Cyborg

I know you think cyborgs are always imminent. But not here yet. However, I am a cyborg. And cyborgs are first and foremost disabled people. We’re the ones who have a fundamental interface with tech. We’re the ones who depend on tech to actually live. And we’re not new. We’ve been here since Hephaestus. If you want a concrete example, you call this my fake leg. And when you do that, you distance me from myself. I call this my leg. It is real to me. I experience it perhaps more than you experience your own leg.

The Pandemic Made Me Realize My Brain Is Already Cyborg | WIRED

Most cyborgs are disabled people who interface with technology. We depend on a computer for some major bodily function.

Opinion | The Dawn of the ‘Tryborg’ – The New York Times

Disabled people who use tech to live are cyborgs. Our lives are not metaphors.

Common Cyborg | Jillian Weise | Granta

Cyborg ontology is the brain-meld between self and computerized leg. The augmentations I take daily: Norco, Lexapro, Klonopin. I hesitate here because I know what the tryborg might be thinking: “Your brain is not cyborg; the medications you take make your brain cyborg.” That’s not it. The medications are another hack for a brain that is already cyborg. The medications norm me.

Opinion | The Dawn of the ‘Tryborg’ – The New York Times

I’m a cyborg. A few weeks ago, someone said, “I don’t think that makes you a cyborg since it’s the leg that plugs into the wall.”

“It’s not the leg,” I said. “It’s my leg.”

Going Cyborg – The New York Times

It can be a bit intimidating to claim cyborg identity. I feel like it is an impossible task to define myself against the cyborg wreckage of the last century while placing myself in the present and projecting forward. I worry that the cyborg is sometimes just a sexy way to say, ‘Please care about the disabled,’ and why should I have to say that? I worry that the cyborg is too much an institution, an illusion of the nondisabled, the superhero in the movie, the mixed martial artist, the bots who either make life easy or ruin everything. Yet I recognize the disabled who double as cyborgs. On Instagram, we are @aannggeellll, a white woman with a bionic arm and a plate of cupcakes. 

Common Cyborg | Jillian Weise | Granta

I use the word “cyborg” deliberately. Alice Wong, who founded the Disability Visibility Project, travels around the world (even to White House parties) via remote-controlled robot. “We’re all cyborgs,” she has frequently told me, pointing to the many ways in which people of all different types of abilities intersect with technology. When people try to limit access to tech, she argues, they’re really cutting off part of themselves.

Danah Boyd, a technologist at Microsoft, wrote in 2009 about missing her “cyborg life” whenever she’s cut off from the online world, including during classroom-like occasions. “I can’t pay attention in a lecture without looking up relevant content,” she wrote. “And, in my world, every meeting and talk is enhanced through a backchannel of communication.” In her most recent book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, Boyd explored how much more intensely younger generations experience being cut off from information flow. The “networked world,” she wrote, is here to stay. It’s up to teachers, then, to build networks of learning, solidarity, mutual respect, and even trust.

How to Teach a Cyborg – The Atlantic

…the focus is always on what the Tryborgs want instead of what Cyborgs want.

Improving Disability Representation in Star Wars | One Scene for Joy – YouTube

I asked them to invent things for us, the cyborgs who are already here, already alive.

Common Cyborg | Jillian Weise | Granta

Further reading,

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Published by Ryan Boren

#ActuallyAutistic retired technologist turned wannabe-sociologist. Equity literate education, respectfully connected parenting, passion-based learning, indie ed-tech, neurodiversity, social model of disability, design for real life, inclusion, open web, open source. he/they