Introductory thoughts on Posthumanism and Beauty or Posthuman Beauty

The first time I heard the term Posthuman was Natasha Vita More’s Primo Posthuman. Her figure fascinated me and I thought I understood what the image meant. This was back in 2007. It is now three years later and here I am writing this blog about my own understanding of posthumanism and beauty. To start, the person who has had a profound impact on my understanding has been Donna Haraway. I read Primate Visions and Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature with fervor, along with about 12 other books from a variety of disciplines. After I read these books I was not sure what knowledge I had acquired. At that point I needed to walk away and just let it stew, as my advisor says. What in the world did these books have to do with what I wanted to know? They fit, but how did they fit for my perspective.

Over time, I realized what the key was to my own understanding. On page, 196 and 334 of Primate Visions, there is reference to the tools of early primate females, the baby-sling and the containers for carrying things that these female primates invented to make their lives easier, and these inventions were right alongside male created weaponry tools. These baby-slings and modern cosmetic surgery or other technology adaptations for women were a revelation. I was a converted cyborg feminist or, now I’m thinking, posthuman feminist. I love the liminal space and the intersections.

Now, I sometimes get snide looks or wrinkled faces when I bring up Haraway and I do not care. The understandings of feminism I had held up until my introduction to Haraway left me distant to wanting to identify myself in that way. Now, I embrace it, because what it means to me is a feminine understanding of humans, culture and technology, the key being the inclusion of technology to our understanding of humans and culture. This is posthumanism to me. It is an academic approach that includes technology in various forms as viable variables to understanding society and culture.

My understanding of cosmetic surgery has been opened. Now I see it clearer as a technological choice that we have. The importance in understanding the adoption is the cultural effects. This is important too, not just the ethics, but the ramifications. Cosmetic surgery is nothing new to our society by any means; however are we studying the effects thoroughly? These effects benefit those who choose to undergo the surgery and the surgeons who are willing to offer their expertise.

This is not limited to cosmetic procedures. We have the power to take control of our bodies and we are doing this from the banal to the extreme. I had a great conversation with a dear friend the other day about how we are both really redheads on the inside. Neither of us are natural redheads and we prefer different shades, but on the inside, we are redheads. This color on our heads expresses that person inside us we know is there. Another dear friend loves heels like mad. It could be snowing or raining or she has to walk 10 miles, but she is always in heels. This is an augmentation of her natural structure. She is a taller person and these “foot extensions” are a beautiful, they are an adorable selections of heels, extension of who she is. Look at The Apprentice. On the show, virtually every female is in heels. We all know or are these women, and I do not mean to leave any other human representation out, but I am still beginning this deep understanding and I am starting with what I am, a woman. I will venture out and apply outward from there with due time. To apply a theory it has to be tested and perfected over time, which I will need to do in pieces.

Therefore, this is where I am: the study of posthuman beauty. The wondrous interplay of (wo)man, technology and culture (particularly film and advertising) has me in a flurry to unravel the narrative of what this has to tell us about ourselves and any other sentience we may later introduce.

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Filed under beauty, body parts, cosmetic plastic surgery, ethics, future, human enhancement, posthuman, rights, robot, self, technology, Uncategorized

Body parts get options: which one will you choose?

Research on making off-the-shelf body parts a reality came out this week in an article at Telegraph.co.uk, “Banks of off-the-shelf body parts could be created for transplants: researcher

“Scientists are perfecting ways of creating bare ‘scaffold’ building blocks of body parts which can then be used as a frame for a patient’s own cells to grow around.”

This brings up an interesting discussion to have. If off-the-shelf body parts become a viable option, does that also mean the option for what type of body part we want is an option? With this option, will there be a divide between those who prefer replacement limbs metal and plastic vs. blood and bone?

You lose an arm you are getting ready for surgery and the surgeon comes in to talk about the options: A) you can have a bionic prosthetic arm or B) you can have an arm similar to the one you have. What do you choose?

The decision is hard, which limb will you choose?

Moreover, why? I did a little anecdotal experiment in my home and asked my 11 yr old which he would prefer. His response was:

“I’d like to be a normal human not a ¾ human robotic” “Like to be more of a human than a robot”

My 4 yr old daughter’s response:

“Bionicle. Cause I want to be strong. I’ve never been strong before”

Now, these are kids and this is anecdotal, but the point is that there is more to it than choosing plastic or bone. It’s a choice of being more than human, “Bionicle”, and being Other, the inhuman. So why do we need a choice? It’s a choice that defines what you want your “human” self to be. We don’t have the same preference on hair, teeth, breasts, etc. We have options. So it seems that when an option for a biologically replicated arm comes about, then we have the right to choose what parts we want or don’t want on our bodies.

