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Cyborg Citizen: Politics In The Posthuman Age

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ISBN 10: 0415919789 / ISBN 13: 9780415919784
Condition: As New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Cyborg Citizen: Politics In The Posthuman ...

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:As New

About this title

Synopsis:

The growing synergy of humans and technology--from dialysis to genetically altered foods to PET scans--is transforming how we view our minds and our bodies. But how has it changed the body politic? How can we forge a society that protects the rights of human and cyborg alike?

The creator of the cult classic Cyborg Handbook, Chris Hables Gray, now offers the first guide to "posthuman" politics, framing the key issues that could threaten or brighten our technological future. For good or ill, politics has already been cyborged in ways that touch us all: On-line voting promises to change who participates. Wars are won on video screens. Biotechnological advances-- cloning, sexual prostheses, gene patents--are redefining life, death, and family in ways that strain the social contract. In the face of these advances, visions of the cyborg future range from the utopian to the nightmarish, from a spiritual super-race transcending the body's confines to a soulless Borg consuming human individuality.

Only with a broad, historically rich and ethically grounded understanding of these issues, Gray argues, can we combat the threats to our freedom and even our survival. A work of vision and imagination, Cyborg Citizen lays the groundwork for the participatory evolution of our society.

Review:

Some great science fiction has asked about robots and the right to vote--but what happens when we're 51 percent artificial ourselves? Cyberculture scholar Chris Hables Gray looks at the ever-changing human body in Cyborg Citizen: Politics in the Posthuman Age and makes some well-educated guesses on the makeup of the future cybernetic body politic. Though he does go out of his way to remind the reader that nearly all of us are bioenhanced (that is a vaccination scar, isn't it?), he's neither a chrome-eyed Extropian nor a Rifkinesque fear-mongerer. His thesis is refreshingly simple in a world overfilled with postmodern complexity: we're changing our bodies more and more radically, and we ought to think about how this will change our way of life.

Examining health care, social interactions, and politics, Gray's focus is largely on particular modifications and enhancements such as prosthetic limbs, artificial organs, performance-enhancing drugs, and their descendants. The book never dips into freak show territory, though; even if Gray uses colorful examples to illustrate his points, he still maintains a humanistic attitude throughout. His simple thesis, coupled with this attitude, create a web of thought that is simultaneously entertaining and enlightening. Though our track record on preemptively dealing with change is spotty at best, reading Cyborg Citizen is still a good prescription for keeping the posthuman jitters at bay. --Rob Lightner

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