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Author Topic: Deus Ex brings up an interesting question...namely, would you augment yourself?  (Read 2071 times)

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Offline WolfyTopic starter

As in, would you replace body parts with Cybernetic enhancements, or get implants to make yourself stronger, or think faster, etc, etc.

Or would you stay completely human?

Would you be for or against such things?

Online Callie Del Noire

I know I wouldn't mind a good shoulder, knees or some way to better regulate my biochemistry. (bio-polar) but in the end.. I would only really be eager for one thing.

A decent pair of eyes. (looks at his coke bottles with a sigh)

Offline Aiden

I would want a pair of cybernetic eyes with different modes and also for aesthetic purposes.

Blue, Green, Gray!

Offline Shjade

Wolfy: "Deus Ex brings up an interesting question. Namely, would you aug-"

Shjade: "YES." @.@

Wolfy: ._.;

Offline Brandon

Theres a lot that goes into the debate of pro and anti-augmentation. I have not finished the game yet but Im near the end, having just returned to China.

At this point in time we already do some augmentation to fix flaws in our bodies. For example I wear glasses. While they arent as intimate as augmented eyes they are the basicly the same thing, using technology to enhance or correct a part of our bodies.

I think the question that really revolves around the debate of augmentation is what really makes us human? Is it solely our bodies? Our souls? a mix of the two? Something else? For me, humanity will always revolve around the soul. So I dont think that augmentation would lessen our humanity

That said, assuming there were no risks I would probably augment failing parts of my body like my eyes but for some reason I can not explain augmenting a fully functional part of me for the sake of doing it seems, for lack of a better word, cheap.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 12:40:18 AM by Brandon »

Offline Starlequin

Are you kidding? My fondest, dearest, and only real wish for my personal future is to live long enough for technology to advance sufficiently to be able to upload my consciousness into a computer or machine body. But I'll totally take augmentation as a patch job on the road to immortality.

(Yes, i know we're still far from attaining such levels of tech, and I'm not counting on it...too much, anyway...but a guy can dream, neh?)

Offline Sabby

I was surprised by how balanced the arguement in that game was. Usually, I find the "This isn't human!" side of such fictional debates to be stupid and overblown, like being against stem cell research for vague but passionately invoked religious reasons.

But no, as is usually the case with real issues, no one side was right or wrong, they were just extreme representations of both sides, with the only sensible answer resting squarely in the middle. Yes, augmentations are useful. We should augment when and where its needed. Yes, augmentations are also dangerous. One side was ready to lop off every limb and gouge out their eyes to fling themselves at the technology, while the other was calling it abomination, and stuck in the middle is this one little group that had it right but couldn't be heard over the rest of the idiots.

Augmentations. Need. Regulation. Thats the answer. White and Black won't solve the problem, the solution is Grey, and anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. Now, if this kind of technology existed and we faced the issue for real, I would be all for it, but I'd wanna see it closely regulated, and safely employed, constantly refine it, try to make it as safe as possible.

But of course, there will be people like the nuts on either side, throwing themselves completely onto the operating table or onto whatever Bible they're basing their objections on.

So to answer your question, I would Augment myself, but I would not do it lightly. No one should. I could use better eyes, and my concentration could be tighter, and my heart is weak. If I could afford those replacements, I would look into it, and only after I was satisfied they were safe (and believe me, you need to research this stuff, second opinions, third opinions, 5th, 6th, customer opinions) would I get them.

If I thought GEE! I have a couple dozen gran left, and now that I think about it, I could use some new legs! And hey, my lungs could be better, lets get some of those! No. Body augmentation are not piercings, tattoos and jewelry.

Offline madbadpenguin

That's interesting Sabby as i would view body mods as less of an invasive change, having something which changes your thought process. Could you know after that all of your decision-making process are the same? I feel mistakes shape us more than most things in this life, so making them is a part of growing up and living with them is growing as a person.

Online Callie Del Noire

Given my prior statement, I will add this.. from what I've seen of Deus Ex.

Mental Augs, while fun in the game, scare the hell out of me. The idea of machinery effecting my though processes makes me a bit twitchy, particularly when you see what is going on in the game later on.

Add in the need of the drugs to avoid rejection of your augs, there are some scary parallels between medical care of today and the world of Deux Ex. It's hard to not see how some drug companies are treating the illnesses of world and not CURING them.

Offline Chris Brady

If they let me walk without pain, I'd do it.

Online Callie Del Noire

If they let me walk without pain, I'd do it.

