Cybernetic superorganisms

I woke up this morning to the thought that we’re already cyborgs.

At a biological level, we’re all superorganisms mostly comprising bacteria due to the human body’s dependance on human flora.

I think it’s fairly easy to draw parallels to cybernetics at a higher practical level. There is a lot of technology that is very much a part of who we are, and that makes us cyborgs: organisms that have enhanced abilities due to technology.

I don’t want to bother talking about obvious enhancement technology (eg. the bionic ear, hearing aids, glasses) because I think that there is a fair case for all people to be considered cyborgs based on more basic universal technology: clothing and language.

Clothing is fairly universal and serves a number of purposes such as improving: our temperature control, our durability, and our personal appearance. It’s also obviously man-made (technology) due to it’s physicality.

Language is less obvious; I’m not sure that most people would consider it “technology” at first. However, it is a construct that has been developed extensively over the course of human history.

Complex communication and collaboration aren’t possible without language, so it greatly enhances our social abilities. Perhaps more importantly, it greatly enhances our memory (particularly when combined with music and writing).

Fundamentally, language facilitates complex thought: What language do you think in? We need language and it’s as much a part of who we are as our human flora and human body.

We’re cybernetic superorganisms (and that sounds pretty cool to me!).