"technology determinism is more sinister when considered in the realms of health. if we use machines to improve our bodies, and those machines demand other technologies, then we are locked in a relationship with the machine that we can not avoid or leave to sustain our lives. we are then true cyborgs - organics and mechanics intertwined such that neither can survive without the other."
Technology has kept me alive. I had a brain operation (July 1998) to remove a benign brain tumor. It was one of the most intense periods of my life, since I knew as I was being wheeled into the operating room that there was a chance I wouldn't survive the process. Yet highly-advanced medical equipment allowed the surgeons to cut open my head in order to make the delicate incisions necessary, while still keeping the rest of my body in working order. Now a part of my skull is held together by metal clips.
Thus my physical body is no longer 100% natural human. My dad has a gold tooth. My friend's grandfather has an artificial heart. The models in Victoria's Secret catalogues have silicon breasts. People now have plastic limbs, metal joints, computerized voices, donated organs, reconstructed noses and stitched skin. Think of all the people who have tattoos, earrings, fake fingernails, permanent makeup, dentures, braces and contacts. And doesn't wearing a condom essentially change the surface composition of ones body?
Considering these diversions from our original physical forms, are we all cyborgs?
There are others out there who use use this label of identification with pride.
How does society view these prosthetic alterations of the human body?
On one hand, a disabled man sitting in his motorized wheelchair faces prejudice for being outside the norm; the concept of his "body" has been expanded/altered to fit a different definition of parameters. Yet William Gibson's characters in Neuromancer strive to gain extra proficiencies through their technologically-constructed body/mind parts.
Are cyborgs perceived (perhaps subconsciously) as a threat to the natural human order? Or do they offer a new domain of control and empowerment?
maya's main page