Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Cosmic Cyborg

Today, I thought out my transhumanist vision for the future of technology; the Cosmic Cyborg. Here is an excerpt of my vision.

In terms of the definition of a ‘cyborg’ given by Clynes and Kline (1960) as an “exogenously extended organizational complex functioning as an integrated homeostatic system unconsciously”, we are already cyborgs from the moment we started wearing clothing. Wearable technology will only increase the extent to which we are cyborgs, slowly fusing the organic and the artificial, and it is up to designers to critically explore what kind of cyborg we should become.

So far, explorations into wearable technologies seem to have led mainly to the following directions for human augmentation:
 The ‘radical cyborg’: a functionality led approach that keeps us in the flow of handling digital and physical data
 The ‘expressive cyborg’: emphasizing our feelings or social identity, possibly in a poetic way
 The ‘regressive cyborg’: technology will pervade our bodies although in an invisible way, so we still look like ‘ordinary humans’

What this project poses to create is a new kind of cyborg that I term the ‘cosmic cyborg’. By adopting technology into his body he is able to transcend his own local self, and live a life perfused by a cosmic awareness of everything he perceives, including his body, the world, other people, and products of technology, not necessarily identifying with these. Digital wearable technology should provide this awareness on the background of a fully lived embodied experience, where the human and the technology feel at one.

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