With the prosthetic arm, you can have increased capabilities. In addition to these capabilities, a prosthetic arm is customizable. As prosthetic skin options improve so do the aesthetic options. Think Aimee Mullins.

Multiple leg options

You can have a different arm for every occasion.

In the February 2010 issue of Fast Company, they had an article “Super Human”. It was about emergence of envy and sexiness towards those with prosthetics. I was honestly a little bit jealous of Carrie Davis’ sexy black arm in the magazine.

Carrie Davis in Fast Company

My arm will never look as good as hers does, even if I dipped it in latex and even then, not nearly as sexy. A great image captures what it can be to have options with your prosthetics. The article interviews Hugh Herr who has a lot to say about the potential for prosthetics that are not just limited to function, but are opened up to enhanced capabilities and appearance.

Now, the option discussed in the Telegraph.co.uk article. You can have artificial or you can have essentially “your” arm back. It does what you can do now. The capabilities are the same and the options are relatively limited, at least for now.

Looking at the option again, does this expand to a deeper decision? Referring back to my anecdotal example, do we want explicitly to be part robot? I am completely for the option, but like any form of body modification or enhancement, I think people have the right to have this option. What we can take away then is that we are on our way to having options and therefore need to have the right to choose what we want based on our needs and desires. It is handy for a surgeon to have access to parts for replacement, but people should have the option to choose what replacement part they want, or at the very least the option to discuss it with the surgeon beforehand. This is only the one of many questions and issues to discuss.

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Pandora’s Box gets bleached, tightened & a mint for good measure

Generally, I write about enhancement and cosmetic surgeries done to the upper portion of the body. A suggestion came in to turn my attention to the work done below the belt. Apparently, I have been neglecting to give attention to that region and there were interesting things going on. AlterNet’s Andy Wright wrote awhile back about The 6 Weirdest Things Women Do to Their Vaginas. The article made me curious about what we women were up to and what are motivations were. The list Andy gave is as follows:

  1. Vaginal Deodorant
  2. Douching
  3. Vaginal Rejuvenation
  4. Labiaplasty
  5. Vagina Mints
  6. Vaginal Bleaching & Dying

What is interesting about the article is that we are willing to beautiful an area of the body that, let us say, four people see regularly: You, Your Partner, Your baby and Your Gynecologist. Which one of these people is concerned about whether or not your vagina is in tiptop runway condition?

As far as the smell is concerned (deodorant/douching), if you want to avoid wafting, spray a good expensive perfume like you normally would and you can walk around in a cloud of flowers or fruit most of the day. If the smell is powerful enough to permeate this cloud of perfume, there may be a medical issue going on. I am not a medical professional, but I know that there are signs your body gives to tell you something wrong. It would be better to be aware of an offensive odor and figure out the reason that the odor is what it is instead of covering it up and staying in denial.

Vaginal rejuvenation and Labiaplasty, turns out to be popular after having kids. I know there can be medical problems and those are NOT what I am referring to here, I am talking about the elective and cosmetic use of this procedure. For the elective cosmetic procedures, I wonder, at what point do we look at our vagina and say they are not up to par? Who are we comparing our vaginas to that makes us feel so incredibly insecure to electively undergo a surgery in this most personal of areas? Alternatively, what is it that drives us to bleach or dye our vaginas or anus’! Ladies, it makes me wonder if we are looking too much or have run out of other viable ways to spend our time and money that this is what we are electing to do. I can see where, if this is your paid profession and need to undergo procedures for your job, and I would love to have that conversation another day. If we are putting our vaginas out there for the world to see, what is the dictate of beauty that we aspire and desire?

Mints! I know there are goodies out there; I have a friend who sells them. There are other options besides inserting foreign objects. What happened to mouthwash? Why mints? Who came up with these?

