This review essay compares two early and two recent texts by N. Katherine Hayles and Mark B. N. Hansen. Considering their recent work in the context of Ruth Leys’s critique of the turn to affect, I argue that Hayles and Hansen use neuroscientific conclusions on a “missing half second” to propose theories of technology’s impact. These critics neglect to provide explanations of a social or political kind, a trend that appears to be related to the lesser importance accorded to intention. I show the value of giving social explanations and of differentiating between humans and things in analyses.

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