My Cyborg Mother-in-Law

A new movie?  No, a fact of reality. My mother-in-law is a cyborg.  And I think it is the coolest thing in the world.

There are a variety of definitions of cyborg (cybernetic organism), but usually they refer to a human being whose body has been taken over in whole or in part by electromechanical devices (wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn).  Any type of artificial part that directly connects with our nervous system would qualify.  Several such devices are already on the market - the pace maker, the cochlear implant, BrainGate, etc.  My mother-in-law recently had surgery to enhance her deteriorating hearing with a Cochlear implant, an implanted device that amplifies sound, by passing the ear drum, and directly stimulating the auditory nerve with the appropriate electronic signals.  Her hearing has increased dramatically, to the point where she can now hear conversations on her cell phone where she never could before.

Being a cyborg is not bad.  Far from it.  It implies a recognition of the facts of reality and our own limitations there-in.  That we as humans can overcome these limitations through reason, science, technology, and engineering.  It really is a shame that the term cyborg was hijacked by sci-fi writers and given such a negative connotation.. 

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