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Cyborg Citizen: Politics in the Posthuman Age
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0415919797, Paperback)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
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:35:53 -0500)
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