Techno-animism in Japan: Shinto Cosmograms, Actor-network Theory, and the Enabling Powers of Non-human Agencies

In a wide range of contemporary debates on Japanese cultures of technological practice, brief reference is often made to distinct Shinto legacies, as forming an animist substratum of indigenous spiritual beliefs and cosmological imaginations. Japan has been described as a land of Shinto-infused ‘techno-animism’: exhibiting a ‘polymorphous perversity’ that resolutely ignores boundaries between human, animal,…

Why We Need Better Ethics for Emerging Technologies

Technological revolutions are dissected into three stages: the introduction stage, the permeation stage, and the power stage. The information revolution is a primary example of this tripartite model. A hypothesis about ethics is proposed, namely, ethical problems increase as technological revolutions progress toward and into the power stage. Genetic technology, nanotechnology, and neurotechnology are good…

What’s ‘home’ Got to do with it?

This article focuses on how we can understand the contradictory dynamics through which communications technologies have been domesticated at the same time that domesticity itself has been dislocated. The article addresses questions of historical periodization and the need for a more developed historical perspective on the futurological debates about the new technologies with which so…

Terminator Niches

The aim of this paper is to connect studies in cognitive niches with the diffusion of high-technologies, cyborgs and robots, so as to obtain a new framework for analyzing some dilemmas of future technological developments. Digital technologies dramatically boosted the niche constructing dynamics by allowing the construction of new informational environments and by the addition…