To address our third member of the list, your baby does NOT care what your vagina looks like in labor. I remember watching a show and there was an expectant mother close to her due date. She was asking for the full work-up. She wanted waxing, pedicure, the whole nine yards of vaginal/feet preparedness for baby’s birth. Admittedly, I got a pedicure before my second, it was for me and it was my only time. I know vanity and that insecurity of going in there to the stirrups and thinking, “They are all looking at me and judging me!” After three, they are not, they should not be and your baby could care less. Our baby’s are not interested in the way our vaginas smell, look or taste. They are more interested in the way you and your body, smell and tastes to some extent. In addition, I know, the baby may be the cause of #3, through normal birth or an episiotomy, but talk to your Dr. about the options, like vaginal massage and exercise, outside of the extreme of surgery.

As far as your doctor is concerned, I do not think that the extremes are necessary to give your doctor something to look at that they cannot judge. He sees your vagina once a year and he wants to see what is medically going on, not that you got a heart shaped pubic, a fresh vajazzle or bleaching. Doctors, if I am wrong, please let me know. Some maintenance grooming, but overall they should not be judging us on the superficial appearance of our vaginas. If they are, who interests are they looking out for anyway? You have a whole year before you have to make eye contact again.

I know someone will read this and think I am completely against anything outside of regular grooming. To clarify, I am not anti-beauty, anti-enhancement or anti-modification (Body mod is for another post). In this instance, we are electing here to manipulate and modify our vaginas to achieve beauty in an area that very, very few people will see unless it is your profession. I support women taking steps with our bodies and find it truly fascinating. Pushing the limits of beauty and perfection requires us to ask questions about not just what we are doing, but why. Such as, in our desire to push the limits and reach for the ideal what are we willing to go through, for whom, and at what potential expense? I would love to hear where the influence is coming from, from the self, others or society. I can imagine, because there is a power and control in modifying our bodies I imagine there also comes a change in our self-esteem when we change something so personal. We can take the reigns over nature and make ourselves be what we see in our minds. Ultimately, what are we trying to achieve, where are we going, what do we want and why?

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Women and Posthumanity: The future looks large and sexy

The body has a lot of change to go through on the path to post-humanity. There is a lot of room for improvement and enhancement. Even with all of these cool improvements and enhancements though, my cynical side emerges. While these would be great, are we giving ourselves too much credit that the choices we will make on the route to post-humanity will be practical? Isn’t society a little more vain that that? Seriously? The desire for youth and beauty is by no means a new phenomenon. However, I was caught off guard, just a bit when I was forwarded a video of an interview with Tom Ford, the fashion designer and director of the film A Single Man.  In the video  Tom talks about women being posthuman and makes some good points in the interview all of which tied in to a paper I wrote on cosmetic surgery awhile back.

He mentions that breasts today do not bear any resemblance to what actual breasts look like. He is right, they try to look natural, but the key word is “try”. Several points that his statement make me think of is, if they are unnatural looking why do we want them to look natural? As a woman who has a genetic predisposition on the higher end of the size curve, I do not understand. The unnatural version of natural looks nothing like my own natural ones, even if we are the same cup size. I have friends who fall in to the same category that I do and talked to them about it and they agree. There is a level of insecurity, but it is not insecurity about size, but about gravity. The posthuman breasts go against the body’s natural inclination to succumb to gravitational pull, if you will. My friends and I however cannot pay to fight gravity; we are left to lesser forms of posthuman enhancements such as the push-up bra. This leads to my second point about Tom’s statement: actual breasts. Is the desirable path one where breasts do not bear any resemblance to natural breasts? Form over function. Breasts work, but do we still need them to work in the same way?

We have formula now, that while it can in no way match breast milk, it does work and many women use it. It is an alternative. Before you send me any hate comments, I breastfed all three of my children, not for a year, but I did. I did eventually switch over to formula. Regardless, if we want surreally attractive breasts, does the functionality need to remain the same or will sex and sexual appeal transition to be the exclusive function.

As adults, we can talk and think about these types of questions and issues, but what about the young girls. Tom Ford makes another point in the video that girls are seeing the adults with their unnatural breasts and think that they need to get their breasts done. He goes on to mention that we have lost touch with what a real breast actually looks like. Again, as adults that is one thing, as a young girl it’s another. In the adoption of the posthuman form are we taking critical examination of what images and ideas we are passing on to the next generation. Further examination though should include the messages conveyed and the impact of these messages on young girls. When thinking about the posthuman woman, the girls of today, how will their lives change by the choices made today. They could very possibly choose to go against the grain of the constructions of beautiful breasts and choose the au natural route. Insecurity about breast size is a facet of growing up that girls deal with. Plastic surgery enables them to address these insecurities, but what do they gain and what does it solve? Large unnatural breasts are not something a mother can pass on to her daughters naturally, it will require, at this point in time, a monetary investment of perpetuation within culture.

