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We are already cyborgs

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By using “machine extensions” of ourselves- like cell phones and computers - we are already part-machine;i.e. cyborgs. So says visionary and maker Elon Musk.

I watched the last Batman movie: “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” recently. It was a bit confusing to me; the story wasn’t easy to follow. But one theme was clear: technology-enhanced Batman felt it was his duty to take down the genetically enhanced Superman because no one could control Superman’s power. The rest of the world struggles with what kind of hero it really wants and needs- the “good-kind” guy or the “bad-tough” guy. In the film, Batman is obviously the latter.

Wonder Woman was my first favorite superhero. She’s the offspring of an Amazon queen and a god. You would think she could be despised as well- who likes a perfect woman? However, her humility, compassion and love for humanity are always evident. I always visualize Wonder Woman when the phrase “superwoman” is used.

The biggest female superhero of 2018 was Shuri from Black Panther. Fans of Marvel Comics know she eventually becomes the next Black Panther in the series. Her technical genius and arrogance are refreshing, but not as attractive as Wonder Woman’s quiet confidence. Is she comparable to Batman in this comparison? Somehow technology always compares negatively with physical or mental gifts. Is it because human invention itself is an admission of need and covetousness? Does our curiosity ultimately doom us like the cat? The desire to fly like a bird, or swim like a shark or see like an owl are nature’s secrets, slowly revealed to us. Nonetheless, artificial intelligence, bionics, robotics are in a battle for public acceptance, creating new courtrooms for morality and ethics.

Should we even discuss the health, beauty and fashion industries which use advanced science and high tech methods to alter our looks, bodies and even minds with the goal of “self-improvement”? It may be lower on the morality and ethics spectrum, but makeup, cosmetic surgery, herbal supplements, steroids, augmented reality filters on IG are part of this landscape too. Let’s open the door…

Marvel and DC Comic movies portray superheroes and villains that are mutants, gods, genetically altered humans and technical geniuses. The abilities of the characters are mixed on either side of good and evil. Intention and actions ultimately determine which side we are on, good or bad.

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