Rise Of The Machines

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When you hear the word Cyborg, most of us probably think of the Terminator, an unstoppable, hulking metal skeleton with an overlay of human skin bringing with it a reign of evil upon the world, or something similar, I’m just spitballing here. Cyborgs are a lot closer to us then we may think, you may even know one. Interestingly enough I am married to one!

A cyborg can be defined as a living organism who is in some way or another integrated with a machine. My husband has both a prosthetic eye and a stent in his heart. I’m stretching the definition of machine here a bit as there are no moving parts to his implants but they are still artificial bits and pieces inserted to make his body function. Work with me, I’m going somewhere with this.

If you know someone with a pacemaker or a hearing implant, they are a cyborg. Don’t let them near your computer, they could mate with it to produce a new race of super-machines that will destroy humanity, not to mention that would be pretty weird. I’m joking about that last bit of course…it wouldn’t be that weird (lol).

James Cameron probably wasn’t all that far off the mark when he brought to life the Terminator, a futuristic thriller about cyborgs taking over and destroying humanity. In our reality, domination might not be by an army of human-like machines sent from the future, more likely, machine-like humans living in the present, ignoring humanity. That train has already left the station and I don’t think even Arnie could stop it now.

Most of us are indelibly connected to technology and machines. I sat on the bus on the way home the other evening and observed my fellow passengers. Every single person on the bus was looking down, either at a phone or a tablet computer. Neck’s cranked, faces lit up by the dim glow of the backlight of their device.

Not one single person was looking out the window, not one. I too was on my phone, taking down notes, about everyone, on their phone. At least I was being productive! The peeks I did manage to sneak revealed most people were looking at social media, the facebooks, and twitters of the world. Others were watching YouTube or the like, I even saw one man playing a game, not a mindless time-waster like angry birds – a full on first-person shooter type commando game, I was somewhat impressed with his dedication. I was on the bus from the city, so most of those people had probably spent their day sitting in front of a computer.  Five o’clock comes “ahh, time to throw off the shackles of the computer and get on the computer”.

Internet shopping, smart phones, smart homes, social media, cyber sexuality…the list goes on; we are integrating more an more with machines and technology, they may not be a part of our body but they might as well might be. We are increasingly relying on machines and technology to live our lives. Where will we end up? To quote the Terminator “Judgement Day is inevitable”.

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  1. Let’s throw off the shackles of our computers to go home to our computers… So very true. I love the way you intergrate cyborbs into the present. We are absolutely attached!

  2. Most humans I’ve observed appear to have their devices surgically attached. We mermaids find that the devices do not do well in water 😉

  3. cabrogal says:

    It’s nothing new really. When most people think ‘cyborg’ they probably imagine someone permanently physically integrated with a high tech machine but as Andy Clark points out humans have long incorporated artifacts – both physical and cultural – into their functioning and concepts of self. In fact when I’m surfing or riding a motorcycle and ‘in the zone’ I feel more embodied with my vehicle than I usually do with my own body. I also probably identify more strongly with some of my beliefs than I do with my appearance or physique.

    I don’t think we need to think too hard about the simple fact of our cyborg nature but maybe we do need to think more about how specific artifacts we come to rely on might change the way we interact with our environments and each other and what might happen when those technologies fail. Charlie Brooker has obviously given the topic a lot of thought and the conclusions he reaches in his series, Black Mirror, are far from reassuring.

  4. Well described! I like your observations of the folks on the bus while at the same time you are using your device to record those observations. I have a photo that I plan to post sometime … of a couple walking through a park, both hunched over their phones ignoring the nature around them. They are also several paces from each other – so no discussion happening. I’ll probably entitle it “Nature Walk”

  5. A very interesting read… Keep up the good wprk

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