Tom points out that we are becoming our own art by manipulating our bodies and creating them the way we want them to look. He also says that it desexualizes, comparing these beautiful bodies to cars. Since they are so glossy, polished and an idealized form of perfection, they are too scary and not human. I would love to hear the answers to the questions he poses about after these surgeries of breast enhancement does it help ones sex life? Or is it intimidating? A body in its artistic form is admirable at a distance without touching. Not like a ball of clay where you want to get your hands dirty and really play with it intensely

Last night, as I was thinking about what I was going to say in the piece I turned on VH1, yes, I think it is a valuable source for pop culture insight. It did not fail me. The show that I turned on was “VH1News Presents: Plastic Surgery Obsession”. It fit in perfectly with what I was thinking and wanted to say, without the reference to post-humanism. The show is about the rise in popularity of plastic surgery, in and now out of Hollywood. The show supports both the new ideals of women’s bodies and that the younger generation is picking up these ideals. The fact that VH1 aired the show, despite a voyeuristic appeal that shows like this have, says something about what we want to see on TV. Finally, at the end of the episode the show touched on males and cosmetic surgery. Tom Ford did not talk about the men being posthuman in his interview, or at least the clip I heard, but VH1 talked about how tricky it was for men to undergo plastic surgery and come out of it looking “natural”. Does this mean that with women getting around 98% of the plastic surgeries they are more willing to transition to a posthuman form or is it just easier for them? What does this mean and how does this reflect on men? Are men going to, can they follow the same path as women? These are interesting questions to think about in addition to the critical examinations of the decisions of women. I look forward to hearing and thoughts.

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Examining Free Reign over Vacant Eyes

Based on the amount of interest in my previous article and conversations I’ve had or seen in the interim I thought it was necessary to go back to sex, robots and ethics. In writing about sex robots, seeing the release of Roxxxy by True Companion, LLC

Roxxxy Doll Image from True Companion's Gallery
Roxxxy Doll Image from True Companion’s Gallery

and having several discussions with friends made me think more about the intrigue in AI sex robots. What is it about them that are so fascinating and keeps drawing me back in? What does this have to do with the ethical examination of the use of sex technology? Well, it has to do with how we treat these “tools” as I’ve read some refer to them as, what are the trends and what this says about our societal preferences? I realize that this topic seems cheap to discuss, people have problems with it and compared to global warming and the like it can be considered a trash throwaway topic compared to what my peers are addressing. However, the fact that it is on a carnal desire that, unless we completely move away from our sexuality see Ben Goertzel’sSexuality and Beyond, it is something that needs people to examine seriously.

However, they are intriguing and they seem to be elevated above the level of just your average toy. I can see where that discussion might not fit in here, but the release of a life-size doll, is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. After milling over it, it seems that the sticking point is in the face. There is something about the face that seems to completely change the game. We have created this doll in our image to satisfy our desires of sex and companionship. There is a lot in a face. This doll creates an ethical dilemma it seems that surrounds how to treat it and incorporate it in to the bedroom. I go back to the film AI: Artificial Intelligence and Jude Law’s character as a jigalo. Sure, we aren’t to the point where these sex robots can get up and walk out of our house, that is another issue. But we are now to the point where we can keep these types of robots in our homes if you’re willing to pay for them. Yet, it doesn’t seem that you would want to put them up on a shelf in your closet when they are not in use like your other sex toys does it? In my previous post there was a comment made of enslavement. That struck a chord with me.

