Abstract: The Marching of Cybermen. Identity, Reality and Science Fiction

Dear readers of The ComicBook Imperative I am happy to share with you the abstract from my presentation for the 8th International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference that will be held at the University of Dundee, Scotland, between 25-29 of June, 2017.

The Marching of Cybermen:
A tale of identity, reality and science fiction

By George P. Stremplis,
Post-graduate Student, A.U.Th.
Scientific Collaborator of the
“Interdisciplinary Centre for Aristotle Studies”, A.U.Th.

Human existence was always confined within the borders of its organic corporal state of being. Transhumanists have long been promising to cross these borders, while they foresee a future based on speculative advances in technology, one of them being the brain reconstruction (or mind uploading) in an artificial/robotic body. Despite, though, Transhumanism’s in favor position of transitioning from an organic body to an artificial one, there is still an essential problem that derives from the implementation of this method.

What I propose is to question whether it is possible for personal identity to survive after abolishing the organic human body for a non-organic one. The boundaries set by the organic body are important factors towards formulating our identity, since the biological aspect of our existence tends to inform the way we perceive ourselves, the world, and reality itself. I wish to underline that by eradicating the biological condition of being for an enhanced mind in a robotic body we face the disfigurement of personal identity. What Homo sapiens will really have in common with Homo cyberneticus? The very core of their existence is going to be completely foreign to each other. So is it really beneficial for humanity to cross the borders of Homo sapiens and turn itself into Homo cyberneticus?

Finally, I wish to address this question under a different scope. The fear of a lost identity as a result of a biotechnological outbreak can be explored by crossing the borders of reality towards the realm of science fiction.  Specifically, in the episodes “Rise of the Cybermen” and “Age of Steel” of BBC’s Doctor Who series, Tom McRae is portraying the genesis of this Homo cyberneticus as a result of the literal transfer of the mind in a cyber-body, with personal identity traded for a hive-like mind that abolishes what is conceived as physical and emotional weakness. I believe that by examining this interpretation of Homo cyberneticus within the borders of television we are able to better understand the importance of safeguarding our personal identity against the false prophets of Transhumanism.

It is going to be a thrilling experience and The ComicBook Imperative will be there in order to participate in the Conference and share with you lots of photos and more.

So, if you happen to be in Dundee, come and say hi to me!

The ComicBook Imperative Guy


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