100Cyborgs: 81-90

The Virtuous Cyborg - Cut-outWhat are the behavioural effects of technological networks? What happens if we stop thinking about technology as shiny machines and start looking at other, subtler tools? Can we design technology to have better effects upon humans? These and other questions are what this blog project, A Hundred Cyborgs, are all about. Here are the ten posts from 81 to 90, including six submitted as part of 'All Comers April' by guest writers:

    81. Mathematics by Joel Goodwin
    82. Defendants by Samuel Thomson
    83. Meditation Apps by Victor Navarro Remesal
    84. Glasses by Chris Billows
    85. Drones by Jed Pressgrove
    86. Notes by Matt Mower
    87. Vaccines
    88. Schools
    89. Supermarkets
    90. Roads

I had been quite nervous about opening up for 'All Comers April', but in the end I was thrilled with the six pieces submitted - all thoughtful reflections upon our relationship with technology, and all radically different. I love the way they dance across the landscape of technology, ranging from the oft-unnoticed (#41 Mathematics and #44 Glasses), the impact of software (#43 Meditation apps and #46 Notes), a symbol of the double-edge of contemporary technology (#45 Drones), and reflections upon how technology might affect our legal concepts (#42 Defendants).

To round out the block, I posted four pieces reflecting upon the lockdown in radically different ways. Alas, #47 Vaccines did not provoke the discussion I had hoped for, but #48 Schools went down well in the UK and #49 Supermarkets struck a chord with readers in the US. I no longer expect people to engage with the tremendous threat to human life that automobiles represent, so #50 Roads lack of response was something I anticipated. Nonetheless, if the claim to care for human life that has so frequently been invoked in the context of COVID-19 were entirely honest, we would act on the designs of our cars and save far more lives every year than any of this year's lockdowns saved once. We do not. So we are either in a state of complete denial about transportation (highly likely) or our fear of disease unbalances our ability to accurately assess risks (also likely).

I am always interested in discussion, so feel free to raise comments either here (ideal for longer debates) or on Twitter (perfect for quick questions). And if you’ve enjoyed any of these pieces, please buy a copy of The Virtuous Cyborg and support my research into cybervirtue!

The final ten cyborgs resume next week.


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