Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Cyborg Salvation I: Man-With-Tools

By SaintPort in Culture
Thu May 23, 2002 at 08:34:07 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

I have noticed that lately I react to cyborg ideas with a bit of "bah-humbug".   While many of us would love to embrace technology more closely, bring it onboard the body-tissue-bus, I have become discouraged with the medical difficulty of normal existence.  We don't have a good handle on immune system control.  Grafting-in electro-mechanical devices won't make this easier.  And even if medical sciences do succeed in making microprocessor implants as common as cosmetic surgery, will the change in existence really qualify as an evolutionary step?

But, while thinking about my "bah-humbug" attitude about cyborg mythology, I realized I nearly am one, or at least I may think/behave like a cyborg.  I seem to be dependant on my artificial appendages.


When I rise from sleep, I simply cannot function past the sleep chamber without my optical device.  I am very near-sighted, so I don my lens goggles and THEN feel normal.

Even at this stage I am impaired.  I cannot interface with my environment until I pull on garments (I won't bore you with the narrative of each piece, but each does have a story).

Then, it is time for the computers. The first computer is of course my wristwatch.  It is a very personal selection.  It has to provide me with time, date, day-of-week, and stopwatch functions in a package that provides readability in all conditions and wear-ability without allergic reactions.  I feel totally lost without this device.

The second computer is the PDA.  This memory and calculation amplifier augments my brain.  The interface is optics.

Then it is time for dumb hardware.  Keys, man, I can't function at all without keys to my house, my car, my office, my locker, etc.

Then comes the item that actually sparked this essay, my pocketknife.  I have spent years in search of the perfect pocketknife.  I will never find it, but I will always carry a close substitute.  There was a moment of epiphany, when I realized the importance this device had in my psyche.  My wife was trying to open an envelope while we were motoring somewhere.  (She was not in her normal envelope opening environment, the kitchen, where she keeps her knives.)  So in one comfortable motion, I pulled my lock-blade from my pocket, thumbed it open, and handed her the handle.  Her sister said from the backseat, "You could hurt somebody with that!" referring to the long serrated blade.  I replied simply, "That's why I carry it."

My comment triggered some self-evaluation.  I have never pulled a knife on anyone and probably never will.  I do not want to.  I fancy myself a man of peace.  I do use the knife daily for attacking foes like boxes and envelopes and occasional worthy contestants like rope.  But there is something deeper. In Saint-Exupery's book, The Little Prince, the main character says that roses believe that their thorns are very dangerous, even able to ward off wild tigers.  When I read that, I wondered if that feeling of protection is what enables them to bloom.  Their thorns are part of their body.  My pocketknife serves the same role, yet is an artificial appendage.

So, I see that I am physically and emotionally dependent on artificial parts.  Where does that leave me?  Am I a cyborg?  What does it mean to be a cyborg?  The most honest answer I can give is, I am a man with tools.  And even if a surgeon spliced my PDA into my spinal cord, I would still be a man with tools.  Evolutionarily, I'm in the same category as a warrior with a spear and a toothpick.  I really cannot see this situation changing.

You might argue that one day we will be able to upload our minds/personalities into robotic systems that will never die, surely that would be an evolutionary step.  Salvation through technology; let me think about that...

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Are You a Cyborg?
o Yes! I AM! 9%
o I'm working on it. 23%
o I just want a bionic body part. 13%
o I'm waiting for Wal-Mart to put the kit on clearance. 8%
o Just carrying tools. 26%
o I'm not sure. 4%
o No. Never. 7%
o Get your hands off me you dirty Cyborg! 6%

Votes: 168
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by SaintPort


Display: Sort:
Cyborg Salvation I: Man-With-Tools | 70 comments (48 topical, 22 editorial, 0 hidden)
Is this evolution? (4.00 / 3) (#6)
by SaintPort on Wed May 22, 2002 at 11:06:59 AM EST

If the organism that is changing is planning the change, is that evolution, or something else?  My understanding of evolution is that the species is reacting to the environment through chance mutations.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

Depends on definition (4.00 / 2) (#7)
by xriso on Wed May 22, 2002 at 11:51:15 AM EST

One definition of evolution is merely change (usually with respect to time), so in that sense, this is evolution. There are also people defining evolution as Darwinian evolution, which this clearly is not.
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
[ Parent ]
Inheritance? (3.00 / 1) (#9)
by SaintPort on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:01:25 PM EST

Would this be evolution if it were inheritable?
How would that work?
My machine makes another machine with an empty expert system?  Then I train it?

