Extropian bodies

From: Helen Fowle (helenfowle@hotmail.com)
Date: Sun Jul 22 2001 - 09:32:59 MDT

Hi all,

I'm currently researching people who refer to themselves as cyborgs, transhumans or posthumans (thanks to those of you who are helping me so far with this research) But I'm curious to see what other extropians feel about the issues of calling yourself by these terms, particularly when mnay of you have said to be posthuman is impossible at the moment.

Furhermore I'm curious to know how you see the body, and it's integration with technology. Part of my work concerns the preachings of people who argue about the ethics of combining the human body with machine parts. What are your responses to these attacks on human enhancement. What are your feelings regarding what 'human' actually is? Is it really possible to compare the human body to a mechanical system, and if so, then what's so important about enhancing as humans, shouldn't we try to enhance beyond the human state?

I'm inclined to think that 'human' is a value ridden term, with meanings that far abound simply meaning a bodily form or a species. What do you think will happen to people's identity as 'humans' once they have been so integrated with technology that they physically no longer resemble the human bodily form?

These are just a few of the questions that I'd like to throw out to you. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and best wishes


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attached mail follows:

Hi everybody,

My name's Helen, and I've just joined the extropy list.
I'd like to ask a favour: I'm currently in the process of looking for
informants to help me in my MA dissertation. I'm studying Sociology at the
University of Reading in England, and would really like to speak to people
who see themselves, or would refer to themselves as cyborgs. My MA will be
looking at the issues of cyborgs and identity, and how the 'cyborg' term has
been approriated by both real cyborgs - in a literal sense, and by non-real
cyborgs - in a metaphorical sense. I'm particularily interested in people
who have been technologically modified e.g. prosthetics, implants, and so
on. and people who are actively seeking to modify themselves through
If you're interested in helping, or even if you just want to comment on my
proposal, please reply ASAP.

P.S. If you don't use the term cyborg, but ! see yourselves as a posthuman or
transhuman, I'd also be interested in speaking/corresponding with you

Thanks for reading this.



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