Notice I mentioned BOTH my bad knees and gimped shoulder. :D Trust me, I expect to be another member of the family 'hip replacement' club in my older age.

Offline meikle

i would not even be recognizably human by the time i was done.

if i lived in the cyberpunk 2020 setting i'd be living at borderline cyberpsychosis.

if i lived in the shadowrun setting i'd have .025 essence.

edit: probably not an early adopter though.  let the technology develop a little bit before i start getting robo-bits.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 12:05:37 AM by meikle »

Offline madbadpenguin

My legs would be replaced in a heartbeat! I had 6 operations to fix them by the time I was 30. With over 80 staples (compartment release and had my it-band removed), so the same as other guys in here I expect to be replacing parts sooner or later, so they might as well be with something kick ass!

Offline Sabby

What a lot of people fail to realize (not pointing any fingers, just people like Yahtzee have jumped in completely midunderstanding the opposition in the game) is that the Anti-Aug movement is not necessarily against Augmentations, they're being cautious about them, uneasy about the very real danger of the technology running wild. They're no more wrong then the Pro-Aug movement, but the vast majority of people on both sides are completely misrepresenting their own side.

I mean, hello? Rejection sickness? Being at a pharmacies mercy for possibly the rest of your life? Not to mention the frankly terrifying prospect of certain products backfiring because there aren't proper regulations in place to ensure extensive testing and quality control. All it takes is one bad product to ruin the lives of thousands of people, injure or even kill them, and all it would take to minimize that risk is a level headed committe and some well thought out rules.

But people aren't level headed and well thought out. Thats kind of a problem.

Offline meowpiepanda

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In the context where serious injuries occurred, I think it's a great way to help someone who needs it.  Other than that, to lob off or replace body parts of the sake of "enhancement" is not something I could really be okay with. 

I wouldn't be "radical" about it, but I would be disturbed by it's increasing popularity.  I definitely understand why it would bother people.

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As in, would you replace body parts with Cybernetic enhancements, or get implants to make yourself stronger, or think faster, etc, etc.

Or would you stay completely human?

Would you be for or against such things?
I would replace my legs in a heartbeat.

Offline Vergil1989

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I would only so I could walk and be normal.  My eyes I don't mind so much only cause my glasses are pretty good lol.  Still, a better set of muscles would be good in general considering my genetic disorder and all that atrophies most if not all of my muscles.

Offline Hemingway

If this augmentation carried with it the risks and drawbacks from Deus Ex, like rejection and being hooked on increasingly expensive drugs for the rest of your life, then probably no. I can't really imagine that happening with free universal healthcare, though. I mean, plenty of people in the real world need to take various drugs their whole lives, and they manage without pharmaceutical companies fleecing them, here at least. I think, if that was the price to pay, I would not do it unless it was somehow a medical necessity. I mean, I'd like a new pair of legs - chronic shin splints and general pain in the feet and legs sucks a lot - but I wouldn't risk my life as things are right now.

I can't really see any sort of moral objection to it, though. I tend to take an objective and realistic view of things. I have no beliefs in anything supernatural, and I don't ascribe any sort of "value" to being a "natural" human. I wouldn't be more opposed to any sort of cybernetic augmentation than, say, wheelchair use.

Offline Anteros

I would totally augment myself. Perhaps not with cybernetics, but if a biological equivalent existed I would use it. I've always been for improving myself and my abilities. If it leads me to transhumanism, it just adds some fantasy to the mix.
I don't think modifying one's body is bad or unethical. People have done it for millenia with tattos, piercings, make up, and now breast implants and other surgical procedures. Upgrading one's abilities beyond appearance seems a much less superficial goal.

Offline Cold Heritage

I dunno. The need for the anti-rejection drug is a pretty big hurdle. I mean, the demand for the drug would be huge, leading to exorbitant price increases, and probably lots of shortages.

I think the simplistic objection that augmentation would become necessary to compete is a pretty strong one. It's easy to see why steroid use is banned, given the deleterious health effects (which aren't, apparently sufficiently deleterious to deter their usage), but having a mechanical set of legs? Not so much. But once you got some guys with mechanical legs that don't get tired and let them trivially break Olympic speed records, you're gonna get whole teams of them. Or why study if I can get my intelligence boosted and get all of Encyclopedia Britannica uploaded into me, you know? And if I can't afford any of those things, why bother trying to improve myself when the best possible unaugmented human results are less than someone with the low end augmentations can achieve?

