I was thinking; if my best mate were to put his hand to his face and rip off what I was led to believe was human skin, thereby revealing himself as a cyborg, should I be afraid?
Well, should I? If so, why is that?
After all if the guy has given me, say, ten years of friendship, why would fear suddenly enter the equation?
Should I be intimidated because I can now see his moving bits? (And if he were to show me his, am I obliged to show him mine?)
Okay, so on one level – thinking he was a homo sapien – I’ve been bonding with him under a misapprehension, but is that enough justification for the relationship to end?
If so, is it because a basic element of being human – that of having the power to trust – has been exposed as false?
I ask, because doing my day job involves working with young teenagers, and the amount of technology that now fills their time suggests to me that a few of them may be cyborgs. What kind of disturbs me is that I can’t tell who are the humans. I find myself becoming suspicious that I may be lecturing to a mixed group. Those who yawn a lot during the morning are obviously humans who were in front of a screen until the early hours. On the other hand, Lance and Jerome are, I suspect, unnaturally brighter than they should be for fourteen year-olds, never yawning and having a challenging look whenever I communicate directly with either of them.
So if they are part of the cyborgian fraternity, well, should I worry?
For some months, I’ve been trying to work out – privately – what properties make us human, like, for example, trust. I only have a few mates, not because I am a miserable bastard (which I’m not) but because I find that inevitably, I only have a limited time to share with others. I’ve learned from experience that if a thing has life, it will atrophy if it isn’t fed, so I make an
effort to keep my one-to-one friendships well-watered.
Shooting the shit regularly with each of them helps to build the trust that I reckon is a fundamental element of bonding between guys.
There’s a section in the What Men Do Guide about Alexander the Great and the way he sustained close relationships with the guys with whom he was tight. Remember, we’re talking about a time when entrapment and betrayal were the ultimate sins (though according to today’s leading psychologists they still are what we guys fear most.),
So, is my current fear of getting close to a cyborg a sad reflection of my lack of balls? Should I accept that I’m fast becoming like one of the Neanderthals who, 30,000 years ago, couldn’t keep up with the competition of the homo sapiens and eventually died out?
Currently, as a homo sapien, perhaps I should start to pal up with the homo cyborgs and get used to grinding my molars on a diet of megabyte salad.