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Transhumanism

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:41 pm
by IamLEAM1983
- Transhumanism: believing Humanity as a whole is poised to escape its biological shackles and become something else

- is one of the more expensive beliefs you could espouse to date... Even shyly augmenting things like your immune system or changing your eyes' color permanently is fairly pricey
- as such, cyborgs aren't quite a dime a dozen. The tech is ready for widespread implantation, shareholders and company CEOs aren't.
- industry analysts assume implant and prosthetics businesses depend on novelty and sense of elitism that comes from it
- plus, documented risks are surfacing. Rejection syndromes, nerve inflammations, loss of senses meant to be amplified, necrosis or death...
- these are still rare, but "purity groups" are using them as proof to condemn the aug industry

- Clanks aren't surprised. For them, the entire debate about transhumanism is something they've heard since the eighteen-hundreds...
- the catch is, once Etheric Transference Refusal Syndrome was caught, you could *prevent* uneligible people from transitioning. With cyborgs, you can't necessarily run prelim tests to see who will develop complications

- society, ever since 1850s, was divided between the Clanks and the "Meatbags". "Naturals" and "Chromes" or "Can openers" are now clashing. Same old problems, different names...

"Tolerable" implants and Prostheses
- people like sob stories. They like awful stuff that ends well. Crippled athlete gets new legs? People cheer. Blind kid sees in grayscale for the first time? Yay.
- Down Syndrome girl gets the Man Booker Prize because neural augs maintain her in the mundane average and allow her to write a best-selling book? Awesome.
- people will almost unanimously accept augmentations resulting from the loss of limbs or severe illnesses that took organs away. Nobody ever opposes synthetic hearts, for instance
- extremely minor augs get a pass. Orion Shuttles pilots get slight neural augs in case high-altitude flights go awry. Never close to superhuman, never close to supernatural. Barely noticeable with tests

Implants and Augmentations as a Trend
- as always, some people have money to burn. Not everyone *needs* to become a Clank, and not everyone *needs* to go Cyborg
- why do people do it? Because they can. They have money. It's a status symbol
- see Mike Callahan. Guy died a rock star on the police force for bringing down Weasel's grandfather. His return got him the keys to the city and a medal from the Governor

- some Cyborgs will say they feel close to "perfection". Some will say the temptation to get more work done is there
- the problem is work keeps piling up. You've got boosted arms? How about boosted legs? How about better lungs? A better heart?
- Purity-advocating groups say this destroys person's sense of self and humanity
- they have ammunition. Some people *will* go utterly overboard, either for practical reasons or because of a fairly diseased self-image
- sociopathy then becomes a potential problem. You might lash out, feeling everyone else around you is too weak, too slow, dumb, fragile, too emotional, etc.
- these "lucky few" burn through fortunes for their body and usually run afoul of creditors and bookies. They *can't* stop. They can never stop or be satisfied. Not without conseling.
- the more addicted you are to cybergear, the more you're likely to turn to Black Market solutions for more. The more you're likely to resort to criminal behavior to pay your increasing bills

- worst-case scenarios involve CPEs, or Cybernetic Psychotic Episodes. Incredible temper flare-ups, observable loss of social graces over time. Can lead to repeated attempted homicides or a string of callous, unmotivated murders
- gives credence to the idea that Humanity is a concept that's tied to the perception of your body's weaknesses, of your starting Self. Vampires can lose that, Wizards and Warlocks can lose that, Liches can lose that...
- Ghouls and Clanks can lose it too. Religious sorts would say all these things sap your soul away.

- through Augs, people tend to understand that if you're born mortal, you're probably better off dying a mortal. There's so many risks attached to being long-lived or presumably eternal that some people think we're not really cut out for it
- unfortunately, this means that even sedate Clanks, Cyborgs and supernaturals can share in that bad reputation - unless they've done something outstanding that merits applause

- it doesn't happen often, but when a Cyborg *does* snap, people hear about it. They judge the offending person harshly, they slam the entire industry without any kind of nuancing thoughts
- much like the gun industry, in this respect

- people also ignore that every Chrome burnout starts off as a first-timer. Even the most uncontrollable augmented psychopath in the country started out with a mild kidney transplant

Being a Cyborg in Hope
- there's plenty of private and public clinics that service 'borgs. They're usually lumped in with the rest of the healthcare system's clients - largely because some hardware deficiencies can trigger physical conditions
- physicians in the Hopeverse aren't all neuroscientists, but they all understand the kind of neuro-surgery that fuses implants to nervous system. They all know how stumps or buried nerve clusters react
- they all know how limb replacements all come with a certain risk of infection in the stump, seeing as you can't allow it to heal entirely. The severed nerve endings have to stay raw
- usual cause of problems tends to involve suppuration into electrical elements and/or servos. Medicate the patient, make the inflamed area go away, unplug and cleanse the limb replacement, and you're fine
- rehab is always involved, especially for upper limb replacements. Patients are encouraged to find activities requiring high precision levels with hands or fingers, or to start jogging or running, if they've got new legs
- the maller and more fine the gestures, the sooner you'll be able to handshake someone without crushing their hand

- most responsible manufacturers don't leave any space for any sort of mods or weapon racks. Modded arms that carry weapons are usually cheaper. Not as reliable
- modded limbs are tricky to handle, because the brain can't immediately handle the two or three extra commands associated with deploying guns or making your wrists go 360. Takes some practice
- it mostly involves imagining that your limbs have a new "axis" of sorts onto which they can move, or associating images or words with the concept of deploying weaponry
- that's where depersonalization starts, though. The more you can do what a normal human or anthro body couldn't do, the more you're at risk

- Army cyborgs can receive weapon-enabled limbs if need be, but they're usually promised an all-expenses paid transition to civilian models once their tour of duty is completed