This introductory chapter traces the book’s larger theoretical trajectory, focusing on key terms and the wider cultural context. Readers of N. Katherine Hayles, Manual DeLanda, Ansel Pearson, Paul Edwards, and Richard Doyle as well as books about Deleuzian philosophy, the posthuman, cyborgs, and cyberculture more generally will find that this trajectory passes over familiar ground. However, this book’s perspective and purpose are distinctly different. What remains uppermost is staying close to the objects at hand—the machines, programs, and processes that constitute machinic life. Before speculating about the cultural implications of these new kinds of life and intelligence, we need to know precisely how they come about and operate as well as how they are already changing.
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