March , 2011
Synthetic and artificial technologies are extending our natural human life spans, allowing is to live longer and better than we ever thought before. Cataracts in the eye are now being replaced by removing the natural lens in the eye and being replaced with a synthetic implanted one. “Even where dealing with real bioelectronic implants, was the potential for fluid integration and personal transformation” (Clark, 28). New technologies such as these transform our lives, allowing us to adapt to the world more comfortably. Medical technologies advance and assist our natural bodies through upgrading them into pieces of machinery that are more functional and beneficial to our lifestyles. Implanted lenses in the eye enhance our vision and creates an ultimate solution for dealing with cataracts.
Tetsou: The Iron Man (1989)
“Transparent technologies are those tools that become so well fitted to, and integrated with, our own lives and projects that they are (as Don Norman, Weiser, and others insist) pretty much invisible-in-use” (Clark, 28). This statement exemplifies the former idea regarding new medical technologies enhancing eyesight. However, we seem to be looking past the technology and not acknowledging the change it has made to our lives. Our bodies are pieces of machinery that run together to create a smooth running mechanism and through bioengineering; enhancements can be made so our bodies become perfected. Technologies are designed to perfect our human bodies and create medical advancements to give us what our natural born bodies and processes aren’t able to.
Just like the exercises demonstrated for this response, our bodies and the technologies are interdependent making it difficult to separate the two. Our lives on the Internet and in the real world are also becoming linked and coexistent. In 2009, Facebook announced that they would begin to memorialize Facebook accounts of the recently deceased. Many individuals use Facebook as their first link into the social world and now Facebook could be used as a way to connect with those individuals who had past away and look at the cyber relationship one someone once had with them. Their cyber relationship could live on and be able to continue to connect with that individual on a virtual basis. The organism had died in the real would but their life online could still exist. The idea of binary thinking had been surpassed and now people could have one life without the other. “Computing machines can do readily, well, and rapidly many things that are difficult or impossible for man” (Licklider, 61). The computer can allow an individual to be a part of the social and cyber network although it can no longer be a part of the real world.
Technologies allow the real world and cyber world to link together and coexist. The body and mind are enhanced through the use and extension of technology as McLuhan stated, “electrical circuitry, an extension of the central nervous system” (McLuhan, 41). We are linked to artificial technologies that enhance our natural organisms of that allow our “artificial” organisms in the cyber world to live on and continue to be a part of the network. Our advances allow this to live together and apart. Through medical technologies allowing us to enhance our natural processes and the Internet allowing us to continue to connect with the deceased; our lifestyles are dependent on these advances and we have become accustomed to these changes that we no longer notice them and how much they affect our lives.
Andy Clark, Natural-born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence
JCR Licklider, Man-Computer Symbiosis
Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Message