There is indeed a very strong relationship between humans, machines and animals. So we may easily call this connection “HU.MACHI.NALS”.
Men have made a rigid distinction between these three categories, already many centuries ago, but we must say that nowadays this seems, in a certain sense, outdated! There is a kind of pyramid in which humans act as pharaohs, while machines and animals are their subjects. But is this pyramid, or hierarchy as you prefer, really necessary?
Plato, and many many years after, Descartes, stated the superiority of the human beings over both machines and animals, thus even if machines are smarter than us, and some of the “others” can be our “best friends”, and of proven intelligence like dogs, or even cats like my Gigi, a common European cat that understands a lot of simple commands, answers me and is capable of clearly showing what he desires. Men cannot easily define this relationship and believe to be the best on our planet while considering everyone and everything else as our inferiors. And this, however, is not true!
These days there is a continuous contamination between these groups with the e so-called Cyborgs (like Terminator sent back in time to eliminate a human being that leads mankinds’ fight against robots in a near future, but is converted to “our” cause, and the same Skynet, that after being created by the Americans, wants to take control of the whole World killing every human).
A cyborg, that is the short form for “cybernetic organismi”, is a being with organic and artificial parts. The term was coined in 1960 by Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline. A few years later S. Halacy’s Cyborg: Evolution of the Superman in 1965 wrote about a deep connection between ‘inner space’ and ‘outer space’ – “a bridge…between mind and matter.” Fictional cyborgs are a synthesis of synthetic and organic parts. Many talk about the differences between human and machine, bothered by morality as well as free will.
This type of cyborgs can be represented as human with some mechanical parts like the astronaut Steve Austin of the 1970s television series “The Six Million Dollar Man” and his fianceè, the elementary school teacher, Jamie Summers. These have great physical abilities that exceed by far those of normal human beings.
Another type of cyborg is Tony Stark, a technologically advanced superhero called Iron Man. He is almost totally human, apart from the electromagnet in his chest.
As we can see in some of the above examples of cyborgs, we have that these own human brains, or those that are on humans’ side, are the good ones, while the others are all the bad guys! But is this fair?
However, it’s with the Monster, the unnamed disgusting being created by doctor Frankenstein, that there is a “Creature”, a “Something”, made out of different parts of human bodies and disclaimed by his creator. This Creature is truely abhorrent and whoever sees it, runs aways as fast as he can. So it simply wants its just revenge and, if we weren’t human beings, we would be on his side!
As for our animal friends we have to state that there are also plenty of tecnologically advanced animals like Battle- Cat, He-Man’s mate, that can be catalouged as a perfect example of animal “exploited” by humans!
So as we must admit that there is a very very deep relationship between humans, machines and animals. Together they could give life to a bright utopian future!
Howsoever, if we continue to consider ourselves superior to both animals and machines the future might not be so bright. There could really be a dystopian world in which a Skynet, an Ape, a Big Brother or even a Pig might be able to take control of our Planet and exterminate or enslave us. This thing wouldn’t be very funny nor pleasing but only tragic for our “race” and delightful for those that would become our superior.
We have to strongly consider that to change our future from becoming a dystopian one we have to change our behaviour that may give birth to dreadful worlds and societies such as those of the XX century in which fascisms, nazisms and comunism have founded fearful places for their people. So, if we don’t want this kind of places we have to act and educate better our children and respect “others”. Otherwise mankind could be doomed!
- What Makes Us Human? (twoculturescourse.wordpress.com)
- Group 13: Cyborgs (fms110fall2013.wordpress.com)