Fatally Flawed

Greg Halenda, '08, The Cyborg Self, Brown University, Spring 2005

Almost all cyborgs have some sort of fatal flaw. Nexus-6 replicants in Blade-Runner live for only 4 years, with genetic code in their own DNA preventing additional longevity. The Boomers of Bubblegum Crisis must drink human blood to survive. Cyborgs in Ghost in the Shell break down and must be regularly tuned. Max Headroom stutters, and has the maturity of a young child.

Why is this so?

If the author is writing in order to predict a dark future where technology has gone awry, then one would think that they would make the cyborgs as powerful and as dangerous as possible to demonstrate the terror caused.

If the author is trying to be realistic, then would they be discussing such currently un-attainable technology in the first place?

Perhaps the cyborgs are frequently flawed to make them seem more human. This would seem to hold true for someone like Max, whose flaws are very believable and realistic to us. However, do we relate to a cyborg who drinks blood quite as well?

Perhaps the authors are just trying to be romantic. It might not be very fun if a cyborg could just be all-powerful.

Why do the authors really create such flawed characters?

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Last modified 22 March 2005