View Full Version : Help for a Science Fiction paper - Pros and Cons of augmentation?

14th Dec 2012, 01:40
Hi there! I am writing a research paper for my High School Sci-Fi class, and decided to write it on the prosthetics seen in Human Revolution. I contacted Eidos Montreal, because I thought "hey, what better source to include than the guys who made the game?", and they suggested to post in the forums for help.
So right now I have to think of the Pros and Cons of augmentation, and maybe even for real-life prosthetics.
But my problem is that I have way more Cons than Pros at the moment.. that's not very good for the argument I want to make. So far I have just a simple "because they help those who lost limbs and to progress technology for the future", but I need help thinking of a few more.
If some people could help me out, that would be great! Feel free to post your thoughts or even links that I can use for extra sources.

14th Dec 2012, 06:22
Hi, welcome to the forum. :)

Prosthetics and what Deus Ex calls "Human Augmentation" are very real (and becoming more advanced each year), but the topic is fairly inextricable from the concept of transhumanism. If you're up for a bit of "light" reading (and have a few hours to kill), this thread might give you a lot of material: http://forums.eidosgames.com/showthread.php?t=101496

For a high school-level paper, I'd say that you probably don't need to delve too deeply into the subject to really cover the main points. Simply exploring and expanding on the "to progress technology for the future" bit would give you most of the ammunition you're looking for, I think. It's a good topic though and if you're really up for exploring both the ethical and practical sides of augmentation, there's a wealth of subject matter at your disposal.

14th Dec 2012, 09:31
Easy! Play DX1 and DXHR and you'll have lots to write about. ;)

(...)According to a health care professional² the bond between tissue and electrode seems to be getting stronger. This can be further enhanced using Praxis Kits but according to another specialist³ there's concern "that failure of this mechanism could lead to a complete autonomic shut-down of the agent's vital systems". It is unclear though if this was indeed said in reference to mechanical augmentations or a related method utilizing nanites.(...)

² Nurse NPC; Limb Clinic (DXHR)
³ Jamie Reyes, UNATCO/Office of Medical Directorate (DX)

14th Dec 2012, 09:39
Easy! Play DX1 and DXHR and you'll have lots to write about. ;)

Hehe, very true. :D

Welcome, Jennilah. Hope the "Transhumanism" thread helps. This is a great topic to write a thesis about.

Some Pros for me:
Medical. Better lives for those whom nature gave a short-straw to; or became victim to an illness or disability.
Scientific: Better opportunities to explore environments (eg space) without the limitations of the natural human body.
Things you already mention.

Cons: Fear and prejudice from non-augmented humans
Too expensive (during the early stages) for those with little money.
Can be abused in very bad ways

14th Dec 2012, 10:14
This is topical: US Spy Agency Predicts a Very Transhuman Future by 2030. (http://io9.com/5967896/us-spy-agency-predicts-a-very-transhuman-future-by-2030)

Great choice of topic, Jennilah. Good luck!

14th Dec 2012, 11:11
Wow that was quick. Thanks guys! This was really helpful C: I wish there was more I could say, haha

14th Dec 2012, 14:17

Watch this. For a minute or so it talks about the pros and cons of augmentations. Take notes, expand on the subjects he touches. Win. Profit.

14th Dec 2012, 17:09

Best homework ever.

14th Dec 2012, 18:55
Why did I never have the option for "Sci-Fi Class"?

The UK curriculum is seriously lacking!

14th Dec 2012, 19:10
Lol yeah, this might be my favorite class out of my 4 years of High School C: and I'll definitely watch, read, and take notes on all of this stuff when I get home to read them.

14th Dec 2012, 19:40
I'd suggest exploring augmentations available to everyone - something like TAS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tool-assisted_speedrun) or playing UT99 with a decreased time speed. Also performance enhancing drugs theme is pretty deep.
Augs = prosthetics is a narrow view


14th Dec 2012, 19:51
I was planning on writing about augmentations within the game, prosthetics in real life, and then tying it up with linking the two together and going into more detail on how it will transcend the disabled community and people will want them "for fun" or to enhance themselves... is that what you're talking about?

14th Dec 2012, 20:17
No, for me talking about arms and legs or disabled people feels like missing the point.
People enhance themselves everyday already, something as simple as drinking a cup of coffee or ... ehm ... five.

HR is somewhat silly and childish in this regard. Watch out, we've got an inequality here! And drugs!
We had none of that before.

14th Dec 2012, 20:39
It's just for an essay. All I'm doing is writing about some technology present in the game and comparing it to existing technology for a grade. I'm not writing a professional article, here.
edit: Sorry for being rude there. It took a second read to understand what you meant. My topic is more appropriate for my class and I can't really change what I'm writing about now, sorry

14th Dec 2012, 20:59
Yeah, this is a topic that can get very deep and complicated... depending upon how far you want to go when it comes to the "what is and what if..." details.

