What is Digital Life?

For better or for worse, our lives are now mediated in great part by things we do with bits and bytes. Whether we are trying to write the great American—or Latin American—novel, whether we are taking pictures of an elementary school performance or organizing the next big round of protests around the world, whether we are looking for a rare coin or seeking backers to build a hospital in a rural area, we do it by interacting with bits and bytes.

Now, that comes with a caveat. When I write “we,” I am self-consciously talking about those of us who have access to a computer, and have the minimum literacy to use it.[1] There is a vast number of human beings who, although affected by the things we do with bits and bytes, do not have the same access to this new brave digital world, and more often than not pay dearly because of it.

We are not quite yet “cyborgs” as Haraway would have liked, and I have the hunch that we will never become half computer-half human, as we never became half machine-half human after the industrial revolution. But it is undeniable that for those of us who have grown up in a world mediated by computers there is no escape, and, as Merleau-Ponty would have put it, our sense of self does not end with our bodies, nor with our clothes, nor with the world around us, but it also includes the evanescent flickering of bits and bytes inside the computers we use.

This blog, or simply digital log, is a record of some prosaic, philosophical, exploratory, and opinionated adventures into the digital life, without forgetting, of course, a few hands-on pieces. The categories and the tags at the right side of the page should be clear enough to let you pick and choose. I hope that, if anything, you’ll find some solace on these pages.

Happy reading!

Note: Like every human enterprise, this digital log is—and will ever be—a work in progress. Any suggestions to improve the texts, references, design and overall experience are welcome. Please write to Digital Life.

  1. Let’s call minimun literacy the understanding that the computer is an interactive machine, the skill necessary to use an input device, and the ability to use an application with it.  ↩

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