If we truly had all of the information, and understood the entire genome and its interactions with the environment, if we had formulas for the structure and function of every muscle, organ, and cell, the production, efficiency, life and death of every neuron, receptor, hormone, and neurotransmitter, and if we could somehow place an organism into a perfectly controlled environment, then I see no logical reason that an entire lifecycle could not be known from inception. I see no reason that a technology couldn’t scan my every particle and monitor the environment and predict my behavior before I act on anything. Our tendency to distinguish ourselves from machines, as something “special,” is not so much founded in logic, but in a deeper fear that when the hardware gets old or the power supply runs out, the machine simply turns off, and there’s not much more to it than that. The seemingly defined line that we continually draw in the sand to separate humanity and technology is only supported by a lack of full disclosure about our own little bits.

Suggested Citation:
Sochat, Vanessa. "Man as Machine." @vsoch (blog), 15 May 2011, https://vsoch.github.io/2011/man-as-machine/ (accessed 28 Nov 22).