Sunday, December 17, 2006

Our Cyborgian Future?

Borg Drone Seven of Nine
Police of the future?
(Image from Wikipedia)

After reading yesterday's quasi-paean to how technology is revolutionizing scholarship -- and transforming all of us musty old scholars into musty old cyborgian scholars along the way -- a fellow-traveller in this cyborgian process, Herr Richter, who maintains his own, extraordinary blog, The Burrow of Bucephalus, attempted to post a comment:

I was trying to post a reply on your blog, but it wasn't working, so I closed the page and tried again, it still didn't work, so I tried again, then all of a sudden there were 3 replies. The ironic thing is the first post was singing the praises of technology and how it will revolutionize scholarship, etc, and I'm pretty sure it got lost, but who knows, maybe it will pop up too eventually.
That is ironic. Maybe it will pop up 'eventually' -- as Herr Richter hopefully suggests -- but I've been waiting several years now for some of my missives into cyberspace to reach their designated mark.

I wonder what happens to them ... do they just continue forever whizzing about hypercyberspace at hypercyberdrive speeds?

Even if Herr Richter's comment never achieves its aim and is lost to us forever, you can still read some of his thoughts on high-tech-assisted scholarship and our coming cyborgian selves in his most recent blog post: Technology: friend of foe? Meta cliché titles: blessing or curse?

Hmmm ... "friend of foe"? Is that a typo or an insight? How about "blessing of curse," too? Or maybe "curse of blessing"? Anyway, the "of" would fit Herr Richter's more dystopian fears:
[I]t's only a matter of time before we'll be putting computer chips in our heads .... With technology applied to us, we could remember every experience and moment of our lives, use our eyes as microscope or telescope, hear things happening miles away, have access to an encyclopedia of information in our head .... [W]e'll have pin-point accuracy and coordination...
Dystopian? But this sounds too good to be true. Herr Richter worries that it is:
The police of the future will have all these features, as well as the power to read thoughts.
That doesn't sound good, does it? Dystopian indeed. On the other hand, would the police really be able to deal with all of the thought-generated data? The growing mountain of information might be too big for them to handle.

We might be growing too big for them to handle...


At 5:59 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

You see, pinpoint accuracy and coordination could have helped me there. At least it didn't expose any strange Freudian desires. Whew. It does still make sense though, I guess I'll keep the typo.

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Maybe, HR, you were using "pinpoint accuracy and coordination" without realizing it. Possibly, you've already been assimilated to the Borg without recognizing the fact.

You're better than you know. Or dystopianly worse.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 6:41 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

I always wondered why I found myself irresistably attracted to Rosie, the Jetsons' robot maid. All the other kids had crushes on Daphne from Scooby Doo, Jessica Rabbit, the usuals, but me, I was all about Rosie, with her sexy cylindrical head, red dot eyes and lovely antenna ears.

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Hathor said...

I posted a comment to your last post and lost connectivity at the same time. I was surprised that is was there.

With another hand transplant done recently, I feel we are not headed into the world of cyborg. We can't quite get the mechanical to work right. Although, I feel that the biological is still the progenitor of the cyborg.

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

I'd be happy for a chip that would help me remember what I did 5 minutes ago or what I planned to do when I walked into this room. What I did 30 years ago is somewhat less of a mystery, unless I just can't remember what I've forgotten.

At 8:09 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hathor, I suppose that your experience, moving into blogging because of the transplant, supports your remark about "biological ... [being] the progenitor of the cyborg."

You know, I've been away from the States so long that I've lost touch with popular culture. The first time that I read your linked post (back when you first left a comment here), I didn't know what your references to Five of Nine and Seven of Nine meant.

I only found out today.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

CIV, I'm waiting for the chip that'll transport me to the past so that I can advise myself on how to avoid many of the foolish mistakes that I've made.

I need time-warping cyborgian technology...

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Good lord Jeffery, I just noticed all the time stamps for your posts. You're a creature of the night, aren't you?

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

HR, I get up at 3:00 a.m. (usually getting to bed about ten-ish), so I guess that I am ... though not of the Rocky Horror Picture Show sort of creature...

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 4:01 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Wow, 5 hours of sleep, I don't know how you do it.

At 5:36 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Necessity ... but I do get tired.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


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