05 November 2008

Cyborgs Part II

I am so intrigued by the topic of Cyborgs in our everyday lives and the most interesting comments I received on the first post dealing with this topic, I thought I would continue musing on this subject.
It is very interesting that Cybernetic Science deals not only with mathematics, technology, and biology, but also sociology and philosophy. So, dealing with a very strict definition of what is a cyborg, the questions of other artificial intelligence comes into play, such as the use of computers, cell phones, and other forms of new devices.
Using my previous examples of the unique individuals of the 1970's such as The Six Million Dollar Man and contrasting that with The Borg Collective, we can see very different ideas about the sociological and philosophical. The 70's presented us with these individuals who dealt with their bionic components in unique ways, but in that time we did not use computers and other devices as we do today. So we were more disconnected, unique in our struggles than we are today.
In the 80's, the dangers that people perceived can come with more technology manifested itself in the Borg, in my opinion. Computers were just beginning to reach the public but we were still not interconnected as we are today. Even though we are so connected today, we are still unique and going on line is not even close to joining the Borg Collective.
Now, we have so much technology, that as a wonderful commenter posted, we have as, in their words, "a symbiotic relationship with our technology."
So, as stated in another comment, our definitions cannot be so strict about cybernetics, because in science, new discoveries are made, our vocabulary changes as does our society and our definitions change and can remain fluid as our society changes and receives new technology.
I found a very interesting link to cyborg art and how influential and in our consciousness this topic is. The art is so interesting and addresses not only human cyborgs but also animal cyborgs. It is very detailed and creative art.

Last Rites Gallery

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SerKevin said...

First, I cannot tell you how much I've been enjoying the stimulating conversations that you've got going on your blog. Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed my "symbiotic" comment on the last post too.

Second, really great find on that gallery, it was very thought provoking as well.

This post brings up two thoughts for me:

1) Humans (via the internet) has already formed a "collective" hive mind, not as restrictive as the Borg we are still unique individuals but we come together and share our processing ability to work towards a single goal in many ways now, the Wikipedia would be an example of this. We connect and disconnect to this collective at will using our machines to bridge the physical and the virtual.

2) I *AM* a symbiotic entity joined with my technology, take it away and I am less, able to do less than with it. Some my perceive this as an issue, I however view it differently. My life is expanded and enriched by the technology. I am able to do things using it that I would be otherwise unable to accomplish. In many ways, just like the Six Million Dollar man, my abilities have been taken to super human levels. An example being the ability to store and retrieve vast amounts of information that my feeble, fallible human memory would never be able to handle.

BTW, Another excellent post. I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

MarkJ said...

I just read both posts and never even thought of cyborgs as a real thing, only in fiction.Incredible. I sure am attached to my remote control for the tv and couldn't live with out it!

FlordeTJ said...

I'm a surgical nurse and have been working for surgeons all my life. Would you guys consider robotic surgery as part of the cybernetic science?
Would a surgeon/nurse who handles a robotic aparatus would be considered a cyborg?
What do you guys think?

Retarius said...

I've just been reading the entire set of "Company" stories and novels by Kage Baker. The main action is the adventures of a group of time-travelling cyborgs who scavenge antiquities for a 24th-century corporation. These critters have ferro-ceramic skeletons and various other augmentations. What I can't figure out is what is supposed to take the place of the bone marrow which plays a massive part in the workings of the body.

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Enjoyed the gallery you found. Some of the pictures look quite painful though and made me think of the Remade in China Mieville's novels - they're humans with mechanical (or magical) body modifications, usually created as a punishment at the whim of a judge. I also think you are on to something in the connections you made between sci-fi and culture in different decades and I wonder what kind of cyborgs we will come across in the 2010s.

Livingstrong said...

@ flordetj,
I would definitely say that a surgeon using/depending on a robot to perform an 'x' surgery is definitely part of the cybernetic science.
The point is: would the surgeon be considered a cyborg?