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Zeroes and Ones: Digital Women and the New…

Zeroes and Ones: Digital Women and the New Technoculture

by Sadie Plant

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385482604, Hardcover)

Meet Ada Lovelace, daughter of mathematician Annabella Byron and poet Lord Byron, and a major contributor to Charles Babbage's famous Analytic Engine. Lovelace is in many ways the patron saint of Sadie Plant's exploration of women's roles in the creation of modern technology. The book begins with Lovelace's story, and elements of her writings appear throughout the book--sometimes to emphasize points but often to exemplify attitude. They also serve to anchor Plant's dynamic, almost stream-of-conscious approach as we travel to 19th-century Europe to meet the nameless women who laid the foundation of modern technology with the development of weaving, survey the major female technological innovators of today, and even explore female figures in technology-based fiction.

Plant's "cyberfeminist rant," as William Gibson calls it, attempts to demonstrate that women have always used technology. You won't find victims here, rather women who were empowered by the technological innovations in their lives. What emerges is a very nontraditional feminist picture, one in which women are neither bystanders nor victims but are in many ways the unsung heroes of technical innovation. The author also points to a future where, within zeros and ones of cyberspace many such dichotomies of life/machine, let alone male/female, may blur in unexpected ways.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:27 -0400)

In this manifesto on the relationship between women and machines, Sadie Plant explores the networks and connections implicit in nonlinear systems and digital machines. Steering a course beyond the old feminist dichotomies, Zeros + Ones is populated by a diverse chorus of voices - Anna Freud, Mary Shelley, Alan Turing - conceived as exploratory bundles of intelligent matter, emergent entities hacking through the constraints of their old programming and envisioning a postpatriarchal future.… (more)

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