Understanding Technology

Cross posted from veronicaareyzaga.com

After reading The Bohr Maker, there were so many questions that came to mind. The introduction of the novel makes the reader a bit confused on where the setting was or what exactly was happening, but after reading further along, the plot and setting started to unravel. In the beginning of the novel the reader starts to see that Nikko Jiang-Tibayan is the main character and is living a pre-programmed life as a genetically engineered human and is finding trouble trying to survive his pre-determined life. His knowledge of the bohr maker is what will save him from dying because of its extreme powers. The bohr maker is a nanotech device that is illegal to use and can tremendously affect the lives of humans, which is who Nikko encounters. Throughout the novel, the reader becomes consumed with the specific detail that is given so that every concept or event that is happening is understood.

One of the main concerns that were not clarified for the reader while reading the novel is the language that is used to describe objects that the characters are encountering. In the first chapter of The Bohr Maker, the word fluff was used many times to describe either something that was inside of a human being or something on the floor. It is understanding that this being a nanotech novel, there will be some nanotech terminology, but many times this novel gets too invested with nanotech terminology and confuses the reader. Trying to depict what was happening in the novel often times confused the reader because the language was not clear. The author could have been more flexible in changing some of the vocabulary. In comparison to Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronic Manufacture by Lisa Nakamura, Nakamura does a better job explaining women in the tech world with a more common language. Nakamura is able to bring the reader who does not know that much about the digital world interested in the topic and relate it to a social event. She brings up an interesting and not talked about conversation to the spotlight.

Lisa Nakamura discusses how women in the digital world become over looked for their work, specifically in her article Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronic Manufacture describing Native American women. “A close examination of how Navajo women’s labor was exploited as a visual and symbolic resource as well as a material good shows us how indigenous women’s labor producing circuits in a state-of-the-art factory on an Indian reservation came to be understood as affective labor, or a “labor of love. (Nakamura, 921).” The author makes sure to create this bridge from the technology world to society. Her article is able to discuss the aspect where technology plays into the rest of the world. I feel that I got a better understanding about the tech world through Nakamura’s article rather than The Bohr Maker. Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronic Manufacture kept the reader more interested and concerned about the topic.

1 thought on “Understanding Technology

  • I appreciate your honesty in regards to The Bohr Maker and how difficult it is to understand. As the novel continues, and we meet Phousita the story becomes easier to understand because she lives on a planet with similar to ours (although the concept of fluff is still foreign to us). It is definitely hard to imagine the technology in the Bohr Maker. Before this course, do you think you would’ve identified the work the Navajo woman did with circuits as a labor of love/ affective labor?

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