Tech: iBodies

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On Aug 31, 2013, at 2:24 PM, Guido wrote:


Heady stuff, this…
“Rich Walker, the managing director of the project, says his team was able to rebuild more than 50 percent of the human body. The level of progress in bionics surprised not only him but “even the researchers who had worked on the artificial organs,” he says. Although multiple artificial organs can’t yet function together in a single human body, the scenario has become realistic enough that bioethicists, theologians and others are contending with the question,
How much of a human being can be replaced and still be considered human? For many, the criterion is whether a device enhances or interferes with a patient’s ability to relate to other people.
There’s broad agreement, for instance, that technology that restores motor functions to a stroke victim or provides sight to the blind does not make a person less human. But what about technology that could one day transform the brain into a semi-organic supercomputer? Or endow people with senses that perceive wavelengths of light, frequencies of sounds and even types of energy that are normally beyond our reach? Such people might no longer be described as strictly “human,” regardless of whether such enhancements represent an improvement over the original model.”

I’m waiting for all this to do our Vets some good. Prosthetic help seems minimal, now.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ideas-innovations/The-Insane-and-Exciting-Future-of-the-Bionic-Body-220574691.html#ixzz2dZV3LsgI

Guido

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I’m reminded of Capt. Pike in the pilot episode of the Star Trek TV series.

After all, he was still human, as long as his brain functioned, wasn’t he? I think any definition of personhood has to do with functioning of the brain. The rest of the body is dedicated to that primarily.

As I’ve said, the notion of super perception is tantalizing: that we may be able someday to see radio waves all around us, for instance. To actually see all of that stuff because your body has been modified – well that’s another wrinkle.

Meanwhile, I see ads on TV of people running around on artificial legs and it just seems easy as pie, doesn’t it? There’s more to it than that of course. But what this article makes me think of is those people not only running around well-designed legs and feet, but maybe something more. For instance, replacing their feet with – what else? – Wheels! People could roller-skate really fast if their feet were wheels.

But they wouldn’t be wheels all the time. You could change them for other kinds of accessories whenever you wanted to. Caterpillar treads, for instance. As this long and comprehensive story explains, there’s a guy who has been obsessed with this so long that he has developed multiple designs for legs and feet. You would change them out, I think, just like a CNC machine chooses and loads machine tools. Like Transformers.

Fascinating.

P.S. Once again, the really sexy holy grail of this technology is to make it wireless!

== PT
From MacBook Pro

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