23 July 2014
I'm a cyborg
I was born with Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. The obstruction in my heart, which was dramatically reducing blood flow efficiency, was dealt with two weeks ago by an elegant and mostly non-invasive procedure known as alcohol septal ablation.
Today we dealt with the threat of lethal ventricular fibrillation by installing an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator and Pacemaker unit as a permanent addition to my body. Roughly 95% of the time the unit will be dormant but it's now there, for the rare occasion when i would have otherwise faced the threat of sudden death.
Unfortunately we live in a market based society and that means that i am now at the mercy of potential human error in the form of bugs in proprietary embedded software. Ideally, qualified unaffiliated third parties should be able to review the schematics and software on these devices. But the free market enforces the right to company secrecy even where human lives are at risk.
Nevertheless, the gods are clearly as prone to error as a benevolent corporation and it's software developers are, and the world is what it is. We fix the world where we can and we must accept what we can't (yet) fix.
While a pacemaker is not quite as romantic as prosthetic legs or a working robotic hand, it still stands as a testament to the creativity, curiosity and ingenuity of human beings. Silly little self righteous apes we are but clearly destined for greatness.