It used to be that cyborgs existed only in our science fiction imaginations. As I talk about in the chapter on “Postmodern Life” (The Big Picture, Chapter 8), one of the lessons we learn from Donna Haraway, author of the “Cyborg Manifesto“, is that we are already cyborgs. While Haraway’s discussion extends far beyond the simple human/machine version of cyborgization, examples in which we are pushing that boundary toward its science fiction potential abound.

In a BoingBoing post there are links to research in which scientists were able to hook up a monkey to a robotic arm and the monkey was able to feed itself. BoingBoing has featured other cyborg related posts as well, including this one, “More cyborg attack-critter technology revealed,” which includes links to multiple cyborg related posts, including a pointer to a Wired post, Military Cyborg Menagerie, with additional links.

There does seem to be growing concern about our cyborg futures. In his book, “Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age,” Bill McKibben suggests we stop ourselves before we go so far as to no longer recognize ourselves as human. Taking a less cautionary approach, James Hughes, in his book “Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future,” suggests we need to begin now to address the consequences of our inevitable cyborg futures. Of course both authors are addressing issues much more inclusive than the kind of Terminator cyborgs implied in the previous posts, calling us to consider our moves toward our becoming transhuman or posthuman before they happen.

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