Imagine the world we live in now, but eclipsed with advanced technology. Picture an augmented human race, apply a thick gloss of neon to the cityscape, and witness new rules initiated by illicit cybernetic modifications that redefine someone’s structure.
A cyberpunk reality.
As an avid fan of science fiction, I like to imagine how the world would cope with such upgrades. To visualise how society might soar, survive on, or succumb to a plethora of futuristic additions. Would cybernetic enhancements – as seen in various comics, books, and movies – ever truly dominate our species to the extent portrayed in fiction? I would like to think so. Maybe not to a frightening degree as often depicted, but I suppose that’s the point exacerbated in those sci-fi tales – moral messages or grave warnings of the worst-case scenarios as humanity ascends to that pioneering checkpoint.
But would technology so advanced as to controversially alter our design and biology ever be permitted? Enhancements that could be embedded internally or grafted externally to an extent that categorises the ‘client’ more cyborg than human? It would inevitably fracture an already fragile political climate. Further groups would emerge: the augmented and the non-augmented. Who would you side with?
Public reception would be mixed. Some citizens would cry out to be saved from physical disabilities, longing to live unhindered; people with religious beliefs might outright reject cybernetics through fear they are staining the image of God, perhaps; some could be completely disinterested with the concept altogether, unconcerned with the positive or negative effects and live free; and some people might exhibit unnatural obsessions with the tech and become addicted to upgrading their bodies – desires that would ultimately be detrimental to their image or damaging to their health.
Naturally, cybernetics would feed corruption. Economical and physical capitulation. Intrigue and megalomania would fuel unlawful experiments aswell as a network of underground ‘surgeries’ for those with a scientific interest or those with deeper pockets. The nightscape would breathe with fresh entertainment and spawn new-found options. Would cybernetic modifications become forbidden because of governments’ aversion to such futurism? Or would it thrive? Potential for market profit might sway their judgements. Not only accepted by government, but desired; implemented in law enforcement to have an edge over criminals who may harbour their own dark upgrades to help evade capture. An influx of cyber-related crimes would occur, cybernetic abuse, like modern drugs, would be common. The world might collapse in sin. Or might not.
Would the world gradually acclimatise to advanced technology or dehumanise themselves completely to the prospect of power; disillusionment from degradation. There might be riots demanding cheaper acquirement and protests from people sensing the danger. Intrusive, holographic advertisements would curtain building exteriors to promote the latest neurological implant or slickest iteration of bionic limbs… for a price: financial and corporeal.
It would be a crazy world; potentially a nightmarish one. But for the right price, would you? Partake in grand scientific achievement? Wallow in greed and bodily exhibition? Or fall prey to abnormal ventures? Maybe one day we’ll all find out.