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October 24 , 2008

Cyborg Citizen

Politics in the Posthuman Age


The growing synergy of humans and technology – from dialysis to genetically altered foods to PET scans – is transforming how we view our minds and our bodies. But how has it changed the body politic? How can we forge a society that protects the rights of human and cyborg alike?

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The creator of the cult classic Cyborg Handbook, Chris Hables Gray, now offers the first guide to "posthuman" politics, framing the key issues that could threaten or brighten our technological future. For good or ill, politics has already been cyborged in ways that touch us all: On-line voting promises to change who participates. Wars are won on video screens. Biotechnological advances – cloning, sexual prostheses, gene patents – are redefining life, death, and family in ways that strain the social contract. In the face of these advances, visions of the cyborg future range from the utopian to the nightmarish, from a spiritual super-race transcending the body's confines to a soulless Borg consuming human individuality.

Only with a broad, historically rich and ethically grounded understanding of these issues, Gray argues, can we combat the threats to our freedom and even our survival. A work of vision and imagination, Cyborg Citizen lays the groundwork for the participatory evolution of our society.

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