Machines as Pets

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The phone is the closest non-human ally that humans currently have. Part of cyborg anthropology concerns these new children, our new pets.

Contention 1: Pets domesticate humans. Contention 2: The substitution of an animal is a phone.

Characteristics of Pets and Children

  • Cuteness (compare to babies and children, who are constructed to be cute in order to imprint on adults and force adults to care for them).
  • Needs (phones, like pets and children, cannot feed themselves within the realm of the domestic environment. THey must be provided for by an owner or third party. In the case of the cell phone, the machine must be fed (i.e., plugged in) every 1-3 days. iPhones and other more recent smart-phones must be fed more frequently, requiring a greater commitment to htem by their owners. A cell phone also buzzes and rings, signaling the need for attention to be paid to it. Dogs bark, babies cry, and phones ring. There are not many differences.
  • Decay and Maintenance (phones have a short lifespan. On average, a human will replace or upgrade their current phone every 1-2 years. Pets die far less rapidly. Babies change and grow rapidly, morphing from one small form to a more vocal, interactive, powerful one. Our technologies rise like children beside us).