Offline Stone

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In the Human Revolution universe? No way! Getting augs there is like voluntarily gaining a drug addiction (Neuroprozine). In the original Deus Ex universe, though, without a doubt. Without any downsides to augmentations I see no real reason not to.

Offline DarklingAlice

Or why study if I can get my intelligence boosted and get all of Encyclopedia Britannica uploaded into me, you know?
A total sidenote, but that misses the point of study. Knowledge and intelligence are two separate things, and since we can barely define the latter attempts to improve on it fall flat. I think Gibson & Stephenson have deconstructed this notion a couple of times.

To the main issue: of course. The anti-aug debate in the Deus Ex: HR universe much more strongly hinges on corporate interference and the vague (and largely stupid) fears our modern society has about drug companies (and the Illuminati through a Leviathan-esque tangent). Not the tech itself.

We already augment ourselves with tech constantly. What difference does it make if it is under your skin? Not to mention that, as Freud pointed out ages ago in Civilization and its Discontents, its become the natural trajectory of human society to use tech to become as gods. And really since the alternative is naturally selecting into those capabilities, the augs get us there with a lot less loss of life.

Offline Sabby

Completely off topic, but it was in the game... just found a poster for Final Fantasy 27. It's like LAWL! It's two something something or other in the future with cyborgs, and we're still making Final fucking Fantasy! =D

Offline DarklingAlice

Completely off topic, but it was in the game... just found a poster for Final Fantasy 27. It's like LAWL! It's two something something or other in the future with cyborgs, and we're still making Final fucking Fantasy! =D

Like the Jaws advertisement in Back to the Future 2...

Offline NotoriusBEN

I leap for joy at the thought of augmentation, but then I think about the 'how' of it...

Augmentations are incredibly invasive to the human system. Look at replacment bone joints, heart monitors, gastrointentinal feeding tubes, even breast implants.

Aside from the invasiveness of augs, look at technology in general. Look how fast it progresses. We get new iphones every year or every other year. Flash Drives double in size every year and cost less that the size before it every six months. Computers get smaller and faster at the same rate and faster too. And we want to apply this increasing phenomenon to our bodies?

We'd have to undergo surgery every 6 months to a year to keep up with the 'next upgrade', not to mention what this stuff probably does at the interfacing site. Our bodies are not quite like the metal and plastic components we want to attach them too. You cant add and take away bone and flesh like you can bondo, weld, and metal.

You would have to make a universal interface point like USB connectors and ports so that you would interchange augs and make them feasible against the increasing tech curve. As newer 'USB' connections come out, it would be nice if companies offered 'legacy' connections with their products, be we all now how much of a pain it is to make legacy software work on computers now.

It is incredibly useful to have a wifi or hardline port on your aug so that you can monitor it and introduce software to better facilitate the aug. But like computers nowadays, we have faulty patching, and coding to begin with, and even... hackers. Depending on how aug'ed someone is, they could become a Proxy for some ne'er-do-well, as seen in Deus EX. They could hit you with a denial of service attack, flash your eyes with white light or shatter your hearing with tenidus(sp?) or sanity with voices in your head. They could kill you with your own aug by making it crush your throat.

I know it seems far fetched and it would be incredibly sophisticated coding to do, but you cant deny the possibility. How would you classify the legal implications of hacking someone? Is it a white-collar crime? Is it rape, because you forced somone against their will? You know for a while, criminals and creepers will be ecstatic considering how slow and ineffective the government has been with regulating and classifying internet crime.

Then we come to the ethics of augs as Sabby covered with athletes that effortlessly shatter records with howitzer pitching arms and sprints rivaling the 1/4 mile for time. Without regulation, norms would. have. to. aug. They would be left in the dust by those that could do it better, faster, stronger, smarter, harder.

I look at myself when I played Deus Ex: HR. near the beginning I played as a normal human. Cover, flank, caution, assess the situation. Then I got my arm leg and cloaking augs and I became the juggernaut. I was like the Predator as I tossed in flash bangs, shot people in the head, cloaked, moved to a different position, uncloaked, and gutted another, then locked on with my assault rifle and killed the last guy with bullets that curved around cover. It was like a butcher shop comedy. I know it is a game, but I didnt have much appreciation for life of the unauged opposition, or even the auged opposition since they thought like regular people.

All this argument aside, would I augment myself? Yes. I want cybereyes and something that lets me eat as much food/trash as I want and keep a rock 'ard body.