Re: Humans, Cyborgs, and Legacy systems

Ian Michael Thal (
22 Sep 1995 21:53:14 GMT

In article <43mu69$>, (Kirby
Urner) wrote:

> I had a problem with the analogy. The biological core was analogized
> with old, obsolete, kludgey stuff that we moderns can scarcely understand
> (because its so old, obsolete...). But we have sparkling, cool new stuff we
> can add anyway.
> But in fact most the biosystems in our bodies are way more advanced than
> anything modern engineering has come up with. Our prosthetics are the
> kludgey attachments, used by necessity when the cooler, slicker biostuff is
> damaged or breaks (and yes, our prosthetics break too -- in reality, the
> '6 million dollar man' spent most of his life in the garage, being fixed).
> And when it comes to the brain etc., we simply do *not* understand how it
> works (as a whole -- various subprocesses are fairly well documented), not
> because its "old, obsolete" but because our engineering is still kindergarten
> level vis-a-vis the biosystems we had no hand in designing.

> Kirby

I enjoyed the article, and while I agree with Kirby Urner that it is the
soft, wet tissue that is most complex and sophisticated, I think the
point that our technology is more user friendly than our flesh makes the
essay plaussible as an initial hypothesis pending further analysis. The
greater impact of science and technology in day to day life certainly is a
real phenomenon.

I would like to see this analysis taken further: discussion of technicity
in general; more detail about information processing in legacy systems;
discussion of the problem areas that Kirby mentions, etc.

Check out Heidegger's discussion of technology throughout his career.

Have you read Arther Kroker(SP?) I read an interview/excerpts from his
recent book _Data Trash_ in this summer's AdBusters... his ideas resemble