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
I am the Tin Man! (3.28 / 7) (#10)
by bc on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:02:11 PM EST

I see no need for being man/machine, when one can just be entirely mechanical.

Nobody can gaze upon my shiny metal exterior, my geometric perfection and amazing engineering tolerance without being amazed. I am the Tin Man! Before long, my metallic mastery of nature will make me Lord of all the World. I shall bestride this puny Earth like a mechanical collosus!

Certainly, there are problems with being a metallic master. It is arguable that I am not a master of anything at all - as a machine, I am completely deterministic, a slave to the Laws of Newton rather than a creature of Free Will. How can I be the master of the destiny of others, when I am not even master of my own?

Nonetheless, I think the external world is suitably chaotic and random enough to make my inputs thoroughly random and hence my output behaviour unpredictable. My absolute aim is to order the world as beautifully and deterministically as I am inside.

Beware me, your Overlord,fleshy creatures,for I am the Tin man!

♥, bc.

Puzzle time, kids! (4.33 / 3) (#30)
by carbon on Wed May 22, 2002 at 10:23:01 PM EST

Certainly, there are problems with being a metallic master. It is arguable that I am not a master of anything at all - as a machine, I am completely deterministic, a slave to the Laws of Newton rather than a creature of Free Will. How can I be the master of the destiny of others, when I am not even master of my own?

Okay, I'm assuming that free will has to be based upon some sort of recognizable mechanism. If it's not (i.e, it's not detectable) then there's no way to demonstrate that it exists or doesn't anyways, so all bets are out. Anyways, assuming that, why is it that a machine couldn't simply have a similar mechanism? Free will isn't unexplainable by definition, just by circumstance.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
I LOVE THIS!! (none / 0) (#36)
by SaintPort on Thu May 23, 2002 at 08:13:20 AM EST

Would a cyborg mind be incapable of free will?

I have heard arguements that humans do not have free will, but only act as a product of their experience (programming).

If you made an artificially intelligent machine, would you want it to have free will?

If someone else made you a cyborg mind, would they allow you free will?

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Free Will (none / 0) (#52)
by vectro on Thu May 23, 2002 at 11:28:20 PM EST

I think I agree with Stephen Hawking on this. Namely:
  • The universe is deterministic.
  • Thus, everything is predetermined.
  • The universe is chotic.
  • Thus, it is infeasible to determine what exactly anything is predetermined to do.


“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Free Will (none / 0) (#63)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sat May 25, 2002 at 02:06:29 AM EST

Certainly, there are problems with being a metallic master. It is arguable that I am not a master of anything at all - as a machine, I am completely deterministic, a slave to the Laws of Newton rather than a creature of Free Will. How can I be the master of the destiny of others, when I am not even master of my own?

Although you may be trying to make this point anyway, I will point out that it is hard to say whether or not people have any free will. Maybe we are also slaves, but to the electrical and chemical reactions in and between the cells of our brain, just like a robot would be a slave to his programming and the electricity in his CPU.

It can also be shown that even though there is no free will, life is not predetermined because of quantum chance. So God is playing dice, and he's rolling them right inside your head.

It's rather bleak really. So pretend that free will exists anyway, we have a pretty good illusion of it, at least.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

What about neural jacks/implants? (4.00 / 3) (#11)
by El Volio on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:09:11 PM EST

I yearn for the day when I can "jack in"... get around this crazy KB/mouse combo. I don't think using tools qualifies as a cyborg, but the day I can manipulate the physical world around me by controlling computers with just my thoughts will be a day long remembered...

Oops, just realized I could be turning into Darth Vader...

We are so close... (3.00 / 1) (#12)
by SaintPort on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:21:27 PM EST

The lowest cost route now is speech recognition.  Other possibilities include eye movement tracking.

Tracking random thoughts would be tough, but I can imagine learning to send signals to on onboard sensor/implant.

In these cases the user has to learn/train the interface.  Is that any different from a child learning to use the body?

