Cyborg Camp, Portland, October 2010
"Sally will discuss the notion of the “invisible cyborg.” Cyborg modification that is unseen by others by being cloaked or embedded can create the invisible cyborg in humans. For example, one might have an ankle with a titanium implant in it. That cyborg ankle is there, but unseen to others. Dick Chaney’s heart was cyborg and unseen for a long time. Now it is seen because he has to wear an external device mounted on top of his chest. The notion of “Invisible Cyborg” can be also be created as a goverment policy or plan that subsequently impacts large groups in a seemingly “invisible” way. Slavoj Žižek touches on topics tangential to these concepts. For instance, “trillion-dollar organisms” – patented bugs excreting biofuels, generating clean energy or producing tailor-made food. There are ideas of synthesising new viruses or other pathogens. Extreme genetic engineering may create substantially different organisms: we’ll find ourselves in a terrain full of unknowns. In the west, we have debates about whether we should intervene to prevent disease or use stem cells, while the Chinese just do it on a massive scale. Applin’s talk will discuss many more concepts in greater detail, and will invite discussion on what the future might hold for humans, machines, and the things that are in-between."