I recently read a paper known as the “Cyborg Manifesto” by Donna Haraway which discusses the topic of us one day becoming cyborgs. The paper is about 30 years old and very hard to read due to the way Haraway wrote it out. The way it is written out leaves it open to many different interpretations for the reader. This leaves some terrified about the possibility of cyborgs while other fascinated. While I am scared of the world of the cyborgs I am bit more fascinated in some aspects of the world of the cyborgs Haraway has described.
Firstly after reading the cyborg manifesto I was intimidated by the cyborgs described by Haraway for the reason that if we became cyborgs we would lose aspects that would make us human. In the manifesto it is said that a cyborg society is the ultimate control. This factor is what terrifies me about the human race becoming cyborg because it is said ultimate control is possible due to certain human traits being removed to ensure control is kept which was also noted to in the manifesto as a possibility. Even though the article does make the cyborg society look sinister to me I can’t help but compare it with our times where we cause bigger problems due to the traits the cyborgs would remove. Haraway made some notes on how our society has its own bad’s and after reading I have come to reflect on these.
The Cyborgs might sound like restricted creatures but compared to us they are more logical and are possibly more attached to nature then we are now. The “Cyborg Manifesto” discusses a lot about feminism in terms of cyborgs because gender equality means not basing someone’s ability’s based on their gender. A cyborg as stated by Haraway will not judge the abilities of other cyborgs based on gender because it would not take note of gender. I agree with all these statements and I note that cyborgs are the better as we still have issues with gender equality in times we live in now and more so in the times Haraway wrote the paper.
It was also stated with gender cyborgs do not judge another unequally based on race, religion and history. I think this is what is personally best about the Cyborgs because that type of thinking does not cause problems or conflict in relationships. I see the communication of the cyborgs like our social networks today which are a collection of minds that discuss topics and correct each other. The social networks I see as an example of ourselves becoming more like cyborgs because when someone states something that is not logical or morally wrong the majority would state why it’s in the wrong. I see the cyborgs having a society without opposition or where opposition can’t survive like in the social networks as I stated. As stated by philosopher Eric Fromm “The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots. True enough, robots do not rebel.” (Fromm 1956, 360)
This whole Idea is what fascinates me most about them but it is also what causes concern. The fact that there is no opposition means things can’t really change either or humane actions might be avoided in certain situations for the more logical approach. I think this is in the case of a decision where luck, chance and risk is involved to get something good but with a loss if there is failure. I can see the cyborgs not making that type of decision rather avoid it and that is another issue of the cyborgs I could see happening.
Quote – Eric Fromm (1956) ‘The Sane Society’ , Henry Holt and Company, pp. 360