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Speech recognition (none / 0) (#51)
by vectro on Thu May 23, 2002 at 11:25:41 PM EST

Speech regognition actually has many of the same problems associated with it as mechanical interfaces. Namely, if you sit in front of your computer talking to it all day, every day, then your voice will become hoarse and eventually suffer permenant damage.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
No different (4.00 / 2) (#34)
by mandyke on Thu May 23, 2002 at 03:51:39 AM EST

But you would just be replacing one brain-machine interface (mouse/keyboard/moniter) with another slightly more direct interface (some crazy contraption that bypasses all the 'mechanics' of traditional interfaces). A datajack, as per cyberpunk fiction, or anything else would be no different, tool-wise, from using mice and keyboards - the difference would lie in the fact that now there are less middlemen (i.e. limbs, etc...) in getting your thoughts/instructions from your brain to the machine.

For me, I like to think of hardcore cyborgism (as per the evolutionary requirement) as having your mind and the machine being one and the same (rather than interfacing to each other). How you would achieve this is beyond me.

Though I agree with the reasoning in the artical that we are all conceptual/softcore cyborgs - and that is enough for me.


Note that a random crowd of hippies, nutcases and adolescents is not a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction. - i
[ Parent ]
You are on to something... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by SaintPort on Thu May 23, 2002 at 08:02:10 AM EST

This is the discussion for Part II.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
It's the middlemen that are the problem (4.33 / 3) (#49)
by El Volio on Thu May 23, 2002 at 10:41:31 PM EST

As it stands, computers (or, more specifically, the data they contain and process) are separated from us by this interface. Sure, finding some historical fact is often just a Google search away, but it's not "natural" -- you have to go look it up. I'm thinking of being able to wonder the question while jacked in, and suddenly "know" the answer -- because you searched your "memory" for it.

As for manipulating the world around me, again, it's a matter of what you consider to be an interface. I would like to feel things as an extension of myself, not as an object I manipulate so as to effect some indirect change.

So while it may or may not jive with other definitions, this is how I think of a cyborg: a human whose integration with technology is so complete as to be seamless, at least to the cyborg himself.

[ Parent ]

A Cyborg defined? (none / 0) (#65)
by Steve C on Tue May 28, 2002 at 01:14:34 PM EST

I like this as a concept; might we use this definition?

A cyborg is one whose conscious mind is formed from the output of both biological brain matter and information technology.

[ Parent ]

Extra... (none / 0) (#66)
by Steve C on Tue May 28, 2002 at 01:22:57 PM EST

Actually, this should probably be expanded a bit to include a reference to all the functions of the central nervous system, like vision and movement;

A cyborg is an entity whose mind, perception, and motor abilities are formed from the simultaneous operation of both biological brain matter and information technology.

[ Parent ]

Sounds like a good definition (none / 0) (#67)
by El Volio on Tue May 28, 2002 at 03:56:40 PM EST

Or at least a good definition of some people's concept. I think it's clear from the article and the ensuing discussion that there's as of yet no consensus on what it should/will be -- but your summary is pretty much how I think of it.

[ Parent ]
Can we? (2.00 / 1) (#48)
by milksop on Thu May 23, 2002 at 10:27:13 PM EST

Does anyone know of anything like this? Like, maybe not jacking in, but electrodes on the scalp, or .. whatever that lets me avoid the KB/mouse?
--
i make games.
[ Parent ]
Such a thing does exist (none / 0) (#53)
by scanman on Fri May 24, 2002 at 01:26:58 AM EST

It uses changes in brainwave patterns to emulate a mouse. With practise, it can be quite efficient. One person actually designed a sailboat that is fully mentally controlled.

"[You are] a narrow-minded moron [and] a complete loser." - David Quartz
"scanman: The moron." - ucblockhead
"I prefer the term 'lifeskills impaired'" - Inoshiro

[ Parent ]

Just watched The Matrix, yer creepin' me out! (3.25 / 4) (#13)
by regeya on Wed May 22, 2002 at 12:23:14 PM EST


[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

The Matrix - Is this truly a chance we are taking? (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by SaintPort on Wed May 22, 2002 at 01:02:11 PM EST

In the Matrix, instread of humans evolving, humans become powerless (though there is a very advanced man/machine interface).

