The first mark of Cyborg existence is Not Knowing. The merging of animal and machine makes the cyborg possible, but it is information that defines it. Not Knowing covers a spectrum from unsatisfying to painful to hellish torment. There is the Not Knowing of Not Knowing. Where are my keys? Will the MRI show a brain tumor? Might someone Unfriend me today? There is the Not Knowing resulting from change. The Cyborg knows so much, so many archives, a vast cloud of Information. But out of datedness, new knowledge, shifting paradigms, corrupted files, call it all into question. Whatever the Cyborg knows, she knows there’s more information, that it’s not enough. This pervasive Not Knowing is like the hum of a laptop’s fan. He thinks it can’t function without it, knowing that new information will prove her wrong.
Identity does not contradict non self, the third mark of existence in Buddhism. A cyborg ages and changes in both her animal and machine parts. With this impermanence, his identity at some point also changes. Sagging body parts, brain lesions, a repaired knee, a new cell phone, a crashed hard drive, death, rebirth, the list as varied as endless, as beginingless.
Moment to moment, usually, these changes are too small for the cyborg to sense. Or this has been true. Our machine parts are getting more and more sensitive in measuring these changes. Our machine parts are getting more and more refined in categorizing and comparing these changes, of making them Information, of never losing the Information.
What complex of past actions and turbulent emotions have landed us in this realm? At some point does the Cyborg Realm become distinct from the Human Realm? Will the Information Realm become distinct from the Cyborg Realm?
More questions I don’t have anwers for.
It seems that after 17 years, having a brain injury is still unsatisfactory.
How then to construct an identity that destroys the idea of identity? The mere experience of awareness emeshed in relations. Which is to say, how then to construct information?
Disability is itself a shifting identity, always contingent on the comparative abilites of others to accomplish the task at hand. What would the world be like if my cognitive deficits were the norm?
Along the way here I also want to think about politics, culture and maybe listen to some music. More kinds of information, more kinds of experience emeshed in relations, more overlap between the inner and the outer.