We here at FT love our cyborgs, don't we folks? The flesh is weak after all, and replacing the decay of blood and bone with the cold certainty of silicon and steel is the price to pay for progress. After all, progress leaves us no choice - automation is going to come for all of our sorry organic hides, and transforming humanity into a race of badass cyborgs is the only thing that's going to keep humanity competitive.
The way things are going right now, productivity is always rising, and yet wages are stagnant, lowered, or outsourced. The final conclusion of this way of thinking is that human labor is replaced with full automation. Think about it from the perspective of capitalist industrialists: machines that can be productive 24/7, only cost the initial price, maintenance and the power it takes to run them, vs annoying fleshy humans that can only be productive 8-9 hours on weekdays and need annoying things like bathroom breaks, food, rest and other amenities. The choice is obvious once it becomes viable, and this upper class of people will jealously own their automated means of production privately.
Hard and manual labor is in the process of being automated away as we speak, and specialized labor is well on its way. If humans want to avoid becoming obsolete by the hyper-competitive machines, then becoming machines ourselves is our only choice.
Only, I'm not so sure I'm terribly fond of this idea anymore.
I'd rather not live in a world where a hyper-competitive atmosphere essentially forces us 1.0 humans to undergo expensive and invasive surgeries to remain relevant and pay for our needs, replacing our limbs and brains with cheap mechanisms of plastic and lithium that would need regular maintenance/replacement like a common smartphone. Think about how terribly bleak that is for a second.
And if you think that's bad, the class divide between rich and poor will continue to grow, only this time the hyper-competitive nature of the business class will require attitudes and augments that drive them further from this vestigial, obsolete aspect of humanity and tending more toward detached cruelty in the name of efficiency and profit.
If I want to become a badass cyborg transhuman, I'd rather that be on my own terms instead. I'd rather not be a one-eyed lobotomized quadruple-amputee borgalike just because being so would qualify me for work.
If that indeed turns out to be the world we end up with, I hope it's a temporary phase that leads to people realizing the futility of capitalism and a subsequent revolution where the fully automated labor force can be owned collectively, freeing up our lives for individually fulfilling work that helps us to reach our potential. That's what true progress would look like.
Under a better system that cares for public well-being rather than brute efficiency, having work automated away would be a dream come true - but under capitalism, that dream is actually a nightmare.
What are your thoughts?