Is this truly a chance we are taking?

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

No, that couldn't happen. (4.00 / 2) (#29)
by carbon on Wed May 22, 2002 at 10:16:58 PM EST

In the purely physical sense, there's no reasonable chance of, say, an automated defense network going haywire and turning us all to dust.The reason for this is that such a danger is fairly obvious. If such a system were to be developed, the problem of it turning malicious would be everyone's prime concern during the entire process of building the system, and so no implementation that allows even a hint of this sort of thing would make it past the Matrix, Terminator, and Robocop watching populace.

In the theological sense of losing human identity, again I'm gonna say that it's not going to happen. Being human is about more then having a particular series of DNA, or being able to walk, talk, eat sandwiches, and set things on fire. No one can really seem to set a concrete boundary on what is human and what isn't, which is fine with me, because that allows the most expansion. If we genetically augmented ourselves to have super powers and look really good in skin tight crime fighting wear, we'd still (arguably, and that's probably good enough) be human, because the whole thing would be a human endeavor. The same applies to building sentient machines; it would be a human creation borne of human ingenuity, so they'd be more like an extension of humanity then a seperate thing.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
1984 (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed May 22, 2002 at 11:57:15 PM EST

I disagree.  Many people have read books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, yet they are blind to the dangers of surveillance and totalitarianism.  If people were truly concerned about what constant surveillance leads to, they would do more to fight it.

This is not to say that a situation like those in The Matrix or Terminator could happen.. I don't believe they will happen, because the people who matter are aware of the dangers.  Sentient computers are inevitable, but I think they'll always be taught to be subservient to us.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Actually (4.00 / 2) (#33)
by carbon on Thu May 23, 2002 at 12:01:22 AM EST

I kind of thing that computers, if they were smarter then us, would be rather boring if they were subservient. I mean, wouldn't it be much cooler if we could look at a particularly intelligent AI as a peer, ala The Moon is a Harsh Mistress?


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Yeah, right (none / 0) (#55)
by weirded on Fri May 24, 2002 at 04:31:09 AM EST

If such a system were to be developed, the problem of it turning malicious would be everyone's prime concern during the entire process of building the system

You are living in a dreamworld. The prime concern of anyone doing anything today is profit. If there is more profit in moving some resources away from "malicious-control" then those resources will be moved.

[ Parent ]

The far out wing... (4.00 / 2) (#21)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed May 22, 2002 at 02:48:45 PM EST

Of the postmodern Cultural Studies in America gives us Donna Harroway's Cyborg Manifesto

From the intro:

A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction. Social reality is lived social relations, our most important political construction, a world-changing fiction. The international women's movements have constructed 'women's experience', as well as uncovered or discovered this crucial collective object. This experience is a fiction and fact of the most crucial, political kind. Liberation rests on the construction of the consciousness, the imaginative apprehension, of oppression, and so of possibility. The cyborg is a matter of fiction and lived experience that changes what counts as women's experience in the late twentieth century. This is a struggle over life and death, but the boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


Haraway [nt] (4.50 / 4) (#23)
by Lode Runner on Wed May 22, 2002 at 04:13:05 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Cybernetics (4.33 / 3) (#22)
by mikey g on Wed May 22, 2002 at 03:27:28 PM EST

From the Web Dictionary of Cybernetics:

(1) The science of communication and control in animal and machine. (2) Perhaps because the field is still young, there are many definitions of cybernetics. Norbert Wiener, a mathematician, engineer and social philosopher, coined the word "cybernetics" from the Greek word meaning steersman. He defined it as the science of communication and control in the animal and the machine. Ampere, before, him, wanted cybernetics to be the science of government. For philosopher Warren McCulloch, cybernetics was an experimental epistemology concerned with the communication within an observer and between the observer and his environment. Stafford Beer, a management consultant, defined cybernetics as the science of effective organization. Anthropologist Gregory Bateson noted that whereas previous sciences dealt with matter and energy, the new science of cybernetics focuses on form and pattern. (3) A way of looking at things and a language for expressing what one sees (Margaret Mead)

Alright, so it's almost whatever you want it to be, but it seems to be the science of information manipulation. This seems more and more like 'Informatics' or somesuch 'field'.

