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And as long as I'm posting videos today...

....here's a great one from over on anansi133's blog.

"Disabled" and "not disabled" are not binary states, and increasingly, we're learning to make the distinctions irrelevant. I think we're approaching the time when replacements to parts of our body, instead of being clunky and inferior in every way to the original, are actually improvements; this is already happening in some specific niches, such as in track and field, where the International Olympic Committee is reluctant to allow legless athletes to compete with normal athletes because of the perception that sprinting prosthetics are superior to natural legs, and give the nominally "disabled" athlete an unfair advantage.

Personally, I'd like to see an athletic event similar to the original Can-Am racing event, designed to push technology right up against its limits; the rules might be something like "any augmentation or prosthetic is permissible as long as it does not contain its own power source and is powered completely by the body of the athlete who wears it." I bet we'd see some really interesting stuff (four-second hundred-yard dash, anyone?). But I digress.

Anyway, I think the intersection of disability and transhumanism is kind of fascinating, and I find it interesting that it may end up being nominally "disabled" people who lead the way.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
That is just awesome.

It makes me wonder, did you ever read any of the brainship books by Anne McCaffrey?
Mar. 16th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
Nope! I kind of lost my interest in Anne McCaffrey quite a long time ago, I fear.
Mar. 14th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
This reminds me of a very interesting talk that Quinn Norton gave about functional body modification and the ethics of augmentation -- I definitely recommend checking it out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voA7Uz7uABE
Mar. 14th, 2009 03:07 am (UTC)
Wow. That IS an interesting video. I didn't realize how much resistance there is to the notion of body modification among plastic surgeons--if they do any modification away from "societal norms," they can lose their licenses. Interesting stuff.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )