We’re all cyborgs.
Technology has become so omnipresent in each of our lives that our brains have begun engaging in new behaviors that are molded around it, argues technologist and entrepreneur Amber Case. And to help us better understand the ways in which that’s happening, she’s created the Illustrated Dictionary of Cyborg Anthropology, a volume that documents a slew of experiences you’ve probably never heard of–from “Junk Sleep” to “Quantified Self”–complete with layman’s-terms definitions and adorable watercolor illustrations.
Some of them are eerily familiar. “Junk Sleep” describes lack of deep sleep due to use of electronics before bed (and leaving your iPhone on after you turn the lights out), while “Hyperlinked Memories” refers to the feeling of digital data being a literal extension of your own memory.
It’s not all bad, however, says Case. From Wired:
“Tools in the beginning were an extension of our physical selves, and now we have tools that are extensions of mental self,” Case explained in her National Geographic speech. A hammer is an extension of a fist — but our Facebook profile is an extension of our self, and moreover, other people can interact with that self when we’re not around. We’re cyborgs, as Case sees it, and in order to understand the brave new world in which we find ourselves, we need a language to talk about it.