The Lonely Bodyhacker

The Guardian recently published an article by Tim Adams, for what could be seen as a comprehensive, but in reality a limited roundup of transhumanist ‘bodyhackers’ resulting in a somewhat disparaging light on the current state of affairs. The article features a collection of summaries and interviews with individuals such as:

Neil Harbisson, ‘The Cyborg Artist who can hear colours, and is also the first person to be internationally recognised as a cyborg by his passport.

Professor Kevin Warwick,  who pioneered his own ‘braingate implant’ as well as his wife’s and,

Rob Spence, aka the ‘Eyeborg’ who over a decade ago, replaced an eye he lost in childhood with a device that records and transmits in realtime.

That monikers are attached to some of these individuals still highlights how alien they seem compared to mainstream society placing them in a similar category as bearded ladies and the elephant man.

What the article fails to highlight in my opinion is the relativity between these invasive and DIY procedures in comparison to for example, the ever frenetic evolution of smartphone technology. Although technically separate from the human form, is for most, nonetheless an extension of communication, social interaction and knowledge retrieval and transmission.

On the flipside, and what the article does get right is that maybe mainstream society is nowhere near ready for anything overt in the form of transhumanism that isnt primarily medical in purpose. The best example for this can be linked to the hype and fall of Google Glass, the wearable smartphone. Residents in Ground Zero California objected to those early adopters to the point where it killed what could have been the genesis of a connected (to the web and all its fruits) culture (sic). Ultimately, there is still a long way to go before we can upgrade in an accepting society.

You can read the full article from The Guardian here


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