Bionics. Cybernetics. New Parts.
There are million different angles to discuss here, but by far the most interesting idea is a gradual, mutual, acquisitional merger – the pending-yet-not-far-off arrival of homeostasis between biological and mechanical life. One has to kinda, you know, aggressively focus on redefining notions of life and intelligence and awareness and consciousness and pretty much every facet of human existence.
Barring global cataclysm, of course.
We’ve steadily marched toward this parity for a long, long time. But now we’re sprinting. When the formerly machine-only and flesh-only entities reach equal saturations of each other’s parts, we then get a philosophical quandary like none other before in the history of life as we know it in the universe. At least, you know, I think so.
Because at 50/50 – which are you?
This is nothing new, in Where the Human Ends & the Machine Begins: Getting Unclearer, I talked about this issue at much more length and with much more snark and external resources – have a read. Also covered here are the Transhumanism Test Pilots, a new series examining how the disabled are effectively the human-trial stage for the voluntary upgrades of the future. So – have a look there, and then jump over to this:
BBC’s Bionics Bonanza
They’ve put together a nice overview of the state of the art – complete with interactive parts swapping, video, and brief write-ups on the developers. The series will continue for a few weeks – don’t sleep!