They are created for our needs just like a vacuum cleaner, but they are more intimate than a vacuum cleaner. They look like us, sexier, but they look like us. They have no rights, but to please us and sit in our closet or on a chair. People are free to treat them as they like in the privacy of their own homes. But I ask, just because they are vacant behind their eyes, is that ok to just treat them as you like, as sex slaves? What are we teaching western society in accepting a robot in to their home that is not their equal and calling it nothing more than a tool? I know, I know! It has no feeling, no emotion, it is not a person. But we are creating it in our image and treating it like a soulless sex slave. So it has all the qualities of a woman we want to have sex with, besides the actual personhood. This just seems a bit, wrong in my opinion. Maybe this all stems from a childhood where I watched The Brave Little ToasterThe Christmas ToyToy Story and the like. I can get over the fact that my toaster doesn’t come to life at night and desire adventures to find me with my vacuum cleaner and desk lamp. There is no face to these objects, no way to see myself in their place. I can put on a lamp shade, but it doesn’t make me feel like a lamp. However, I can identify with this sex doll, she looks like someone, she acts like someone, she just isn’t someone. I think that going forward the use of robotics in the home that emulate us is going to bring up a lot of ethical issues that I look forward to discussing. It’s not cheap to talk about the sex dolls or irrelevant, they just happen to be the industry that got attention in the western world first. The porn industry gave us a choice on VCR over beta, now they gave us this. What are we going to do with it and how are we going to set the stage for the next better version of Blu-Ray sex dolls if you will? Just a thought.

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Big Hairy Hobbit feet are OK by me

I always like watching movies I haven’t seen in awhile again. Life changes you and your perspectives, so when you watch a movie again later you bring something new to the viewing experience. Potentially a perspective you didn’t think about the first time you went. This is what happened recently when I saw Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King while obsessively cleaning out my cabinets. (I might note too that it’s good to not look for the cues, but inadvertently discover them.) Anyhow, I was watching the movie and the interactions between the Hobbits, Humans, Dwarves, Elves, etc. I watched their world, which is technologically simple. They fight with bows & arrows, elephants, fire, quite medieval. I couldn’t stop watching the Hobbits. I love Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merriadoc. They are proud of whom they are and that pride was something I couldn’t quite shake.

It made me think of the topic of conversation surrounding genetics and the altering of genomes. While I am admittedly not an expert in genetics, one of the discussions that surround this topic is on whether or not we should alter genes. The obvious fallback movie is GATTACA, but there are other ways and film lenses in which to view this discussion. One of the aspects that interest me is who decides what is normal and what is decided by science vs. society to be changed. I recognize that the word “normal” is not necessarily the ideal term to use since normalcy is more an opinion than a fact. Normalcy can be contested depending on which side of normalcy you fall on. When I think of altering genetic feature I think of it as having great pros and cons. One of the cons is the perception that there is desire to “fix” what is not a socially acceptable “normal” feature.

As I was watching Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King, I thought about what it would be like if this technology, and therefore discussion was overlaid on to Middle Earth, after the battle and they all went home. The Hobbits have a proud culture, one where they live together as a community, everything is their size, they are as happy as anyone can be. They co-exist with those that are dramatically different from them, even if they might not all interact with these other cultures and species on a daily basis. Ok, but now look at it again with this situational overlay. What if the Humans decided that the Hobbits feet should be smaller, less hairy, and they should be taller, more like the humans? Or even, what if the Elves, who live in an Aubrey de Grey type life where they don’t age, but could, still get hit by a bus and die, decided that everyone should have rounded ears. Because there is a founded clear superiority for beings to have pointed ears and therefore the inferior rounded ears should be addressed. The feet, ears, hair, height, they are all hindrances to optimal living. Not to pick on the Hobbits, this argument can start from any of the points of view, but the Hobbits seem more relatable in this argument than even the humans to make my argument.

After watching the movie, I started thinking about how I don’t want to change the Hobbits. At least, not unless their feat, ears, height result in them having some illness or disability that is life-threatening and as a community there is agreement that these features needs to be fixed so that future generations of Hobbits don’t suffer or die from them. I think the Hobbits are quite great, just the way they are without intervention. What I’m trying to say then is that we are exploring new fantastic ways to understand, change, and enhance ourselves that it’s not a forward movement to be taken lightly or made rash. If dividing lines of opinion are to be drawn both sides need to be heard for their core arguments of pros and cons. Let’s just make sure that when with forward movements that alters ourselves that we don’t make cookie-cutter versions and those who don’t want to participate are respected too. How boring of a life that would be for everyone to be the same. There is something to be said for the differences that we have that make us unique. If they aren’t killing us off then let them be, unless it’s for aesthetics and vanity, which is another discussion I’ve already ventured in to you can check out and weigh in on. I mainly say this for those of you out there that are also concerned that society is going to be stripped of uniqueness. This is for both sides of the aisle on change. The Hobbits are wonderful, so are the Dwarves, Elves and Man (the undead army….well…if they can stop killing people and acting crazy that would help their cause). This is my take. What do you think?

