Cyborgs

“Soon, perhaps, it will be impossible to tell where human ends and machines begin.” This is found on page 13 of Cyborgology: Constructing the Knowledge of Cybernetic Organisms

This week in class we have begun discussing the concept of cyborgs. The text we have keyed on is A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Harraway. Before this week I honestly never really knew much, if anything, about cyborgs. I had heard of the word, but never really applied it to anything. What I have learned from analyzing the text and having the class discussion is that Harraway’s belief is that there are cyborgs everywhere. She talks about a hybrid of organism and machine, and there are examples of this in medicine and in war. People with prosthetic arms or legs, or people with medically engineered machines that keep them alive. These may not be our typical thoughts of a “cyborg” type monster in science fiction movies, but we can’t ignore the fact that these humans lives wouldn’t be the same, or even be alive for some, without these machines. As for warfare, a combination of man and machine destroy and kill enemy globally. Guns, tanks, planes, etc. are all operated by humans. Any of these without human control or direction are just hunks of metal, but any human without any of these is just flesh and bone. Together, they are cyborgs. Additionally, Harraway states on page 292 that cyborgs are creatures in a post-gender world. This got me thinking about everything that is going on in our society right now, and it seems that we are headed for a “post-gender” world if we stay in the same direction. It’s crazy to think that Harraway had these ideas back in 1984, I just wonder what she thinks about some of the things going on now.

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