When I was little, my older brothers taught me how to build with Legos. It seemed only a matter of simple engineering that brought the creations of our minds to life. We constructed and tore apart those Legos so many times, they began to wear out. My favorites were the pieces with moving parts. We made no small number of planes, helicopters, space ships, villages, and odd contraptions that transported small of sticks, rocks, and other natural bits of interest around our play area. With Legos, nothing was impossible with a little ingenuity and a healthy dose of imagination. I couldn’t envision a toy more adept at translating the visions of childhood fancy into reality.
When I first met Daniel, he was sitting in one of the hallways of UVU picking at his guitar and singing to passersby. With on-the-spot songs composed for strangers who lingered, he seemed every inch an entertainer. I was immediately impressed by his quick wit and ability to turn a phrase (not to mention the impish grin he flashes after an artful joke), but what caught my attention the most was the expression behind his eyes. They seemed to hide a certain mystery, and I, like any natural sleuth, was intrigued enough to make a mental note to take the opportunity (should it present itself) to investigate Daniel’s deeper levels.
I saw him often on campus, usually performing improvised music for an impromptu group of students or headed cheerfully to this class or that – always with his guitar on his back. I noticed that he seemed to have a characteristic gait; it was almost a strut, as though he were walking with a purpose.
To my surprise, Daniel disclosed to me some time later that it hadn’t been that long ago that he couldn’t walk at all. I invited him to tell his story for this blog, and to ask his opinion on the latest research surrounding exoskeletons in development for para- and quadriplegics.
In 1931, audiences were transfixed as Colin Clive uttered one of the most famous horror movie lines in history:
“It’s alive… it’s alive… IT’S ALIVE!!!”
The 1930’s version of the movie Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and adapted from the play by Peggy Webling. However, Frankenstein is originally a novel, penned in 1818 by a teenage Mary Shelley.
In my first post, I declared that three months ago I had never heard of transhumanism. I wrote that I had never heard of Ray Kurzweil or the Singularity or thought much about our world’s advancement in genetic engineering or robotics or nanotechnology. When I explained the Singularity to my Communication professor in class, he admitted to me that he had trouble understanding the concept I was trying to illustrate. He also admitted to never having heard of the phrase “Singularity” being used outside of physics. I couldn’t seem to find one single person who had heard about a technological Singularity. But even if the terminology is unfamiliar to the general public, the concepts are not.