Who Am I This Time?

 

I am a    cyborg.                 Maybe?

 

Artificial – Real – Fake – Grafted Limbs – Antibodies – Flesh – Metal – Nerves – Creation – Hardware – Birth

 

I am not a synthesized mixture of metal and flesh

But I am a cyborg

                                                                   Or – at least – I could be…

 

 

Confused?

 

What do you call a cyborg? What does the word mean to you? Do you picture Arnold Schwartzenegger? Do you picture Robocop? None of the above? I am a cyborg and I am not a cyborg. You are no doubt still confused. Well, what is a cyborg?

 

1.       AHumanFormCreatedFromBothMechanicalElementsAndRealTissue

“The melding of the organic and the machinic…”

Or is it more than simply a figment of our science-fiction-based imaginations, more than just the …

2.       “…the engineering of a union between separate organic systems...”

 

(<QUOTED EXCERPTS FROM “CYBORGOLOGY” BY CHRIS HABLES GRAY, STEVEN MENTOR, AND HEIDI J. FIGUEROA-SARRIERA>)

 

The union between these systems? Then I am already a cyborg.

                                                In fact, maybe I’ve been one for years now…

 

Ø      A young child sits in the doctor’s office. His mother stands beside him with his hand in hers. He closes his eyes. The needle punctures the skin. The syringe empties. The bloodstream carries the antibody through the body. Immunization. The machinic: created in laboratories; put through systematic tests; created for maximum efficiency. The man-made, this “organic machine” runs through the body. More than just a human being. A new version. The software is uploaded and I am a new version. V2.0. Am I a cyborg yet? There are many diseases to fight. There are many immunizations to make. I lost track of what version I am. Am I a cyborg yet?

Ø      11 Years Ago: Age 7. The machine presses against his face. The letters appear on the screen. 1 or 2. 2 or 4. This one or this one. The human machine breaks down a little bit. We can fix it, though. They can fix almost anything. I lose one natural ability. I gain one machinic one. Right now, this instant, as I type these words, the specially engineered and prescribed lenses sit on my eyes. The light curves and bends as it hits the lens. I am no longer looking straight at the world with my natural eyes. For a few hours every day, I have new eyes. Specially updated. New software every year. Without them, everything is just a blur. We can cover natural evolution with technology. Am I a cyborg yet? Perhaps some day I will have enough money to spend and lasers will shoot into my eyes and restore them so I do not need my updated eyes anymore. Will I be less of a cyborg then? Or does it not really matter?

Ø      7 Years Ago: Age 11. Another doctor’s office. He looks into my mouth. Misshapen, out-of-place, “incorrect.” Metallic bands are attached. Metal wires connect to metal brackets. Flesh is pulled and distorted. Am I a cyborg yet? Adjustments. Two years pass. The bands are removed. I have been corrected. The metal is gone now. But the new version remains. Does this make me less of a cyborg now? Am I just deluding myself? Maybe I have been one all along.

 

There are other examples of upgrades. I have not received these. A car accident victim receives an artificial heart. A prosthetic arm is attached to the shoulder. Machinic blends with organic. Sometimes they say they can still feel their old arms.

Or are they really just feeling their new arms?

 

But…

I’m no doubt making too much of this. We’re not all cyborgs! I’m just extending the definition a little too far. These are just grand ole technological progressions. These things are wonders! We’re not losing any bit of what it means to be human. We shouldn’t jump to extreme conclusions. Don’t worry…we’re not all turning into those scary beings we all see in the latest sf blockbusters every summer. That’s just crazy thinking. Come now, you’ve known the real answer to the question I posed above all along.   I’m not really a cyborg.

 

Right?       Please?