Become Who You Are: The World’s First Legally Recognized Cyborg May Be Onto Something

Bodies are imperfect. Every combination of flesh, nerves, bones and blood has its particularities and limitations, some of which restrict the experience of its owner more severely than others.

For issues that threaten our safety and survival, technology offers a helping hand. Glasses improve vision. Crutches, wheelchairs and prosthetics help with movement. For those with abnormal heart rhythms, there are pacemakers.

But what about the less dire limitations, for example, those that affect your aesthetic perception? How would your life be different if you couldn’t see color, if the range of your vision was limited to various degrees of black and white?

Getting dressed, chopping vegetables, flipping through TV channels and magazine pages — many banal yet stimulating sensual experiences would be drained of their vigor, swapped out for ashen simulacrums. Routine activities like obeying traffic signals and road signs would become strenuous, potentially dangerous. Colorblindness is often regarded more as a quirky personality trait than a serious affliction, though for some, the ascetic diet for the eyes saps daily life of its juice.

Facing such a condition, would you turn to technology’s helping hand? Would you ever, say, consider becoming a cyborg? It sounds radical at first, although, in actuality, most of us are already micro-modifying our bodies fairly frequently, every day, from the moment we wake up. A cup of coffee, perhaps an Advil, moisturizer, makeup, vitamins, contacts — all before leaving the house.

Could you be tempted by the opportunity to enhance your body by inextricably binding your flesh with technology? Perhaps the better question is, have you done so already?

Harder, better, faster, stronger

Oren Etzioni, Executive Director of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, defined a cyborg as “part person, part machine,” in an email to The Huffington Post.

In her feminist text “The Cyborg Manifesto,” Donna Haraway takes a more —> Read More