Musings and Mumblings
The inner monologue of Kiley Fischer
It’s not just your mother
Categories: Class work

“…in the 1930s and 1940s, people who were employed to do calculations — and it was predominantly women who performed this clerical labor — were called “computers” (Hayles 1).

I love history.  Despite that, I didn’t understand the title of this book until I read the first sentences of the prologue.  “My Mother Was a Computer” sounds like a hokey 80s horror movie or a 90s follow-up to “Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.”  Instead, it uses a historical reference to bring about an idea and an image.

While I’ve found Hayles book to be an incredibly dry and tedious read thus far, she does do an interesting job in the that first sentence.  I’m left thinking, “Well, WHY was your mother a cyborg?” and “Oh man, here comes the sci-fi garble.

Instead, I get an interesting view of history.  However, if history repeats itself, it makes me wonder: if we continue making computers that are specialized for music or gaming, will we be left being able to choose the Jitterbug of Macs or PCs?  It would make sense, yes?

Who knows if future mothers will be computers.  All we can know is that technology is changing at an alarming pace.  How much longer until we’re living like the Jetsons?


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