Online Bodies as Ghosts

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“Disembodied” is a term frequently used in academic analysis of online life. For example Dery writes of ‘disembodied... combatants’ (1993: 559), Marcus of a ‘disembodied medium’ (1996a: 23), McLagan of ‘disembodied communication’ (1996: 161), Danet et al of ‘disembodied "virtual play"’ (1998: 41), while Wertheim ambiguously oscillates between arguing that people perceive Cyberspace as immaterial or that it is an ‘immaterial space of mind’ (1999: 41, 228-9, 231-2).

Email is also sometimes stated to be like “disembodied” or, “mind to mind communication”. This model, and attacks on this model, were moderately common on Cybermind. For example John writes:

It took a while, but I learned to type and Zen-program in my sleep and suddenly I wasn’t in my chair in a computer lab, I had left it and was in an astral plane. Programs were spells, and I was a magi of unlimited mana.

In reply to KK, who wrote ‘a soul is nothing but a neuro chemical process’, Paula wrote:

"Oh PLEEEEEEASEE. Always and forever the soul is an electric force that shivers and shimmers and reflects the essence of a human being. Don’t you know that’s why we take so natually to cyberspace? It’s a lovely marriage of electrons, human and machine".

Source: The Online Body Breaks Out? Asence, Ghosts, Cyborgs, Gender, Polarity and Politics Jonathan Marshall