Human augmentation April 16, 2010Posted by Cameron Shelley in : STV202 , trackback
Check out this interview with athlete/model Amee Mullens on the Colbert Report (15 April 2010). (This link may work only in Canada.) Ms. Mullens discusses the variety of prosthetic legs that she has for different occasions, such as walking, jumping, going out on the town, etc.
At one point, Colbert asks Amee, “Do you think, at some point, that people might opt for augmentation?” Of course, as she points out, they often do. Think of breast implants, eye glasses, or even clothing. Technology is, in some way all about augmentation. Not for nothing did Freud describe a modern human as a prosthetic god:
Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic god. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on to him and they still give him much trouble at times.
(From Civilization and its discontents.)
I have noted earlier that even procedures such as knee surgery could be considered a kind of prosthesis.
In any event, as Colbert notes, Amee looks “smoking hot” in some of her prosthetic gear. Critics of technology often worry, with cause, that prosthetics can be injurious to human dignity (however you define that). It is good to note that sometimes prosthetics can also be surprisingly beautiful and enhance dignity instead.