is to an airplane. Thus a glog may simply be a personal digital diary that functions as, for example, a visual memory prosthetic (e.g. to help an Alzheimer's patient remember names and faces). But webcasting of glogs is also quite useful, for example, to assist the visually impaired by seeking "Seeing Eye People" volunteers. The inverse of Seeing Eye People is the WebRamps project to help the mobility impaired.

Creation of glogs often involves the use of portable cameras, and as these devices get easier and easier to use, glogs can grow with little or no effort.

Cyborg communities take many of the concepts of the internet beyond the confines of the desktop. Wearable Computer Mediated Reality (EyeTap devices, digital eyeglasses, etc.) also blurs the boundary between cyberspace and the real world. But the most profound effect, is probably that of decentralized personhood made possible through ambiguous and fragmented identity collectives. The concept of an ambiguous and fragmented identity is not, in and of itself, new, because corporations have for many years enjoyed the rights and benefits conferred by personhood, without having to endure the accountability associated with a single individual. But cyborg communities now make similar constructs available to the individual. Rheingold captures the essence of such concepts with his Smart Mobs. Glogs also capture the ideas of inverse surveillance (sousveillance, from French "sous" meaning "from below" and "veiller", meaning "to watch). In this context, the body borne computer is known as "Architecture of One" (i.e. a "building" made for a single occupant), yet it provides a shell of community around that individual. Such a construct allows for "Self Corporatization" (Corporate Body), as is, for example, embodied in Kyle Amon, Inc. (a cyborg who founded a corporation in his own name). But such "mobs" are totally nonviolent. In fact they perpetrate a "low intensity peacefare", by forming a counterpoint of personal privacy to the institutional secrecy of large organizations.

The ambiguous identity of the cyborg body has transformed the world from the modernist ideal of universally agreed upon global objective reality, to the postmodernist era of fragmented indeterminate subjective collective individualism. But its weakness is on its reliance upon centralized wireless infrastructure that suggests it may give way to a post-cyborg (pastmodernist) model of authoritarian, dictated, and centralized control. Thus the future may very well rest upon the development of independent indestructible wireless peer-to-peer networks that have the unstoppable nature promised by the early internet. Using the Ouijava programming language, for example, it would be possible to create author-free computer programs (a true collective consciousness). Such infrastructure will hopefully give rise to the pastcyborg (post post cyborg) age.

--Steve Mann 2002

Example of a cyborglog:

Here is an example of a cyborglog:

Here is some rather negative press on 'glogging:, whereas many years later 'glogging was to have been accepted as mainstream.

Notes and Further Reading

G'Day (Global Glogs Day),

Select archives from a 2 year long continuous webcast (glogged 1994-1996). including the First Night Cyborg Log (1995) (preceeded by a Boston Globe Article in 1995, announcing the First Night Cyborg event).

Artist Eduardo Kac was the first person in the world to implant a microchip in his body, which he did as a form of social commentary on being "chained or branded".

Mark Dery argues that: "the human body is increasingly the site of what might be called micropolitical power struggles". Cyberculture. South Atlantic Quarterly. 91(3). Summer 1992. p.507.

Chris Hables Gray argues that: "There is ... real life and there is virtual reality, where all the crucial sense data you are using is computer generated. But there is also mediated reality, where real world data is modified for the user"

Chris Hables Gray. (2001). Cyborg Citizen: Politics in the Posthuman Age, Chapter 1, The Cyborg Body Politic, The Possibilities of Posthumanism.

Katherine Hayles, N. (1999). How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. University of Chicago Press.

Lightman, A. (2002). Brave New Unwired World. John Wiley and Sons. 314p.

Joi Ito's Moblog. (2002).

Mark Andrejevic. (2002). CO 342: Technoculture and the Information Society. Fall 2002. Department of Communication, Fairfield University.

Mann, S. (1999). Cyborg Seeks Community. Technology Review. May/June 1999

Mann, S. (2001). Intelligent Image Processing. John Wiley and Sons, 384pp, November 2, 2001, ISBN: 0-471-40637-6.

Mann, S. with Niedzviecki, H. (2001). CYBORG: Digital Destiny and Human Possibility in the Age of the Wearable Computer. Steve Mann, with Hal Niedzviecki, October 2001, Randomhouse Doubleday (Randomhouse and Doubleday have now merged). ISBN: 0385658257.

Christina Mann's birthglog (glogging when less than one minute old).

Mann, S. (2003). Existential Technology. Leonardo 36(1). MIT Press.

Mann, S., Nolan, J., Wellman, B. (2002). Sousveillance: Inventing and Using Wearable Computing Devices to Challenge Surveillance.

Mann, S., Fung, J. (2002). Mediated Reality. Presence, Teleoperators and Virtual Environments. MIT Press. 11(2), 158-175.

Mann, S. (2001) Wearable Computing: Toward Humanistic Intelligence. IEEE Intelligent Systems. 16(3), 10-15.

Mann, S. (1998). Humanistic Intelligence: WearComp as a new framework for Intelligent Signal Processing. Proceedings of the IEEE. 86(11), cover+p2123-2151. See also

Mann, S. (1998). Headmounted Wireless Video: Computer-Supported Collaboration for Photojournalism and Everyday Use. IEEE ComSoc. Special Issue on Wireless Video. 36(6). p144-151.

Mann, S. (1997). Wearable Computing, A first step toward personal imaging. IEEE Computer. 30(2), 25-32. See also

Mann, S., Böhlen, M., & Diamond, S. (2002). Decontamination, Surveillance and Ready Made Martial Law in the Anthrax Age. International Symposium on Electronic Art, p148-151, Japan. See also

Mann, S., & Guerra, R. (2001). Witnessential Networks. IEEE ISWC. p47-54. October 7-9. ETH Zurich Switzerland.

Mann, S., Fung, J., & Manders, C. (2001). Living as Cyborgs. Proceedings of CAST01 (a conference discussing intersections of artistic, cultural, technological and scientific issues). p99-103, Sept. 21-23. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. See also

Mann, S. (1998). Reflectionist Issues in Humanistic Intelligence. V2 Organisation Annual Symposium. Nov17-Nov29. Rotterdam. Also published as a book chapter in The Merging of Art, Architecture and Media Technology NAI Publishers with V2-Organization, 288pp ISBN: 9056620908, 1999.

Mann, S. (1996). Wearable Multimedia Computing and Personal Imaging. Fourth ACM International Multimedia Conference. p163-174. Nov. 18-22. See also

Mann, S. (2002). EyeTap devices. Publication of the scientific board of Triennale di Milano. p172-177. (This publication appeared together with exhibition the EyeTap invention in Triennale di Milano, Taking Eyeglasses Seriously, from the first lenses to the electronic prostheses.)

Mann, S. (2002). Mediated Reality with implementations for everyday life. PRESENCE-Connect. M.I.T. Press. August 6.

Mann, S. (2002). Sousveillance, not just surveillance.... Metal and Flesh (Chair et M\'{e}tal). CM06. Fri, 01 Mar.

Rheingold, H. The Virtual Community. See also

Starner, T., Mann, S., Rhodes, B., Levine, J., Healey, J., Kirsch, D, Picard, R. W., & Pentland, A. (1997). Augmented Reality through Wearable Computing. Presence, Teleoperators and Virtual Environments. MIT Press. 6(4), p386-398.

Wearable Computing. (2002).

Wellman, B. (2002). THE INTERNET IN EVERYDAY LIFE. Edited by Barry Wellman & Caroline Haythornthwaite