I think your plan is right for your class too... keep the main categories basic (game, real life, link the two together) and build up from there. :thumb:

Hope you can share your finished paper with us sometime. :)

14th Dec 2012, 21:00
HRs technology sucks anyway


Bioengineering, cloning or atleast growing organs and transplanting them is more likely

14th Dec 2012, 21:07
Viktoria- Yep! Everything is going to be very basic, there is no need to go into the conspiracies and zombie-people, haha :)

xaduha- All of those are happening alongside studies that are trying to develop mind-controlled prostheses. I just happen to be writing about the latter. -_- It's just what I chose, because I had a fictional story (Deus Ex) in mind that I could refer to.

14th Dec 2012, 21:10
Why did I never have the option for "Sci-Fi Class"?

The UK curriculum is seriously lacking!

F it.

You're right.

What has Michael Gove been doing!? Making IT more relevant, interesting and educational for students? My ass.


14th Dec 2012, 21:33
F it.

You're right.

What has Michael Gove been doing!? Making IT more relevant, interesting and educational for students? My ass.


I took one of those back during my sophomore college year. Favorite class to date.

16th Dec 2012, 05:46
When's the essay due? It's got to be getting close to the end of the semester - then again, I don't know where you go to school and what your schedule is! No matter.

Some specifics for your thesis (always good to have) may include individuals with prosthetics who already have 'transcended' their disability and even surpassed the ability of a human. Like athletes who run with a cheetah (http://www.ossur.com/?PageID=13462). Are they really disabled? Real world examples are stronger than speculation.

First look at what you wrote here

...and to progress technology for the future

and think about why this is a good thing. Is it? For whom? Don't feel like you need to have an equal amount of supporting evidence for both sides, just 'cause. If you find that you have more cons than pros for using advanced prosthetics (or however you're phrasing it) then that's your argument, and you can refine it and make it stronger. I remember in HS thinking that the way teachers wanted you to frame an essay before you started writing was hooey. Your thesis is always bound to change by the time you finish writing your first draft.

16th Dec 2012, 16:07
It's due in a few weeks, right now we're just gathering information.
Good points! I'll definitely have some refining to do, and I already have a pretty good idea of how I'm going to go about it. C:

2nd Jan 2013, 06:16
Possibly, probably too little, too late, but this is an excellent documentary on the subject if you have 90 minutes to kill.
all the best with the paper.

2nd Jan 2013, 07:17
Something that will help immensely, is ignoring anything that doesn't apply 100% to your point. So I would perhaps ignore artificial organs and prosthetics unless they're specifically there to boost the individual past a standard human level. A pacemaker doesn't make you better than a normal heart, for example, but a hypothetical high-flow blood pump would be.

I only say this because, if you're anything like me and do what I used to do, those little things that only half-apply? You'll pick them up and delve in to them, and turn your three page essay in to thirteen by accident.

2nd Jan 2013, 21:36
Deus Ex 1 doesn't really touch upon augmentation too much as a subject. DEHR does it too much. Every bum on the street has an opinion on it. Play DEHR and talk to anybody you encounter.

The 'pro's' I encountered according to pro-aug people in the game:

- The ability to 'control' our species evolution
- Think of returning war vets without limbs.
- Safer military personel.
- It could help people get jobs
- It could make certain jobs more productive which could result in a better economy? (I don't know this one I just made up)

4th Jan 2013, 13:13
I wonder how Jennilah got on. :)

4th Jan 2013, 22:54
This guy.

This guy needs to let us know how it went for him. What's his contact info? I remember we had to give our SSN and credit card numbers if we wanted to join the forums. It shouldn't be hard to track him down and force him to talk.

7th Feb 2013, 03:03
I guess the pros would be that augs make you faster,stronger,neurolink to the web maybe.

The cons would be augs would make you less human,public places could bar people with augs from entering,it would take a toll on the body.

7th Feb 2013, 04:11
Whoops! I forgot to give this thread an update. I didn't get any "new post" emails for some reason so I didn't know people were still posting.
I finished it, handed it in, and got a 99%! Thanks for the help everyone!

7th Feb 2013, 10:36

7th Feb 2013, 23:32
I finished it, handed it in, and got a 99%! Thanks for the help everyone!

Another internet triumph

9th Feb 2013, 12:25
I want sci-fi class.

10th Feb 2013, 20:57
Another internet triumph

I'm making a note here, huge success.

11th Feb 2013, 20:21
It's hard to overstate my satisfaction... :rolleyes: