Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, the epochs have been moving at the pace of innovations in science and technology: from the industrial revolution to the computer revolution, from the atomic age to the age of networks. These innovations are becoming ever more deeply intertwined with the texture of our world and our lives, but the results are far from emancipatory. Rather, they express a conflict between actors, powers and rationalities in continuous opposition: capital and life, corporations and movements, instrumental rationality and critical rationality. Cases ranging from Cambridge Analytica and Trump to the disputes around the climate emergency are examples of this. Today, technoscience is the battlefront of civilizational change; technopolitics, the form in which the battle is fought*.
Despite this conflicting reality, the predominant public discourse on technology and science is optimistic, technocratic or merely informative. On the other hand, as a reaction, there is a proliferation of both catastrophist approaches, which only see the negative aspects of these advances (e.g., automation and unemployment, anti-5G), and pseudo-alternative discourses (e.g., homeopathy), which aspire to replace them or occupy, on dubious grounds, the blind spaces of technological and scientific development.
It is necessary, therefore, to incorporate frameworks and narratives in public opinion for imaginative and transformative reflection, combining critical and rigorous discourse with a proactive attitude, helping to unweave the warp of technoscience and technopolitics in order to imagine other possibilities, from alternative experiences and critical perspectives.
Athena Cyborg is a blog in El Salto diario, a project promoted by Tecnopolítica-IN3 together with a wider community of researchers and activists. Its central purpose is to constitute a network of critical discourse, a collective space from which to promote transformative narratives on technology, society and science at the local, state and international levels. By a retrofuturistic twist, in our blog the old Athena is no longer a goddess but a cyborg, and she is not one but many; she is no longer alone, but she is still on the warpath.
*By technoscience we mean the scientific institutions, disciplines, networks and practices that, from the 20th century onwards, increasingly rely on technology, both materially (instruments, practices, knowledge, economies) and conceptually (with the transformation of the real--and not its mere explanation--as a key objective). By technopolitics we mean the strategic practice of designing or using technologies to constitute, embody, or advance political objectives.