Kitaab

Cyborg Edition

idea blog

published 2023-03-20 01:00

updated 2023-04-04 01:41

It's funny how I can bounce from an Aversion to Computers straight back into wanting to be a cyborg. Don't ask me how it works, I don't really understand it either. Nonetheless, that won't stop me from trying to explain it further down below.

But first, wanting to be a Cyborg


I couldn't get the idea of cyborgs out of my head last night, and how given off the shelf technology today, you could really become one quite easily. I mean, we already are, but we could certainly be more aesthetic about it.

Personally I would pick the following hardware:

  • Monocle; No idea how I ended up on their website LOL
  • Paintbrush
  • Wireless earbuds of some sort
  • At this stage probably a PinePhone, or something, but I have ideas about this

The point isn't so much the products themselves, and what the allow you to do. In fact, that's kind of the opposite of the point. We want to embody the ▕▒▓▐er spirit if we're going to become a cyborg, I have no intentions of installing ad-riddled corporate wet-ware. Largely I picked these options because they are open in some sense for the most part, or Largely I picked these options because they are open in some sense for the most part, or Largely I picked these options because they are open in some sense for the most part, or Largely I picked these options because they are open in some sense for the most part, or Largely I picked these options because they are open in some sense for the most part, or Largely I picked these options because they are open in some sense for the most part, or Largely I picked these options because they are open in some sense for the most part, or Largely I picked these options because they are open in some sense for the most part, or Largely I picked these options because they are open in some sense for the most part, or I already own them. I wouldn't use a PinePhone until my Pixel stops being supported by GrapheneOS

You'd need to write a text editor for the Monocle. Ideally in my case, it would just be vim. Strap the Paintbrush to your leg via some sort of 3D printed enclosure and boom! You're officially a cyborg. Being able to write down my thoughts as they happen is just very important to me (Thanks ADHD!). With a display and an input device always available to you, there's quite a few things you could do.

  • Live translation
  • Directions / Mapping
  • Wind / Weather reports

Part of me wonders if this is a silly dream. I can't claim with any certainty that I would actually use such a setup. If I were to guess a factor, it would be primarily how many lines of text I can read at once, and how difficult it is to type consistently. I don't think current technology would get me there, but even if it did, it's hard to see from this point in time whether I'd realistically opt for such a setup over a traditional laptop and full keyboard. Besides, aren't I into Permacomputing? Isn't buying or making a bunch of brand new devices the exact opposite of that?

This is often the part where I get stuck with projects. I'm able to consistently talk myself out of them. It feels like there's (moral) some standard that I must abide by in order to really "do a thing". I mean, I live the rest of my life that way, I certainly take pleasure in making my life difficult. As though it wasn't hard enough that this project would involve building a device, and then writing a text editor that behaves like vim for a tiny AR device in micropython, but I have to do it for the right reasons too? Hah. Yes.

I have complicated feelings about this. In some ways, becoming more of a cyborg is the antithesis of what I want. I want to be a Solarpunk Sailor, who gets to sail to exotic climbing locations and climb sick routes. Enjoy being in Mother Nature's Bosom. Travel the world, meet new people, live sustainably, and ultimately usher in a new a way of life for the modern age. Lofty goals, I know, but the best way I know to affect the change I seek, is to embody it.

Some blend of Dirtbag and Hacker. Not specifically for climbing, but for people, the Earth, and the things we can create together.

But there's always the ▕▒▚▕er component, because computers are what I've hyper-fixated on for my whole life (thanks ADHD!). Boats are notoriously hostile environments for just about anything, but especially computers. Are you sure you can make a bunch of DIY parts into a viable computer while at the helm? I'll be damned if I don't try. I think it would be nice to be able to "jack-in" while enjoying the view from the cockpit, but I may be naive. I'm not afraid of failure though, or at least that's what I like to tell myself. I think I've managed to talk myself into this one. Yay for writing down your thoughts.


The recent lift off that GPT4/LLaMa/Alpaca has been has had me reconsidering this. I wonder if instead we could use sub-vocal recognition as input instead of a keyboard. Unfortunately, commodity hardware that does sub-vocal recognition doesn't exist. I wonder how difficult building one would be? It's still a research field at this stage. Acquire some of the cheaper AI chips, find a suitable model and if you're particularly technically inclined, perhaps even feed it your own data sources (LlamaIndex, LangChain), and teach it to run in a OODA loop (ReAct), or you name it. The age of personal AI is coming, whether I like it or not. If we're lucky, it'll be possible to run them at home as well.