One of the topics they touched was invasive brain surgery an implants. As the technology gets smarter, the risk connected to invasive brain surgery reduces, yet a risk remains. And people simply don’t like the idea of having nodes inserted into their brains.
What happens when part of our body is suddenly exchanged or enhanced by something artificial? I recall the story by ennomane who describes in detail the process of how he received a Cochlear hearing implant and had to relearn the process of hearing and differentiating between noise and patterns in this noise. One of his posts he entitles: The Cyborg hears.
Cyborg, indeed! In a way, Cyborgs are already among us. I am one of them too! I was born with a difficult heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. In my life, I have had various heart surgeries. Each time, the doctors replaced one of my defect valves with an implant and patched up the leaky spots with foreign tissue. My first valve implant contained tissue from a pig, my second was a homograft, meaning that it came from a human. I think I remember I was told it was from a man from the UK. The implant in me now is a melody valve: part stainless steel mesh, part valve of a cow’s heart. Heck, I’m not only Cyborg but even trans-species! The valve works beautifully, and I do feel gratitude towards the cow that produced this marvelous peace of cell tissue.
If you think about all the people already running around out there with their pace makers and implanted defillibrators (this will probably be the case for me too, in a couple of years) – then you realize that science, medicine, technology and man cannot be distinguished from one another.
I think it’s exiting and awesome to see what humans have achieved to repair and enhance broken bodies. And since a couple of years, there seems to be a new aesthetic regarding ‘weird’ and augmented bodies; a sort of flirt with the idea of pushing humanity past the borders of what is considered normal appearance. Of course, Aimee Mullins comes to mind and who knows, maybe the youth fashion of having an extra knee Cory Doctorow describes in Down and Out in The Magic Kingdom is not science fiction, but around the corner. My favorite implant would definitely be a superpower eye that can see in the dark and at long distances, and never gets tired or out of focus.