As for becoming a cyborg, I wrote a paper about my glasses making me a cyborg. I would say that to be a cyborg you have to go above and beyond the 'normal' definition of machine-aided existence. Iron lungs, pacemakers are on the cusp; a direct wire-to-brain interface (such as direct wirings from special glasses to the vision center) is definitely cyborg material, but only because the machine is a) active (unlike glasses and such) and b) uncommon. My paper was called Cyborgs and the Everyday and it focused on the idea of individuality as making one a cyborg. (As for the Borg, I'm not sure what to say. If everyone has nanotech, nanotech ain't so special anymore. It's an interesting issue.)



--
.sig
Hmm. (4.00 / 1) (#50)
by vectro on Thu May 23, 2002 at 11:22:44 PM EST

This definition strikes me as having similarities with Artifical Intellegence. Used to be, artificial intellegence was defined as the ability to beat a human at chess. When that was done, artificial intelligence was redefined as other things: The ability to parse English, for example. Now that we have fairly good natural language parsers, the definition of artificial intellegence has moved to other, unfinished things.

This prompted someone (don't recall who) to say

"Artificial Intellegence is whatever we haven't finished yet."

Perhaps the same is true of what it means to be a cyborg.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Stop the Humanoid! Stop the Intruder! (3.85 / 7) (#31)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed May 22, 2002 at 11:41:34 PM EST

Now that you are a cyborg... don't you want to find out your cyborg name?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
S.A.I.N.T.P.O.R.T.: (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by SaintPort on Thu May 23, 2002 at 08:28:06 AM EST

S.A.I.N.T.P.O.R.T.: Synthetic Android Intended for Nocturnal Troubleshooting/Person Optimized for Repair and Troubleshooting

I like this, but then again I'm easily amused.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Aren't we all? (5.00 / 1) (#57)
by Protagonist on Fri May 24, 2002 at 09:36:18 AM EST

P.R.O.T.A.G.O.N.I.S.T.: Positronic Robotic Observation and Troubleshooting Android/General Obedient Nocturnal Infiltration and Sabotage Technician

----
Hahah! Your ferris-wheel attack is as pathetic and ineffective as your system of government!
[ Parent ]
C.Y.B.O.R.G.: whoa... (none / 0) (#38)
by SaintPort on Thu May 23, 2002 at 08:35:19 AM EST

Cybernetic Ytterbium Being Optimized for Repair and Gratification

Ytterbium:
Rare-earth metal was discovered in 1878. It is used as a doping agent for garnet crystals in lasers and in radiology.

Dope being optimized for gratification...
but this time its living cyber-dope.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

D.U.B.L.E.T. (none / 0) (#56)
by dublet on Fri May 24, 2002 at 05:02:05 AM EST

I'm glad I'm wearing my watch so I can introduce myself to people as Digital Unit Built for Logical Exploration and Troubleshooting.

Imagine the fun at parties!

Badger. Badger. ←
[ Parent ]

Not a Cyborg (3.66 / 3) (#39)
by bayankaran on Thu May 23, 2002 at 09:36:37 AM EST

I dont have a watch or PDA.

Whew! What a relief to know I am normal.

Ah, but (2.00 / 1) (#61)
by budlite on Fri May 24, 2002 at 01:47:07 PM EST

do you have a cellphone, pager, anything functional you carry with you semi-permanently?

That would make you a cyborg in the sense outlined in the article. Me, I have a cellphone, PDA, wristwatch AND digital camera, at least one of which is always on my person.

[ Parent ]

This is stupid. (5.00 / 2) (#68)
by mideast on Wed May 29, 2002 at 07:12:40 PM EST

A cave man wouldn't be considered a cyborg because he lugged a club around with him. It's stupid to make the same claim with cell phones and modern humans. It just makes the word cyborg meaningless.

[ Parent ]
Flesh out your thoughts... (none / 0) (#69)
by SaintPort on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:39:01 AM EST

that's exactly what we are going for here.  Man has been defined (in the past) as the tool using animal.  But at what point do the tools become more?  At what point does man become something different?

If you loose an arm and get it replaced with a hook, are you a cyborg?  If instead of a hook you get a mechanical arm with an electronic feedback loop, are you a cyborg?

