There is mobile, and then there is what happens after mobile. After devices have become smaller enough to be worn or implanted there becomes other questions. At the intersection of faith and technology, there becomes yet another question when technology and behaviors evolve. For example, in a recent article Cyborg America at The Verge, we see this following snippet:
Medical Need Versus Human Enhancement
Neil Harbisson was born with a condition that allows him to see only in black and white. He became interested in cybernetics, and eventually began wearing the Eyeborg, a head-mounted camera which translated colors into vibrations that Harbisson could hear. The addition of the Eyeborg to his passport has led some to dub him the first cyborg officially recognized by federal government. He now plans to extend and improve this cybernetic synesthesia by having the Eyeborg permanently surgically attached to his skull.
Getting a medical team to help him was no easy task. “Their position was that ‘doctors usually repair or fix humans’ and that my operation was not about fixing nor repairing myself but about creating a new sense: the perception of visual elements via bone-conducted sounds,” Harbisson told me by email. “The other main issue was that the operation would allow me to perceive outside the ability of human vision and human hearing (hearing via the bone allows you to hear a wider range of sounds, from infrasounds to ultrasounds, and some lenses can detect ultraviolets and infrareds). It took me over a year to convince them.”
In the end, the bio-ethical community still relies on promises of medical need to justify cybernetic enhancement. “I think I convinced them when I told them that this kind of operation could help ‘fix and repair’ blind people. If you use a different type of chip, a chip that translates words into sound, or distances into sound for instance, the same electronic eye implant could be used to read or to detect obstacles which could mean the end of braille and sticks. I guess hospitals and governments will soon start publishing their own laws about which kind of cybernetic implants they find are ethical/legal and which ones they find are not.”
And this is just the short, side-article. Read the rest of Cyborg America at The Verge
And now its your turn. After you’ve pushed the merits of mobile as a ministry technology, are you ready for the implications of cybernetics towards ministry? Its coming, and in some respects, is here. And as we seen from the recent Olympics (South Africian 400m runner Oscar Pistorius), there’s another challenge to consider when we become the device not just the user.
Bonus: a person who’s digital appendage allws him to see in color using sound: