chapter  7
16 Pages

The Virtual Surgeon: New Practices for an Age of Medialization: Timothy Lenoir

Surgery is experiencing rapid change in its culture, institutions, and material practices due to what we might best characterize as an accelerating technological revolution in medialization. Media inscribe our situation. We are becoming immersed in a growing repertoire ofcomputer-based media for creating, distributing, and interacting with digitized versions of the world, media that constitute the instrumentarium ofa new epistemic regime. In numerous areas ofour daily activities, we are witnessing a drive toward fusion ofdigital and physical reality; not the replacement of the real by a hyperreal, the obliteration of a referent and its replacement by a model without origin or reality as Baudillard predicted, but a new playing field of ubiquitous computing in which wearable computers, independent computational agent-artifacts, and material objects are all part of the landscape. To paraphrase William Gibson's character Case in Neuromancer, «data is being made flesh."