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6 Responses to Interested?

  1. Liza Gere says:

    I have been using Google Glass since June of last year and have done so many amazing things with it. I would like the opportunity to be a guest speaker talking about wearable tech.
    I have a lot to offer!

    • borgfest says:

      Liza. please fill out the interest form so that we can contact you to discuss your idea for speaking! In the meantime, can you share some of your Google Glass experience since June? We’d love to hear about it.

  2. I’m writing to ask if you would consider me as a potential speaker at this year’s Borgfest.
    (That is of course if you think my being there would be beneficial to you) I have been called “Human Cyborg” since I became the world’s first wearer/tester of the Bebionic3 prosthetic hand in June 2012. I see myself as an Ordinary Man living an Extra-Ordinary Life.
    Speak soon

    • borgfest says:

      Nigel! It wouldn’t be the same without you! Seriously. It would be a great honor to have you with us as our special guest. Please do me a favor and fill out the interest form so that I get your contact info. Just thrilled to hear from you and even more thrilled to meet you in person in a couple days at the Cybdersalon in London. I was wondering though if you could settle something for me? I ran across something on the web that credited you with saying something like “I’d rather be a cyborg than a disabled man.” Did you say that? I can’t actually find a link quoting you. If you didn’t actually say it, would you consider saying it clearly for me now?! I’ve struggled a bit over the name of this event–Borg Fest–and I want to tell you why.

      Firstly, is the concern whether “cyborg” is sensitive enough to describe all the various groups of people whom I’m trying to attract. Generally speaking those groups are augmentation, enhancement, modification, and wearable tech. It also includes friends, families, supporters, researchers, and service providers of course. My academic background (Harraway–>Stone–>me) helps me feel that the term is appropriate and has deep roots in the discussions about the body and the identity and the inescapable link between the two. When it was rumored that you would rather claim the identity of cyborg over disability, I felt that a turning point in the perception of disability/ability/super-ability had arrived. This was just within months of Pistorius’ spectacular win and post-victory infamy. With so much mainstream attention, could NOW be the dawn of the Age of the Cyborgs?

      Secondly, I chose the word “festival” to capture the sense of celebration and pride. This is to be more than a conference or tradeshow. It’s meant to be jubilant, supportive, and educational. I dream this to be the world’s first and foremost cyborg cultural event where cyborgs and their supporters can come together to advance humanity and it was it means to be human. So instead of just academics and business leaders talking about tech and ethics, I want culture–I want cyborg music and cyborg art. I dream of a Viktoria Modesta reigning over a large stage. I want the lineup to include Daft Punk and the Lt. Dan Band (remember Lt. Dan from Forest Gump?). Can I dream?? Instead of a just a tradeshow of pipe and drape, I want an expo more like a fair where people can interact with the products and toys that are powering and will power our cyborgs.

      Given this, what do you think? Does the name Borg Fest work? Did you (or will you) say “I would rather by a cyborg than a disabled man”?

      • I think I was asked if I’d go back to my “old life” if I could. The truth is, I don’t think I would. But perhaps that’s more a reflection of how my “old life” was.

        As for “disabled man”. If something doesn’t work or function properly on your PC or whatever, you would probably “Disable” it. So I personally see the word “disabled” as a negative attribute. Unfortunately our general perception of Cyborgs is also pretty negative (Terminator etc) that is something I’m hoping I can help to change. All I can say is that since I’ve worn the Bebionic3 I’ve felt more like a proper human than I did with 2 arms. I’ve also felt less disabled than I did when I wore a hook.

        • Borg Fest says:

          Thanks for the response, Nigel. So then that quote is not something you said? It’s such a provocative statement precisely because cyborgs are not yet viewed wholly positively.

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