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Dissertation Build-Up: Research 30/01/2017

Essay Title Names:

Augmentation, its Purpose, and its Portrayal in all Media

Augmentation, It's creative potential and its creative potential and its creative potential and It's Creative Destruction

Augmentation and It's Interpretations

Creative Augmentations 101

Why Change what doesn't need Replacing? Augmentation

Creative Evolution-Augmentations and Bionics

Book Sources:

Robots: The Quest for Living Machines (1992)
Chapter 7
Pg: 194-203
Quote 1.
"For example one scientist, Joel Kingsolver, has noted that the techniques used in butterfly feeding and thermoregulation exploit physical principles that can be found 'in the operation of many machines.

When we explore specific biological strategies in detail, we encounter a close adherence to what a tightly engineered design makes possible. The characteristics of constituent materials, for instance, are exploited to make biological systems as resilient as possible." ~ Geoff Simons (1992)

Digital People: From Bionic Humans to Androids (2004)
Pg 172
Quote 1
"In both natural and artificial beings, the senses are bridges between the physical operations of a body and the higher operations of a brain or a mind. These sensory bridges carry us into the mental make-up of a digital being: its intelligence, its rational thoughts, its feelings if any, and - if any - its consciousness" ~ Sidney Perkowitz (2004)

The Cyborg Handbook (1995)
Part 3-3.1,
Pg: 142
Quote 1
"On the darker side, children are themselves becoming commodities. As people drastically limit their quantities of children, the seek to improve the chances for high quality according to their own standards, including heredity and sex preselection. Through postmodern approaches, one can now supplement quantity control with quality control" ~ Adele Clarke (1995)

Nanoethics-The Ethical and Social Implications of Nanotechnology (2007)
Chapter 13
Pg: 178
Quote 1
"Should We Play God with our Brains?
This question may seem to have a double meaning. First, it asks whether we should physically modify our brains. Second, it asks whether we should employ out brains in deciding whether or not to play god. Perhaps it implies that only one without brains would play god. Be that as it may, it is the first of these meanings that will occupy us here" ~ Ted Peters (2007)

Chapter 13
Pg: 181
Quote 2
"How do we know what human nature is? How might we know when we have changed or violated it? The answer most frequently offered in this intuition. We intuit what is natural. Now this intuited knowledge could either be rational or emotional." ~ Ted Peters (2007)

Cyberspace/Cyberbodies/Cyberpunk: Cultures of Technological Embodiment (1995)
Chapter 5/Postmodern Virtualities
Pg: 79
Quote 1
"The discussion of postmodern culture focuses to a great extent on an emerging new individual identity or subject position, one that abandons what may in retrospect be the narrow scope of the modern individual with its claims to rationality and autonomy" ~ Mark Poster (1995)

Media Sources:

Halo Franchise-Asset-Child Soldiers/Influence and Augmentations

Purpose of Topic:

The Essay is based upon the ideas of augmentation, and how it is portrayed in the media. The idea of child soldiers is something wrong on a humanitarian level, but logically this option will yield better results.

This will be one of the main topics of the essay, the idea of humans created for a single purpose, and a single purpose only is something that is questionable, removing the ability of a human to choose their own fate, their own destiny.

Destiny Franchise-Siva Technology and Fallen Splicers Way of Life, Machine Gods

Purpose of Topic:

In the lore, the technology of SIVA, is a self-replicating Nano-Technology, create with good intention. When this technology falls into the wrong hands however the tech takes on a whole new meaning.

The idea that technology is some sort of god and living beings that infuse themselves with that technology in order to become gods is a topic which can elaborate on the darker sides of augmentation. Granted the species using the tech is not human, but still, this idea came from a human mind, so the intention could potentially be there.

Dues Ex Franchise-Asset-Recreating a Human

Purpose of Topic:

Now Deus Ex has people replacing their limbs that are supposedly better than their original limbs. Now, this topic will feed into the design of bionics and prosthetic limbs. The idea of replacing something to give it a function, or regain a function after it has been lost is good.

This would be the first topic talked about because of two things. The first being how augmentations can be a good thing and not be too disgusting because its giving back purpose to something which was lost (Adam Jenson).

The second will be about the designs of most prosthetics, and how Postmodern they are. Designed by Humans, for humans.


Halo Franchise-Asset-Armour Design/Purpose

Purpose of Topic:

The armor in the Halo franchise, also known as MJOLNIR, is an exoskeleton/armor mean to enhance the user's abilities. Known for being incredibly tough this armor would obviously be beneficial to anyone who would wear it.

Well, that would be the case except the person wearing either needs to be incredibly strong or augmented. If the user is not powerful enough, then the power of the suit literally crushes the user from the inside.

The general design of the armors are based off real military tech, but where that influence becomes postmodern is not very well understood. Also, the idea of a human being made to fit a suit rather than a suit being made to fit a human.

Deus Ex Franchise-Asset-Augmented Abilities

Purpose of Topic:

As known in the Deus Ex Franchise, you are put in the boots of Adam Jenson, a security Gaurd who ends up in a horrible, near death accident. Fortunately, he is rebuilt, and with augmented powers.

Now there are two points that should be elaborated upon, the first being once again replacing what has been lost, and the second is having superpowers.

Now having these powers through means of technical ascension can portray people who have augmentations are more superior than normal people. These supposed fake Postmodern ideals can give way to people becoming 'Super'humans?

Also the fact that Adam is portrayed as some sort of angle, somehow reinforcing that he is divine through technology?

Metal Gear Solid Franchise-Asset-Audio Logs, Questioning Huey [2]

Purpose of Topic:

In Metal Gear Solid VI, a man known as Huey is captured and questioned. Now, most of the audio by Huey is rather annoying and repetitive, apart from on section called 'Question Huey [2]', specifically Clone Research [1] and Clone Research [2]. In these logs, Huey begins to elaborate on some information he has heard.

In this, the idea of cloning people is mentioned, but it goes even deeper when he mentions an anonymous person known as Dr. Clark is trying to find a way to alter the physical code of human beings.

It is explained that every cell nucleus in an organism contains the genetic information for that organism, like a blueprint for life. Dr. Clack supposedly is attempting to decode the information at will, so that custom made humans beings would actually become a thing.

The quote Huey uses, and quote, "If Genes serve as the blueprint, then I wonder if they include an impulse that drives us to tweak the design? Can you imagine that? Genes encoded with information that wants its children to decode it. Is life itself putting the direction of our next evolution in the hands of scientists?"

Now, this is only a piece of lore within a game, however, the technology and idea for this concept is something that can be brought into the real world, but a much scarier question comes from this. Which idea influenced the other first, Huey's ideas or real world tech?

Main Essay Topic

Our portrayal of human/life changing/altering in all media can range from far-fetched to scarily realistic. The bridge upon this topic is packed with information that has not really been touched upon yet, so having a look at how postmodernism has influenced these changes and the results it could yield realistically can be quite scary.

The main question for the essay is How accurate will the portrayals of our current day media depictions of augmentation be in the future, and will augmentation be the right or wrong thing to do?