« Last post by Pariah on Today at 07:53:39 AM »
DOUBLE POST DAY!!! Mainly because even in the notebook I keep separate ideas separate.
On Being Human
While I'm steering clear of making this about transhumanist themes and instead focusing on Action! and Adventure! and IN SPACE! as much as possible, certain things can't totally be ignored, because this is a setting of humans, and some of them have metal body parts (or bodies as the case may be, who am I to judge). Since the setting is going to include peeps from across the spectrum of baseline though augmented all the way up to full cyborg and possibly AI (though I'm not entirely sure how I want to handle AI, it's kinda like wizards in that it has the possibility of getting out of hand really quickly... Might go the Bungie/Looking Glass route of AIs having a tendency to pick up certain 'quirks' as they age, whether it's just a bit of a stutter or a compulsion to count the number of ceiling tiles in a room upon entry (and then turn in three full circles before leaving) all the way up to and including the compulsion to KILL ALL HUMANS!!!1!) and because as I was thinking about crime I started thinking of cyberpsychosis, here's today's doubleshot of crazy.
Now, one of the things that makes humans Human is that, rather than adapting to our environments like Mr Darwin's finches, we adapt our environments to us. As such discussion of the public's views regarding those with various abilities to set off metal detectors naked are kind of needed to be dealt with.
At the first level we have "baseline" humans, which is not to say they're completely with or without any sort of augmentation, only that in common conversation most people don't refer to them as such. There's really no clear line to mark where this ends and the next one begins (unless you're a crazy human purist who believes that man was never meant to better himself), but a brief detour into the reader's present day and age will suffice for a quick example. Grand-Uncle George, the cyborg, of course you don't really view him as a cyborg, but going by a strict reading of the definition thereof he is in fact a cyborg. After that one heart attack they put in a pace maker, then a few years later he started losing his hearing so he got a cochlear implant. Grand-Uncle George is goddammed metal, like a boss, but neither you nor I would call him a cyborg. This same view applies in an era where you can do more to your body than just fix the heart and ears, most people see nothing wrong with having a Jack (brain-computer interface) or blood-cleaners to help keep you alive if your job exposes you to environmental hazards and even something like that thingymajig that baseball banned four or five decades ago that boosts your reaction time by something like 20% is still pretty normal and not anything you'd be looked at askance for.
At the next level we have people who are OBVIOUSLY augmented, eye implants, arm replacements, replacing your hair with fiber optic dreadlocks like that one pop star from Enceladus, so on and so forth. Unless if you're able to get some really high quality synthskin to cover up your arm, or shell out the big bucks to make sure your eyes look as real as modern engineering can get them (at which point most people would put you back in the previous category, even if you need to take off your arm to go through spaceport security) you're generally going to get a couple looks from people (more from spaceport security, apparently stations don't like it when some out of towner walks into a bank and robs it with their arm that turns into a machine gun or the detachable shotgun leg, and even if it only happened that one time and it wasn't even at this station, the public uproar gets people to do things they shouldn't without taking the time to think about why they shouldn't and then they can't take it back without admitting they shouldn't have done it in the first place) kinda like that kid that walks on the subway with six square inches of untattooed skin and 15 pounds of metal on his face, but otherwise most people don't really care. There's a lot of reasons to get obvious augments done, born blind, went blind, got an arm lopped off in a mining accident, really wanted glow in the dark dreadlocks, and people understand that.
Finally we reach the "cyborgs" a term that can be applied equally well to people like Molly from Neuromancer with her fingerblades, mirrorshades, and 'tude (to her obvious love-child with Jensen from Deus Ex:Human Revolution) all the way up to people that are basically just a brain in a jar with a human shaped prosthesis to walk around in. These poor shmucks actually do face problems with local governments and regular people on a day to day basis. Part of this is because, using Jensen as an example, he could cover his arms with quality synthskin and surgically remove the mirrorshades and company logo on his forehead, it's kind of hard to pass as human with a government mandated remote-activated kill-collar around your neck, which he'd have to wear in nine out of ten of the Terran Arcologies, and this is a scene that is sadly repeated throughout the system. Not all places require them, but far too many do.
The reasons for this irrational fear of the heavily modified can trace their roots to the prewar years, with numerous yellow articles of cyborgs that suddenly went crazy due to a complete loss of their empathy for their fellow man, because they weren't really human anymore. This is, despite the fact that these same news organizations would generally publish a piece by actual professionals involved in such disparate fields as psychology and mechanical engineering saying that cyberpsychosis is downright impossible, followed a few days later by a belated retraction of the previous article, after it had spurred a few hundred thousand extra people to subscribe to whatever news service published the original article. This old wives tale (I know it's probably not true, but you know, stuff like the kill collars wouldn't really be needed if it wasn't an outside possibility, right?) grew new legs after the war when the creative reimagining of Rambo by Park Sung Hyo starred Rambo as a cyborg.
And now that we've covered the various strains of human, let's move on to the not human. Namely Bioengineered Humanoids. The creation of, and research into the creation of, and thinking about making them, were banned in the Koani Accords of 2037. Of course there's still rumors and conspiracy theories that this government or that corporation are secretly making them in a research facility in some out of the way place like Haumea, just waiting for the day that they can sell them legally so they're the first to market, but I'm sure you realize just how stupid that sounds, right? I mean, if there's no market for something because it's illegal to buy, sell, possess, talk to, associate with, look at, or think about BH's, and it's actually safer for criminal organizations to kidnap orphans off the street to sell as slaves to shady mines and sex houses, who in their right mind would make them?