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Lance Armstrong: “our collective discomfort with a cyborg nature”

Monday, 3 September, 2012

Cyborgology? “Today, with the vast proliferation and diffusion of new technologies throughout society, techno-human syntheses occur in more aspects of our lives than ever before. Advances in medicine augment our bodies with technology (e.g., pills, pacemakers, IUDs, breast implants, Viagra, contact lenses).”

That’s the standpoint from which Jenny Davis proceeds in “Resistant Cyborgs: Lessons from Lance Armstrong“. Conclusion: “In short, the cyborg is a threat to categorical ordering, and this threat is amplified by its application to our very being. We are uncomfortable by our own blurriness, and we take it out on those who display the cyborgness of humanity in explicit ways. In this vein, we reject those who use steroids, ridicule those who use Viagra, and shame those who obtain cosmetic surgery.”
Davis quotes the example of Oscar Pistorius, saying that his “embodiment challenges us by throwing the technological bodily element in our collective face, and explicitly linking it to success among ‘Normals'”. Interestingly, the South African paralympian was in the eye of a media hurricane yesterday because of remarks he made following his loss in the Paralympic T44 200m final in London. By claiming that gold medallist Alan Oliveira’s artificial legs were too long, Pistorius was acting very much as any Normal, stunned by a defeat suffered due to questionable advantage, would.


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