The long dreamt of metalization of the human body

What do you think Haraway et al. would make of this: http://www.communistrobot.com/viewblog.php?id=591?

Stuff like this simply affirms my quasi-Harawayan position that the re-imagining of political ontology (by way, perhaps, of the cyborg, though we're certainly not limited to this metaphor) is more than just an idle, "academic" - in the pejorative sense of this term - enterprise. The cyborg is important precisely because, as a discursive building block of affinity-based politics, it directly counteracts the frighteningly militaristic undercurrent of cyborgization-left-un-(properly)-theorized. Technologization of the body, the world, romantic relationships (http://machinist.salon.com/feature/2007/11/29/robot_love/) is already happening. If we don't imagine a new politics to go along with it, well ... I think the clip above speaks for itself.

Cyborg warrior scoops up ammo canisters more efficiently than old man in suit! Punches speed bag slowly...with impunity! Walks one step at a time...UPHILL!

Granted I watched this with the sound down.

--Guattari Hero

The tests were surprisingly low tech, given the insane equipment the cyborg-user was, uh, "meshed" in, to use the word of the narrator.

That being said, it looks like the fantastic premises for many video games--"you are an elite warrior, wearing a suit that enables you to jump farther, run faster, punch harder, it has shields, it comes in different colors"--are coming true. Especially the bit about future combat versions of the cyborg suit that would be totally enclosed, thus making the user look basically indistinguishable from, say, Halo 3.

As yet, I fail to see how it would be useful for ground troops in most military situations. It seems more useful for construction sites, movers, roofers, or the infrastructure part of military life: unloading ammo supplies, loading missiles onto planes. All areas that require some human presence/intelligence, but where human strength is insufficient or fatigue is too great a factor. I wanna be able to lift 200 pounds until I get bored--but until they add a jet pack, hip cannons, and speedier running, the combat units should pass it up.

And: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

GH, don't know if this is useful at all, a friend showed this to me and the Zombie reference caught my eye.

Wiki: 'Some roboticists have heavily criticized the theory...David Hanson, a roboticist who developed a realistic robotic copy of his girlfriend's head...'

Party starts at David Hanson's house, guys.

--Guattari Hero

Maybe we should add a few more clauses to the "jump farther, run faster" litany...certainly the uncanniest of the uncanny valleys I've heard theorized.

Wow, goes to show it pays to read Wiki all the way through. Hilarious.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/02/02/social.robots.ap/index.html

And totally, disembodied-ly babe-like. I wonder how his girlfriend feels about that?

"This is like a first step," he said. "This looks like a monster because it is a severed head. But once you get used to it, it's not." Touché.

So my friend's mom works for DARPA, the defense advanced research projects agency. Apparently she evaluates grants for funding, and as such gets previews of a lot of the work going on there. One project she found remarkable: a proposal to implant video recording devices into fish, and to alter their neuro-biological-chemical-electrical-nervous make-up such that by activating implants in the fish's brain, it becomes a remote control spy.

whoooooooooooooa.

Reminiscent of the various warnings imparted to me by fantasy novels (LOTR, Narnia), that trees, animals, etc., have ideological affiliations with good or evil and cannot be trusted because they might be spies.

You could totally use remote control fish for, uh lots of things! Finding Aquaman's underwater hq! Catching non dolphin-safe tuna fishers! Or tallying enemy ships, scoping out harbors ... but still. Seriously.

Isn't there a whole thing in Johnny Mnemonic about dolphin spies...?

The video game Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 features not only remote-controlled, rocket-launching dolphins but also remote-controlled giant squid.

THINK ABOUT IT.

--Guattari Hero