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Cyborgs the Dream Body



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"Cyborgs the Dream Body"
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There are a lot of people out there who would sooner live with one arm than get a cybernetic replacement. And I suppose I can see where they're coming from: living with something metallic strapped to your body does, in a sense, make you a little less human.

Imagine how that would feel if more than, say, 50 percent of your body was inorganic. Such a person would be a cyborg, and as such not really a human being at all - or at least not in the eyes of some. Whether such a body might be advantageous is debatable.

Yet I can't help but wonder at the possibilities of such a frame. Sure, you'd no longer be able to claim all the same things as normal people. Lacking flesh and bone legs you might not be able to appreciate the feeling of grass between your toes. With a metallic sheath over your skin the gentle caress of the breeze would be lost to you. And, were your face largely replaced with steel, you'd not be able to enjoy a lover's kiss - or at least not in the same way.

But you're a cyborg. You have a body that can also do things that no human on their own can ever match. Just imagine the gadgets you could have installed. You could be your own personal INSPECTOR Gadget, complete with Go-Go-Gadget umbrella and Go-Go-Gadget skates. I can guarantee you that being able to pop rocket boosters out of my feet would make up for any fleshly losses.

More than just that, though, you could perform physical feats of great magnitude. You could lift cars out of your way on busy streets. A single leap would be enough to get you from home to work. And there wouldn't be any need for all that exercising, as you could run a 10 K marathon with your eyes closed. (Literally. Just get a GPS system installed in your head and your legs would do all the guiding for you.)

Far into the future such advantages would be fairly commonplace. Everybody would be capable of similar things and thus it would be nothing special. But imagine if you suddenly had a body, RIGHT NOW, that could do all these things. Even if only for a few days. Do you realize how cool you would seem to everybody else? You'd become an instant celebrity, a tin Superman. You could have everything you wanted, and depending on how thoroughly enveloped your body was in electronics you might actually be able to enjoy a great deal that would normally be lacking in your life.

Sounds great to me.

But then it comes back to not feeling the grass between my feet, and suddenly, that dream body doesn't seem so great anymore. Star power is fun and all, but it's the little physical sensations that make life worth living.

So I think I'll stick with my human body. I wouldn't hesistate to replace lost limbs with a mechanical equivalent, of course, but I don't think I'd ever go looking to become a cyborg without a good reason. The boons just aren't quite worth the lesses.

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More about this author: Matt Bird

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