I guess this would be the real challenge to my techno-optimist stand point. Or rather it would be putting my money where my mouth is.
Or rather, my leg where my mouth is.
Which probably wouldn’t help much.
Basically, I hope that bionics/cybernetics will be good enough soon that these questions will seem startlingly irrelevant. Which is perhaps a little extreme on the optimism front. Particularly with regard to affordability and availability for the general public.
And it’ll be a while before the NHS versions become retro chic, ala the cheap chunky specs.
But health insurance issues aside, I do imagine a day when the solutions are available to all. In fact I even suspect people will start paying a fortune to get them done voluntarily. We are after all approaching the singularity.
Anyway, I’m sure this is technically dodging the question. We all know what is really meant here.
What could you live with out. What could you find the best work arounds for (future technological developments excluded)?
I think my vanity might want to preserve my legs. I’ve got sexy legs. But they’re mostly hidden anyway, so I guess that’s partly irrelevant.
It boils down to the fact of versatility I’m sure. Legs are great. Sexy and pretty and getting us around. But depending on the damage, I also think they are the easiest to replace with current technology. Depending on where the damage is, wheels or falsies or just crutches. I’ve seen people move at quite a nip in all of these, even if you do then suddenly have a very difficult time with stairs etc.
And my dancing is already dreadful. Perhaps having less to focus on would be helpful.
So first part, lose a leg. Get a pair of crutches and and a peg. Or if that’s unfeasible quickly learn to wheelchair about and at least I’d end up fulfilling one of my favourite Taoist lines and ‘live close to the ground’.
If we’re getting really extreme, with the one limb remaining thing. I’d still want my writing hand. Though at that point I’d find the whole of life so incredibly difficult to deal with. I can much easier imagine being wheelchair-bound than reduced to just one hand. The amount of stuff to relearn just seems so huge. The difficulty in even making a cup of tea would unsettle constantly. I mean. I’ve seen people with missing arms do so much. I can see from experience that it’s not impossible. It’s just an incredible learning curve.
Either way, no matter what you lose, you’d start to realise just how badly this world is designed. Civilisation has not treated people well with it’s assumptions of ability.
The ergonomics of life are not in line with what I would hope for if I was in that position.
And that’s why I am glad to be reminded of the struggle. Because that’s what I should want now, from my position.
A simpler life designed for all.
Illustration by Adam.