“Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere,” John Perry Barlow declared in 1996. “But it is not where bodies live.” America was getting online. Individuals could meet in chatrooms and flirt and fight without revealing what they looked like or how they sounded; they could race across vast bodies of land and sea and beyond—boosters said—the reach of governments. Even then, some critics had their doubts. In the new millennium, cyberspace merged with meatspace. Computers migrated from our desktops into our pockets and smarthomes and sex toys and medical implants.
This issue looks at how bodies and technologies cross one another. Which dreams of disembodiment are worth keeping? When must we insist that bodies matter?
No one yet knows what a body can do.
A conversation about innovation under extreme circumstances.
Loan In: Ann Larson and Orlando Del Aguila on Using Software to Organize Debtors
Every insurgency needs an infrastructure.
Toxicity is Never Consensual: Mary Maggic on Open Source Hormones
A conversation about sex, gender, and hormone hacking.
Whatever you think you got away with, it’s probably on tape.
Finding counsel and camaraderie in the forums.
The Crypto Family Farm
Blockchain’s true believers don’t always get rich.
Do Electric Sheep Dream of Water Babies?
An inquiry into the automated production of people.
The lost world of Indymedia and a path not taken for the web.
An investigation into the infinite creativity of workers.
Woke AI Won’t Save Us
Trying to make bad AI better could make it worse.
A story of borrowed sight.
If the gym is the new church, what happens when the altar at which we worship is our own image?
The Body Shop
Remotely piloted robots might be the new low-wage labor force.
What is Mormon transhumanism?
A dramatization of the abstract violence of the biometric diagram.