Universal Declaration of Cyborg Rights

Aral Balkan is looking for feedback on his Universal Declaration of Cyborg Rights.

It currently begins:

We take as given that,

Recital 0.1

The “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” as proclaimed in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Recital 0.2

Human beings in the digital age use digital technologies to extend their minds and thereby their selves,

Recital 0.3

The relationship of a human being to digital technology is that of an organism to its organs,

Read more: https://cyborgrights.eu

I think this notion of where we draw the boundaries of the self may relate to our @spheres discussions. How separate or separable is our technology from ourselves? And if our tech co-defines our spheres of interbeing, then how must we relate to and constitute our tech, not only personally but in our social practices & institutions?

See also:

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Hi Marco,

Wow, did this open up a Pandora’s box of thoughts for me! All good! But what an interesting concept.

I followed a couple of links, but have not read any of the post-humanist PDF’s yet. And I still need to watch Aral’s video. But I wanted to share my feedback with you, just on the Declaration of Cyborg Rights. (See attached.)

I would be interested in hearing an interview with him. It would be cool if you could interview him alone for a podcast, so we could learn (uninterrupted) about his philosophy on this. And then do a second video where maybe people on the forum who are interested in post-humanism can discuss the practical implications of extending human rights to our cyborg selves.

Ironically, now I am thinking of smartphones as a literal extension of one’s body/blood/breath. Maybe this will quell my frustration with people staring at their phones all the time and ignoring what’s going on around them. Instead of labeling them as rude, I will now look at them as just a human carrying around part of their soul :wink:


Universal Declaration of Cyborg Rights_Feedback.docx (14.6 KB)


Hi Wendy: I looked at your notes, and I thought your idea of cyborg technologies involving extensions of our BRAIN, rather than, necessarily, our MINDS to be pretty interesting, and I hadn’t really thought of the mind before as a “meta-brain,” with its own functions distinct from neurological processing.

One thing I’m not convinced is the metaphor of the brain as a kind of computer…though I know a lot is being done right now to make computers behave like brains via neural nets and machine learning. I do think these would be valuable distinctions to bring to Aral Balkan. Maybe we could invite him to an IC talk to discuss brains, minds, cyborgs, and ‘post-human rights’?

I may have more to add after the Participatory TecKnology conference this week, where the issue of AI and ethical design is sure to come up.

Lastly, I’m VERY intrigued by the idea of a ‘media soul.’ But if so, where does my soul live? In my iPhone? In the Cloud? And what is the life of this soul? Who animates is when I’m not there?

There are definitely some interesting questions brought up by this piece. I’m curious to see where it all goes…

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It would seem that once one leaves (if one ever really entered) the materialist mindset, there is one whole helluva lot of thinking-about that needs to be done.

What do we know? What do we think we know? What do we believe? Do we know why we believe what we believe? How do we imagine, or perhaps understand, notions like “life”, “mind”, “soul”, “consciousness”? Which roles do these play in our world-recognition/-view/-conception/-verition (just to throw a little Gebser in the mix)?

Once the question of “embodiment” (in all its potential meanings) becomes secondary, things really start to get interesting.