Sufficiently Advanced

When we hear the word “cyborg”, we usually think of chromed endoskeletons, glowing camera eyes and data-jacks at the back of the neck that that let you hook the Net straight into the brain stem. What we often forget is that this is an image manufactured by contemporary writers and film-makers. It’s meant to impress, to astonish, to convey a sense of novelty, power and alienness. It’s audacious on purpose.

The picture might be quite different in the real world. If cybernetic enhancement ever becomes sufficiently advanced and safe to be widespread, to be common, we might see lots of real-world cyborgs go for a subtler aesthetic. Techno-fetishists aside, the majority of newly cyborgized humans would probably prefer a very human-like form – probably one that projects a sense of power and intelligence. Like Gandalf.

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