January 21st, 2012

Ann Vole

Cyborg rodents

The classical definition if a cyborg is to be part biological and part machine. Some people consider humans to already be cyborgs because so much of who we are is already tied to technology. I suppose with that line of thinking, my goal in life is to make cyborg rodents who live interconnected with technology -not physically but culturally. Like physical cyborgs, cultural cyborgs can do things stronger, faster, longer then without the machine side of their identity. Is being a furry a type of cyborg? Us furries take on an alternate identity which is just a man-made creation (even if it is just a text description of our fursona) and together with our "real life" identity, we can go further into our imagination then our physical identity alone.
Ann Vole

Cyborgism through the ages

In reference to my previous post, "Cyborg rodents", being part machine could include the technologies we create that changes our life for the better but is then so connected to our way of thinking that without that technology we become very disabled. A deaf pet is often completely un-noticable as being different then that species with hearing but a deaf human sticks out like a sore thumb because of human relience on verbal language. This points to one of the first ways humans became cyborgs by becoming one with verbal and later writen language. We built houses, and so do many animals, but once we started selling houses, we culturally became connected with a technology beyond our own abilities. I could extend this cyborg concept to all animals who build homes but you could also say that the expectation of such a home to be built is part of the animal's genetics and cultural instincts (stuff learned from others of their kind including living in the home of their mother). For this reason, I am taking the line to where it is not expected to find/steal/make a home but rather to buy the home as a set of technologies beyond the scope of everyone expected to be making their own. Agriculture is touted as being one of the key inventions of early humans that gave us that advantage over other animals. In the days of Joseph of the Bible, humans were already so tied to the technologies of agriculture and of homes that Egypt was able to buy up that part of the world (all forms of currency at the time including real estate) with stored grain and with the use of irrigation systems. The Assyrians, Greeks and Romans each took the institutions of government to new levels and created new cultural cyborgism where people could do more with their lives due to the protection and local security of living in an empire. Money is a new tool that started to be used to change the way we live as soon as it left the express purpose of taxes. This happened with the emergence of banks about 200 years ago. Living without money is very difficult in our current culture so we are definitely cyborgs with the technology of money. Transportation such as "the invention of the wheel" and the domestication of horses and camels has changed our lives but was still in the realm of walking and running speeds of humans. Boats and trains and later trucks and cars and aeroplanes have taken mankind to a new level of living that we are cripples as a society without them. Other then boats with their wind powered sails, these transportation technologies have relied on mined energy (coal, petrochemicals) but otherwise, we heated our homes with burning wood. That also changed so having an automatically heated and sometimes cooled home is a new technology (last 100 years or so) that again has put us into a binding requirement of such technologies to survive life as we know it. Technologies of communications were new as of 100 years ago with telegraph and telephones and now with TV and internet. We now could not imagine life without these yet telegraph and even telephones are becoming "ancient history" in favor of instant portable comunication technologies. Someone asked what time it was in an elevator and nobody looked at their wrist but almost everyone pulled out their cel phone. Sounds like we are cyborgs to our cel phones. Homeless shelters here now need to keep free wi-fi connections so these homeless people can look for a job using their laptops. I envision a future where more and more people are living in high-tech, fuel-efficient motorhomes. Farmers in my area are doing that more and more and leaveling their farmyards for more land to grow stuff or at least replacing the home and garden with more grain storage bins. Living in cities has the advantage of local hospitals and shopping malls and police or firemen that will show up in minutes rather then an hour or so as on the depopulated farm communities. Sounds like we are cyborgs with city life too. I feel my focus in life is not a permanent structure but the technologies of heat storage and use that can be utilized by a structure over the storage area. This structure could be a normal-looking modern house or could be a mobile building including mobile homes and buildings on wheels to be pulled by a semi-trailer "tractor" truck. I think my direction of becoming a bus driver is to get the right driver licence levels to drive such a semi tractor unit and then build mobile buildings and their underground heat storage units (with only a milk-crate sized hook-up box at the ground surface). We can then become cyborgs with our mobile home unit and no longer tied to petrolium-based utilities or energy-expensive home construction and the fuel-expensive transportation needs of "urban sprawl". I am going to end this post to become one with this piano in front of me.
Ann Vole

Cyporg socks

There is a short-lived TV show called "Greg the Bunny" about the off-screen lives of the puppets and humans involved with a fictional children's TV show production. The puppets were like they were alive and prefered to be called "fabricated Americans" rather then puppets. The most severe taboo word for them is "sock" as in "sock puppet" (which Greg the bunny clearly is). I figure the key technology I will use in both digital animation (of realistic animal CGI characters usually) and animal training software (including training animals to communicate via computers) is what is called a "waldo". A waldo is like a puppet on the inside but measures all the hand movements and translates them to movements on either a robotic puppet or on a CGI character's movements. A waldo is as close as you can get to becoming a cyborg without phycically changing your body. New gaming systems are using cameras to determine body movements and such systems will be used for me to animate waldo-style. To show an animal on a screen exactly what I want it to do (using a waldo-controlled CGI version of that species in a digital copy of the physical set) might work very quickly without any other animal training. So my life goals are talking animals via portable energy-self-sufficient buildings to raise them in, digital worlds and waldos to get them talking on screen, and artificial intelligence programming to facilitate real animal communication for faster shots of the animals doing stuff with final bonus points to get real animals talking on chat rooms. I hope that shows my focus more clearly. Becoming a bus driver, building inspector, real estate agent... All of that is just steps along the way to make that ever-present need for cash flow while still staying on the path of talking animals (even if they are just cyborg "sock puppets").
Ann Vole

Cyborgs of God

Jesus said "me and my father are one" suggesting he was the same being as God. Christian thinking is usually that Jesus was 100% human but also 100% God. I could see that more clearly by comparing it to my "cultural cyborg" concept (presented in my recent posts today). We can still be 100% biological human yet be very much one with the technology we have become. Jesus as a human can still be a normal Homo sapien yet can embody all the aspects of God in who and what he is. I keep mentioning this search for my goal in life, my focus but what it really is just my search for what God wants me to do. I thought it was to rebuild houses but it is becoming clear that those opportunities were just to get me thinking along the right lines. My Regina house is probably the worst building type and location for solar of all the buildings out there yet when I punched the numbers, I could make it work as a energy self-sufficient building with underground heat storage and some related technologies. Having that opportunity taken away is a clear message that I have learned what I was supposed to figure out and actually doing the conversion of that building was not the goal. My fixation with mobile homes came shortly after I asked God to give me a strong desire to do what he intended me to do. The other sudden interest was raising small animals. The Third interest that struck me at the time was animation. Putting these three side-by-side does not make sense yet each time I took one of the three interests to traditional conclusions, I was stopped by what seems to be divine intervention. My effort has always been to become one with God and this goal has lead me to an interesting and fun conclusion. Become a cyborg of God and change the world.