It should not be surprising that a digital journal takes seriously the question of digital materiality: what does it mean for the digital to be and how does the being of the digital impact the social relations in which it is nested and from which it emerges? Perhaps more urgently, as theorists and radicals in the Marxist tradition, we are tasked with a responsibility to engage with the materiality of the digital. How are we to think through, and alongside, our relationship with digital materialities both as postcolonial and neoliberal subjects (for whom the digital is either inescapable or inaccessible), and as radicals for whom challenging the conditions which gave rise to the predominance of the digital is a paramount task?
In Δ1.2, we are seeking submissions that engage with or open up these questions of the digital. We are interested in a variety of perspectives, from critical inquiry to tactical guides, ontological and metaphysical analyses to critiques of virtual economies. Although we will accept a wide range of topics, our primary focus with this issue is the implication of emerging studies of the materiality of the digital for leftist thought. Submissions should be between 2000 and 15000 words in length and should follow Chicago style manuscript preparation. Submissions should represent original work which interacts with relevant literature. All finished submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1st.
About The Publication: ΔMag is a journal which seeks neither to fear nor hope, but only look for new weapons in spaces outside the walls of the academy.
Hey, you're in a position to answer something I've always wondered. I hope I'm not being too indelicate by asking, and fell free to tell me where to shove it if I am, but I'm curious about the practical day-to-day impact of having mechanical digits. When everything is built with the assumption you've got ten squishy meat-fingers, how does having a rad robohand affect things like typing, cooking, playing with kittens, manufacturing improvised explosives, and other daily hand-specific tasks?
Ok, so I’m gonna have to start this out by saying that I’m a HUGE fan of your work (especially the latest stuff, you keep getting better) and a lot of it has been a huge inspiration to me, for better or worse.
If anyone else is reading this, and wants to know what a cyborg has playing on loop all day every day, go check this marvelous individual out, and maybe give them some monies to make more.
Now that my fangirling is out of the way, on to the hands.
The first thing you notice is that my hand is big. I haven’t posted any pictures in a while (though that should change shortly) but, where my bio hand is a solid Large, my mech hand is well into the XXL range. Most lever handles designed for average hands take three out of four fingers to use. You get pretty good at that pretty quickly, which leads me into the next thing:
It becomes a part of you so fast, you don’t even realize it. Within two weeks of wearing my hand, I was reaching for things with fingers I forgot to put on that morning. It becomes so natural to use you don’t even think about it.Not that it matters if I forget about it because
Everyone notices, and wants to know about it. Seriously. EVERYONE. It;s fine for me, because I think it’s the coolest fucking thing ever, but if I ever go out anywhere, I have to expect to tell someone about it. Cashiers, bus riders, people I’m standing in line with, people walking to class… Everywhere. I used to be very reserved and rather bad at talking to people, but I get a hell of a lot of practice now.
And then there’s the little things. I usually take it off for typing, because the big bulky fingers on the single muscle system can’t really handle little keys, but I can hold my phone or tablet in one hand easily, without accidentally activating the touch screen. I can lift hot lids off of pots, and choke up on the handle so my hand is right against the pot.
I’m taking a Digital Electronics class right now, and between the plastic fingers and the rubber coating I can safely poke at something or use a claw to separate two resistors that want to touch but shouldn’t, without frying anything. I used to do a lot of work with christmas lights at my old job, and I could check and change bulbs on strips that were plugged in without fear if stabbing or shocking myself.
I can carry ALL the groceries in one trip, because I don’t have to deal with circulation. I can carry them in the cold for the same reason, and I can carry them for a long distance because the downward pull of the bags makes my fingers lock into a “closed” position, so I don’t even have to work to keep my fingers shut. My hand has a “cruse control” for carrying bags.
I can carry all the groceries for a long time through the freezing cold, because I still don’t have to worry about circulation.
This also goes for holding onto exceptionally hot or cold drinks. So long as it doesn’t cook the leather palm, I’m good.
I will gleefully backhand large steel doors open just because that part of me is essentially made of armor, and I CAN. It also helps that I have a 3D printer behind me, that can replace any part of it in anywhere from two days to a few hours. My parts are semi-expendable.
A lot of my thoughts about my hand recently have been about theclaws I’ve added recently. As a designer and fabricator, I can design my hands to look and feel exactly as I want, and they can have some crazy shit like that. Claws are super useful, in addition it being totally badass.
We’ve worked a lot of the kinks out over the last few years, But here are a few issues I’ve run into:
-six fingers broken in the first five weeks.
-Cable in pinkie finger broken, making everything super fancy.
-Cable broken in middle finger, making everyone offended.
Also, if my hand is getting in the way of something, I’ll take it off. I used to keep a carabiner on my hand to clip it too a belt loop if I felt the need to remove it. Then it became an “only whenever I’d be wearing shoes” kind of deal, where I’d put it on when I go out, and then take it off for most tasks at home. These days, as I upgrade my hand, and become more and more comfortable using it, I’ve started wearing it for more tasks around the house too, including things like cooing, cleaning, cutting brass casings and building circuits for class the next day. The more I use it and the better it gets, the more things I use it for, and the more often I wear it, but I can always take it off if I feel the need.
It’s also important to note that, for me, my mechanical hand is my off-hand. I don’t use it for everything the way someone who uses two of these would, and thus I don’t encounter the same kinds of problems.Most of what I list here are benefits, because I have a sort of “fiddler crab” effect going on. I have two different hands that compliment each other. One delicate but dexterous, the other durable and slightly awkward, but still very useful.
If you have ANY other questions at all, I’d be happy to answer in asks, or in messaging, if you want anything more in depth.
I don’t think allistics understand the difference between autistic people’s abilities to communicate digitally, like online and texting, and their ability to communicate irl
I talk entirely different online and in fact this is literally the only place I’m “relatively” social, and even then it’s a struggle to keep up with friends because of autism and other mental illness and disability stuff. I’m mainly just constantly screaming into a void and occasionally interacting
Anyways back to the point: digitally I’m a lot more eloquent because I get the option to constantly revise my grammar and wording via editing and also gain access to tools such as autocorrect which makes stuff so much easier. And, again, even this is a struggle because constantly I make so many mistakes and my wording can sometimes apparently very bizarre to others but completely understandable to me, things make so much sense to me while it is completely unintelligible to others, when I’m breaking down my ability to express myself is a mess, etc.
to go to autistic people and declare them as “not really autistic because you can type!”, “not really autistic because you express yourself online a lot!” etc etc is just… Hurtful, and ignores in how important and impactful of a tool digital communication can be in helping some autistic people express themselves and express their thoughts and feelings. stop trying to erase autistic people’s experiences, stop trying to forcefully label them as not autistic or shit like “~high functioning~“for just? Fucking typing posts online?
Like you’re silencing very impressionable people and making them feel ashamed for just trying to express themselves on fucking websites and acting like expression irl is the same as expression online so therefore "um you talk too much online you aren’t autistic!!!” when, fuck, communication irl and online is an entirely different experience for a lot of people. Hell, nonverbal autistic ppl exist!