ear today, more tomorrow

Worried that the coming advances in technological implants will bring on a post-human era? Read "Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human", Michael Chorost's story of his adjustment to a cochlear (inner ear) implant. The first chapter, graciously available for download (PDF), has completely sucked me in, and now I must go and get the rest of the book.

In the "no change without ripples" department, pediatric use of the implants started out as a wildfire issue in the Deaf community, which is still working through the discussion. Children born wholly or mostly deaf have an opportunity to 'mainstream' as a hearing person-- but only if the implants are made available at an early age so that the auditory nerves can develop normally. Hearing parents usually regard avoiding learning Sign Language as a feature, and are not aware of the benefits of being a participant in Deaf Culture.


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