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Keeping up, staying ahead and what I want for Xmas

As I’ve grown “up” in years alone, I’ve noticed that Christmas has become that time of year when I select my gifts carefully. Because of this I also try to not mention potential gift ideas unless they are ones I really want. This year is particularly selective I love technology, as those who know me are aware. I want what’s great and fabulous and new, BUT I also have my own needs in mind whenever I adopt a new technology. I get excited and want to buy immediately, but that’s not always the way to go I’ve found. I found a way to write better and the method I was employing was a trial. It would have cost me almost $200 to buy the first version and stick with it. That was a heavy decision for me to make around Christmas when I have kids to think of. So I waited and did some researching and did some serious thinking about what aspect of the software I was using I truly needed to become more productive and efficient.  I’m glad I waited. By narrowing down my needs I cut out a LOT of unnecessary steps I was employing in my process. Not only that I saved myself $200 because I found what I needed for free online. And no, I’m not revealing my method yet, that’s why there are no hyperlinks. I’m not done, I’m going to use the software this weekend and see if it works, if not, I’m going to improve my system. Whatever I adopt I want it to benefit my life by making me more productive, efficient, etc. So I’ve now turned my attention away from my writing to my reading and notetaking.

This year I’m in a PhD program and I want to be at the top of my game. Any technological advantage I can handle I want to incorporate, within my means of course. Given these parameters and desires, I have three things on my radar for consideration this year: Kindle 2, Nook and LiveScribe. For my purposes, this is how they break down for functioning in the world of a grad student.

Kindle 2 and Nook:

In one semester I have went through over a ream of paper, part of an expensive toner cartridge, almost two boxes of file folders and filled almost and entire drawer with these files. This is just for my classwork, this does not include my dissertation research which I am going to be starting on soon. I could not help to think with all the thoughts out there in the world no one has come up with a better system for this! So I started examining the Kindle & Nook. I need something that not only holds books, they both seem to do this just fine according to their websites. My needs though are a system that lets me use my multiple PDFs and do so in a really intensive way. I need to highlight important passages, I need to make notes about the passages and I need to take these PDFs back out of the device on to my computer so that I can search through them when I write my papers. It’s a tall order and I have went back and forth between the two devices for weeks now.

I like that the Nook has a way for me to use my memory card, so I can download my PDFs from class and then put them right in to the Nook to read. Kindle, from what I’ve seen has a more complicated process. Both allow me to highlight and write notes in the margin. It seems the feature difference for this is the Kindle’s keyboard vs the on screen keyboard for the Nook. Which would be best when wanting to make elaborate in-depth comments in the margins??

I lean to the Nook, but I’m worried that they released this device too quickly, I’m going to get it, then next summer they are going to improve it and I’ll be left screwed. I’ve already read random comments about them doing this, this does not reassure me in to purchasing their device. So I am left to debate still if I want to get the Nook that seems to satiate my desires, but will leave me and be outdated in a matter of months? Or do I go with the tried, true and tested Kindle who might not quite meet my desires, but I know isn’t leaving me any time soon? I’ll ask you…

Finally, let’s look at the LiveScribe. I take a lot of notes, as grad students do. I write them in my notebook, hope I heard them correctly from the professor, or copy them from another writing. Regardless I write a lot. After I’m done writing and I start writing a paper I transcribe EVERYTHING in to my computer. This makes everything searchable and allows me to connect thoughts I might otherwise have not seen because they were buried in my notes. I’m a busy girl and I want time to know more and understand more. So I found the LiveScribe, it allows me to handwrite my notes and then come home and upload them in to my computer, instead of transcribing them. NOTE: for all those of you out there who say “why not just type the damn things in to your computer and be done with it?” Well: 1. I like writing them, it helps with my retention of the information when I’m not just spewing out my own, 2. It’s annoying when you are in a tiny room of people trying to have a discussion to hear ‘tap, tap, tap’ on the laptop, 3. With writing I don’t have to be as linear as I do with typing, and with this pen I can write anywhere on the page. I have a lot of random ideas, musings, and inspirations in class or on the road. I don’t want these to be lost I want them to stand out on the page with stars and lights.

After typing this paragraph I really want one, but I want to hear thoughts and comments from people who’ve had them or know about them. Are there drawbacks, is it heavy when writing for a long time? I’m all ears.

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