Cyborgization is the next step forward in the evolution of humankind.
Evolution as we have come to understand it, the blind watchmaker slotting together increasingly complex genetic structures at random, pushed ahead by unwitting external forces, the odds of survival, and success of procreation, is an outmoded and impossibly slow model for further advancement. Any change to the status quo will be responded to far more quickly by our technology than by our own genes.
Technology and the realm of ideas are the new playing field, where idea battles idea for favor, under the pressure of an Earth with finite resources and conflicting ideologies, a hard-wired human desire to acquire ever more and build ever higher, and a biology under constant assault from virulent micro-organisms. Only our technology, blindly and step by step just as with genetic evolution, driven by our ingenuity and genetic-borne big brains, can evolve fast enough to keep up with all these, as well as keep up with its own repercussions.
Cyborgization is one result of this evolution. It means the augmentation or replacement of human faculties and abilities via ‘unnatural’ methods, often mechanical, though feasibly through genetic manipulation.
You only have to look around to see cyborgization at work already, humans melding with machines, melding with tools, with utensils. Humans expanding their functionality in ever widening ways. Most of these expansions have not yet entered our bodies, or become ‘implants’, but some have, and with increasing advancements in miniaturization, greater external pressure to get ahead faster, to think faster, learn faster, communicate faster, the rest will follow.
A basic list of non-permanently affixed, non-implant cyborgization evolutionary steps forward:
Clothes. From the first animal pelt donned to stave off the cold to the latest flak jackets to shield us from bullets, clothes have been our second skin. No other animal on Earth wears clothes. Most of us wear them 24/7.
Vehicles. We move faster and further than cheetahs on land, than birds in the air, and sharks in the sea. We envelop ourselves in second skins much larger than ourselves, with their own legs or wings or fins which we control as an extension of our beings.
Weapons. We don’t have strong nails and our teeth are not muzzled-out enough for us to be much of a danger fighting. So we expand our functionality outwards with blades, projectiles, and explosions- assuring our position of not only dominant predator on Earth, but dominant zookeeper.
Infrastructure. Our nests/cities hum and buzz with millions of lives, all hooked into a grander eco-system of power, communications, water, waste and resources, that we have power over, that expand our abilities and capacities.
We’ve already taken all these steps. Cyborgizing our own bodies will allow us to further and better and faster interact with and control all the advancements we’ve already made.
A basic list of permanently affixed, implant cyborgization technologies that exist today:
Artificial Hearts/Pacemakers. These exist, are implanted, mesh with the body and take over some of its vital functions. People rely on them to survive.
Insulin Pumps. Some diabetics have these installed to allow them to live freer lives, as the internal mechanism constantly reads blood sugar levels and adjusts the amount of regulating insulin accordingly.
Cochlear Implants. You may have seen people with these- they are the most advanced form of hearing aid for the deaf or near-deaf. A flat microphone and transmitter is worn on the side of the head, which beams sound information to an implant within the skull, which talks directly to auditory nerves by electrical stimulation.
Prosthetic Limbs. For people born without limbs, or for those who lost limbs through sickness or accident. The advances made in this field are staggering. Prosthetic ‘blade’ legs that can be used to run nearly as fast as Olympic medallists. Prosthetic arms with hands that can handle writing, table football, billiards, stimulated by signals from the brain that still run up to where the limb used to be.
Add to that list brain implants, retinal implants, dermal and sub-dermal implants, breast implants, spine implants, dental implants and a whole host of others, and you’re looking at a civilization well on its way to cyborgization.
This is my first article on this subject- but not the last. There’s a lot to talk about, including the realization of super-powers, godliness, extra senses, internet-brain interfaces, robotization, additional-limb theory, HUD OS’s, body-renting, gender absolvency, and so on.
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