miscellany/etymology, Uncategorized

“That Man Ate All Our Shrimp! And Two Plastic Lobsters!”

hey folks, september is (roughly) the 50th anniversary of the coining of the term ‘cyborg’, and i’ve been invited by Tim of Quiet Babylon to participate in the 50 Posts About Cyborgs event which he’s curating or whatever, along with a lot of other big blogwigs you may or may not ever have heard of.

my official contribution can be read on Quiet Babylon as of sometime Monday. the project site itself is here.

in the process of trying to sort out what i was going to write about (and struggling with linking it directly to food, which emphasis i eventually decided to abandon), i got to thinking about the age old fantasy of the future which i like to refer to in shorthand as the space-food-pill. this is the idea i think we’ve all heard at one time or another of “Wouldn’t It Be Great If They Could Invent One Pill That Would Give You All Your Nutritional Requirements So You’d Never Have To Waste Time Cooking Or Eating Again?” (i’m sure you can guess how i feel about that sort of thing). to varying degrees, this idea has preoccupied us for some time, reoccurring regularly in sci-fi, but also taking shape in the”real world” as dehydrated ‘astronaut food,’ and to a certain extent, the supplements boom. by which i mean not merely vitamins, but superfoods like blue green algae and the like, supplements that dream of being substitutes; and the comparable reductionism of the juice diet.

what does this have to do with cyborgs? well, maybe lots, maybe nothing, depending on how you think about cyborgs/what you use cyborgs to think about. it’s a bit of a bigger discussion, and beside my central point, so i’ll try to condense it as effectively as possible, because it’s still worth thinking about. Continue reading