About the Book
Everyone is a cyborg, but they don't realize it.
I got my first computer when I was two years old, a Commodore 64, and I've been inseparable from computers since. As a computer scientist and software engineer, I spent the last ten years of my life writing and thinking in computer code. My intense relationship with technology has without question shaped who I've become. My thought process is linear and binary, similarly to the way a computer works. Even my childhood memories are structured like the virtual spaces in the old DOS games I loved. I cannot think in other ways unless I intervene.
I know that I'm a cyborg.
I want to understand where the computer ends and I begin. Within my work, I use programming to investigate my relationship with the machine. I purposefully exaggerate these cyborg effects by writing software that requires me to repeat the same interaction with the computer many times. Sometimes, it seems as if the computer and its code are becoming humanized. Sometimes, it seems as if my expressive signature as a human being has been subsumed into a strange feedback world within the machine. Through my investigations, I learn how my perceptions and identity are determined by my relationship with the computer. I am both commenting on and trying to break free of this enmeshment.
As computers become increasingly omnipresent, I see their potential to cause long-term harm, even if unintentionally, as well as for the intentional abuse of technology's controlling effects. I feel an urgency to understand this power dynamic and bring awareness of it to others. Technology's users must be mindful of their interactions with it, and those developing new technologies must be thoughtful and ethical in their decisions starting at the early stages of their development - the most critical time in the life of a technology.