Amber Case: We are all Cyborgs Now

Van Mensvoort
January 13th 2011

Technology is evolving us, says cyborg anthropologist Amber Case in her 8 minutes of TED. We become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens, relying on "external brains" (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives. But will these machines ultimately connect or conquer us? Buckle up for some surprising insight into our cyborg selves.

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!public: 1

1 comment

Posted 20/01/2011 – 00:46

I've been thinking along these lines lately, specifically about what it means for the near future. I just recently purchased my first smartphone, so this point is being driven home very forcefully.
I'm reminded of the mitochondria, a primordial bacteria that used to be an organism unto itself, but now lives inside animal cells as a metabolic power source. The animal cell wasn't the animal cell until it had integrated the mitochondria. Without it, we wouldn't have biology as we know it.
The same thing is happening with our computers. They're getting smaller, and we're keeping them closer. Soon, contact lenses will provide a real-time heads-up display, and we also have all these experiments with implanted electronics.
Nature has sung this song before. Perhaps we are destined to absorb the machine in the same way the cell absorbed the mitochondria. In the first absorption, metabolic energy turned from a scarce, slow-drip resource into a completely ubiquitous supply. In this new absorption, information itself will become ubiquitous. We can see it happening already.

What is your view on the coronavirus?

Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

Already a member? Login.