Bernard Stiegler ‘ The Ister’

-Philosopher Bernard Stiegler studied human relations to technology. With particular reference to a documentary titled “The Ister” in 2004. Stiegler is a fundamental theorist in my research report due to his clear views and distinctions on technologies implications on our ‘humanness’.  I wanted to gain a stronger understanding of this material and theory so I conducted some small-scale research into this… I stumbled across some extracts from the documentary which allowed me to grasp a fuller understanding into Stieler’s work as well as giving me a strong theoretical base in which I can construct my research project around.

From this extract I have obtained some useful quotes that I can use in my report, Now I have an initial focal point and I can build my research report around this. After some intensive research around recent technological advances in relation to the manipulation of our ‘humanness’. Firstly, Stiegler relates our technological existence by tracing greek mythology “…to steal fire, fire which is obviously the symbol of technics but wich is also the symbol of the power of god.” (2011: 3:18 – 3:29).   Making it evident that he believes that humans are made up of our technological interactions and advancements, “Man is nothing other than technical life”(2011:54-4:57). It’s clear that when looking back on ‘crucial’ steps for ‘mankind’, most of these events feature or include some form of technological mechanisation or aim. I wanted to pay particular attention to the concept of medicine and how technology has become so fundamentally ingrained within the maintenance of our lives and mortalities. An article titled

 An article titled ‘The adoption of technology orientation in healthcare delivery: Case study of a large‐scale hospital and healthcare system’s electronic health record’ in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing stated that “The introduction of computer and internet technology has drastically changed the practice of medicine in the twenty-first century.” (2010; 356). One example mentioned in the text describes how patient records and filing documentation systems have been revolutionised by “internet-based communications” (2011; 357). When discussing technological influences on our daily lives and health, I immediately think of prosthetics such as hip replacements, pacemakers and implants.

As technology grows more exponentially, we find different ways in which machinery offers potentially new and faster cures to become available as well as the promise of efficiency and increased mortality. In recent years, I would argue that technology is gaining a wide involvement within the healthcare industry ranging from online diagnosis, nano-technology, to performing and aiding surgeries. It has become clear that our humanness is becoming more of a technologically integrated existence, whereby we interact and rely on technology (to a certain extent) as a means of survival. Modern technology such as 3D printing (also known as additive printing) has impacted the delivery of healthcare fundamentally. We are now able to ‘print’ and grow prosthetics that can be used and integrated within the human body. 3D printed anatomy models are also changing and aiding the study of medicine because we are able to print and analysis precise molecular structures in detail.

A study conducted at Princeton University used 3D-printing that allowed them to produce a ‘bionic ear’ that can be used to “hear radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capability, in a project to explore the feasibility of combining electronics with tissue.” (Hendricks, D. 2016). Automation provides mankind with the vast potential for opportunity in developing fundamental treatments increase mortality rates. Experts are currently developing 3D-printed prosthetics such as skin, airway splints, to heart valves. This solidifies the idea that humans are now becoming increasingly integrated with technology and becoming ‘bionic beings’. A news 2015 article broadly discussing human evolution and how the in recent years, the human brain has decreased in size due to a reduced need for space or intelligence to learn communication and language skills. Describing the internet’s profound effect on our intelligence. “…as the Internet revolution unfolds, we are seeing not merely an extension of mind but a unity of mind and machine, two networks coming together as one.” (Stibel, J. 2015). This example outlines the implications of our technology use as well as providing us with an insight in our futures.


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Lee, O. and Meuter, M. (2007) The adoption of technology orientation in healthcare delivery: Case study of a large‐scale hospital and healthcare system’s electronic health record.International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing [online]. 4 (4), pp. 355-374. [Accessed 11 October 2016].

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Mesko, B. (2015) 12 Things We Can 3D Print in Medicine Right Now. 3D Printing Industry [Online] 26 February. Available from: [Accessed 11 October 2016]

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Perry, A. ; Temple, J. (2016) Saving Lives With the Tech That Saved Our Son. Huffpost Tech United Kingdom [Blog] 30 May. Available from: [Accessed 11 October 2016]

The Swipe Team (2016) Swipe: The wearable device helping blind people to ‘read again’. SkyNews [Online] 29 September. Available from: [Accessed 11 October 2016]

Hendricks, D. (2016) Harvard Business Review. Available from: [Accessed 11 October 2016]

Stibel, J. (2015) The Coming Merge of Human and Machine Intelligence. TuftsNow [Online] 22 May. Available from: [Accessed 11 October 2016]