I already commented at a past article about how I adhered to the movement called "transhumanism", identifying inside it to a certain point with those who call themselves "transpecies", more specifically the modern and real life cyborgs. Each cyborg has an ability they want to obtain, and their own form of "transcending" their "humanity". Some pay for the technology to be developed, others who have the knowledge, time and money develop them themselves; others simply pay for an already existing technology to be implanted in them while other improve upon what already exist. We can mention the world authority in cyborg technology, called Kevin Warwick. Although it was not very announced by the media, he implanted a chip in his head which allows him by means of wi-fi to control objects connected by internet and prepared for that. He also implanted a chip in his hand and in his wife's hand which allow each other to feel when the hand of the other person is shaken by someone.
We have the vanguard founders of the "cyborg foundation" called Moon Ribas and Neil Harbisson, which beyong the passion by the subject are also artists. Neil Harbisson acquired the capacity of seeing a greater spectrum of th light by means of an antenna implanted in his cranium, and with that started a vew way of doing art. Moon Ribas implanted sensors in her feet connected by internet to a global database of earthquakes; se can fell earthquakes globally and created even a dance where she dances based on earthquakes around the world. If there are no earthquakes at that moment, she simply does not dance. A representative of the theme "transpecies" can be found in Manel MuÑoz, which implanted "fins" in his head which allows him to have a more precise notion about the climate around him, like for example the moisture level and if it will rain even if it does not look like it.
A company implanted chips of the size of rice grains at some staff members, and by means of them those people can access restricted areas and devices beyond also being tracked about their current position. People who receive implants which recovered vision or hearing, they are already cyborgs but in a smaller scale. Our relationshop with the smartphone which allows us to do more than we normally would be able to is also considered a cybernetic improvement although more rudimentary, as many in the modern times depend on them and live always near one. The sole difference is the fact which they are not integrated to our bodies.
Before all that, it already existed those who modified their bodies in a purely aesthetic way: From the homem who tattooed jaguar spots throught his body and sharpened his teeth; going through the mane who tattoeed himself completely green, changed his eye color, forked his tongue and by means of subcutaneous prothesis changed his face to look like a lizard; and arriving to a recent case where a man drastically changed his exterior appearance to look like an orc... Be such actions influenced by psychological conditions or a mere new form or expressing a person individuality, the transhuman technology is already slowly arriving to those with less money and they are adopting this in greater quantity. With time the examples increase more and more in quantity and "super-human" abilities acquired... It becomes possible for the artist to become its own canvas, its own art.
A type of cyborg still not explore in humans, but already done in animals (although unethical) is called "lobster cyborg", and it is the subject of interest of a few theoretician from the science field and it is also the kind of cybernetic improvement which I proposed to myself which I would obtain using myself as a guinea-pig.
In science fiction it has been mentioned about such "lobster cyborgs": They were humans whose flesh had been bound to technological armors which allowed them to live normally in space beyond giving other super-human abilities. Thus, the word includes "lobster" because like insects in general the bones stay outside the body and the muscles inside; although in the case of humans they would also have their internal bones. It would be something extremely drastic from the point of view of aesthetics, medicine and sensations, so no one had dared to apply that in real life although theories about this already exist.
The greater difficulty of achieving that is not the armor material, but replacing the original skin by a biocompatible material which could have traits from the organic skin such as:
- Temperature control by means of the sweat to decrease the temperature and the body hair which when you feel goose bumps heat the body by creating a layer of air.
- Protection against invaders such as parasites and infecction
- Protection against the hazards of the environment in general, such as wind and solar radiation.
- Protection against the environmental chemicals such as for example water.
- To alert about breaches in the skin by mean of nervous receivers.
Taking out the skin would present itself two issues:
- Infection during the procedure, even if the replacement material is immune to biological issues.
- Rejection of the material which will replace the skin.
It already exist nowadays materials being studied or even already being used which are called "synthetic skin", created from organic cells and up to a point imitating the organic skin well enough to be used instead of the horrible laboratory testing upon living animals. It lasts a short time however, as the organic skin is always dying and being replaced by new skin, something which the synthetic skin is still unable to do. Other type of synthetic skin is actually an artificial mesh with obvious applications in serious burns, as the organic skin can grow again over it. It is even studied about how to bestow nerves to such a material.
All want to imitate the organic in its complexity, but a cyborg synthetic skin is easier to develop because creating something targeting the inorganic is simpler. It would be irrelevant to me to feel cold or heat if it does not damage my body for example; as long as a human brain remains and the rest of your inner body, you would not become a simple machine. My proposal would a synthetic skin which could integrate with the human muscles, half organic half inorganic. It would be applied in small patches and slowly, like a LED monitor; starting by the feet finger toes, feet, lower leg, upper leg... applying in patches would allow:
- The simplified replacement of them when a more advanced material is created. Like a computer, it coulc receive "upgrades".
- In case a patch was damaged, you could only replace that patch and the others would remain intact.
After it was obtained, the "armor" would be layed above such an intermediary material, making it easy a future replacement. Would it be a soft material such as silicon? It would gain softness but would lose resistance. Would it be hard as stell? It would gain strength and resistance, but would lose softness. There is already the microengineering concerning carbon, and it would probably make part of such an exoskeleton. To obtain resistance to the extreme heat and cold, it would be necessary to study the material which NASA already uses at their spaceships.
This armor could be made like a computer screen, making use of the already created and tested technology for an "invisibility cloak" to show what is behing a person at its front by means of a micro cameram granting a partial camouflage. Imagination is the limit, when humanity wants something and have the resources for that, it makes happen. Other points of interest about it:
- An artificial exterior would imply in a "eternal youth" which may be of interest to the aesthetics industry; but it would still be necessary to replace most of the body interior organic content for inorganic ones to delay the internal aging and inevitable death.
- An artificial exterior would allow you to have any looks you wanted, limited only by your bone structure, muscular mass and height. To be beautiful to human standards would become irrelevant when all could be so, and finally humanity could focus on "inner beauty" or at least their own definitios of beauty. Well, at least in theory.
The more a human becomes a machine, would it become more cruel? More altruistical? Would it remain the same? Would it become indifferent? I am interested in discovering this in the future.
If you feel inspired by this article and achieve before me the status of "lobster cyborg", kindly mention me as one of the theoriticists of your project or at least invite me to be one of the firsts "guinea-pigs" as soon as your project is well developed and tested. Anyway, I would like o read technical details of your project before anything, I gave the idea for free and I expect the same. Knowledge was done to be shared and not to belong to a single person.
Last Updated: 2022/02/13