At this point we may just be playing with words, but what if your mind were uploaded to a mechanical body that made you less mortal?  Would that be some of evolutionary step?

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#70)
by loucura on Mon Jun 17, 2002 at 07:58:43 PM EST

I have a cellular phone, but it serves about the same purpose of my tonsils. Which is to say, not any that I know of, and while it may be inflammed occasionally, I shouldn't get it removed... 'just in case'.

[ Parent ]
DESTROY ALL HU-MANS! (nt) (3.25 / 4) (#44)
by dr k on Thu May 23, 2002 at 03:38:03 PM EST


Destroy all trusted users!
About the Poll... (2.00 / 1) (#45)
by SaintPort on Thu May 23, 2002 at 04:22:59 PM EST

I found that the distributions are falling out in a very interesting way so far.

Now let me throw this into the mix.  The choices also trend from the idea of...

MAN becoming a GOD ("I AM" is a Biblical way of proclaiming Godship)

to...

MAN becomming subservant to the lower(reference to Planet Of The Apes "Get your hands off me you dirty ape!")

Do gods walk among us?  Should we account the 'Dirty Cyborg' vote to fear of creating a monster?

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

it's geek clique humor [n/t] (2.40 / 5) (#46)
by scatbubba on Thu May 23, 2002 at 06:36:01 PM EST



New poll option needed... (3.66 / 3) (#54)
by Obvious Pseudonym on Fri May 24, 2002 at 03:51:42 AM EST

Resistance is futile.

You will be assimilated.

Obvious Pseudonym

I am obviously right, and as you disagree with me, then logically you must be wrong.

Oh man... this would be cross between... (none / 0) (#58)
by SaintPort on Fri May 24, 2002 at 10:47:12 AM EST

'I AM' and 'dirty Cyborg', in that someone playing god will cause the assimilation (loss of freedom) of humans.

Human devolution at the hands another.  This ties into Part II in a scary way.

Who gets to decide what makes you, you?

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

The Little Prince (3.33 / 3) (#59)
by Fon2d2 on Fri May 24, 2002 at 11:48:22 AM EST

I remember reading that! Must've been like 5th or 6th year of French. I loved that book. That book was frickin awesome.

Yes it is... (none / 0) (#60)
by SaintPort on Fri May 24, 2002 at 01:02:34 PM EST

I avoided reading this book for years because I assumed it was a lame childrens' book.  It is not.

Another good quote from Saint-Exupery's "Wind, Sand and Stars"...

"In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

...which is a great thought when normalizing databases.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

What I think a Cybord is. (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by notenchi on Fri May 24, 2002 at 03:28:11 PM EST

What a cyborg is depends on the context.

In the classic context, a cyborg is a melding of Man and Machine, like the bionic man, for example, or a Borg.

In the Wearables community, a cyborg is generally someone that augments themselves and/or their reality with a computer and associated peripherals. Mind you, this definition is different for each person.

Some people (like me, for example), want to have a full-blow computer with input and output systems to perform complex things with complex software.

On the other hand, some people are happy to have a PDA, perhaps with enhancements to give better input and output than a base PDA can. And they are happy with it performing simple augmentation.

I am no expert on cyborgs. These are merely based on my observations.

Of course, depending how general you get with the definition of cyborg you could say a car makes you a cyborg because it has a computer, and augments you (you can go much faster, etc)


If life gives you lemmings, make lemming aid!

I was unable to move much faster than 5 mph, (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by NFW on Sat May 25, 2002 at 01:51:34 PM EST

...but with this shiny wheeled appendage I can cruise at double that speed.

For bigger jobs, I have a powered exoskeleton that will travel at 20 times that speed - but usually closer to 10x due to laws enforced by other powered-exoskeletal cyborgs with lights atop their carapaces (carapacen? whatever).

In other news, my grandfather had a device implanted in his chest to retune his circulatory system's main pump. That's a whole new level of man-machine fusion right there.

I met the guy who owns SuperChips a while back, I should ask if he's got anything that might improve grandpa's quarter-mile time.


--
Got birds?


Cyborg Salvation I: Man-With-Tools | 70 comments (48 topical, 22 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!