"With the arrival of electric technology, man has extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself. To the degree that this is so, it is a development that suggests a desperate suicidal autoamputation, as if the central nervous system could no longer depend on the physical organs to be protective buffers against the slings and arrows of outrageous mechanism. "
— Marshall McLuhan (Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man)
"The battle for the mind of North America will be fought in the video arena: the Videodrome. The television screen is the retina of the mind's eye. Therefore, the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. Therefore, whatever appears on the television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore, television is reality, and reality is less than television."
— Brian O'Blivion (Videodrome, 1983)
"When it comes to non-utilitarian modifications, there are a number of potential avenues. One idea is the "perfection" of the human body, which is an idea explored by Natasha Vita-More (and to a lesser degree by pop icons like Michael Jackson, Cher, David Bowie, etc). Others alter or utilize their bodies to make artistic statements, like Orlan or Stelarc. And still others are interested in non-conformism and self-actualization, which leads to radical body modification in the form of tattoos, piercings, gender change, etc. I also know of a person who suffers from a kind of bodily dysmorphia where she believes that she is a cybernetic creature born into a biological body; she feels "wrong" much like a transgendered person feels like they're in the wrong body, and she eagerly awaits the opportunity to become a mechanical/synthetic being. Some prospective body modifiers speculate about transgenic modifications (horns, tails, glow-in-the-dark skin and hair, etc). Others want to become another organism altogether (i.e. dolphins).
What's unknown at this point is how much of this will/can be done in the real world, and how much of this can be achieved virtually in the form of simulations and/or online avatars.
Taken further, body modification and transhumanism will ultimately result in human speciation. Different people will follow different paths, all converging from a common human ancestry. Writer Greg Egan speculates about this in his book Diaspora, which involves posthumans of different sorts: genetically modified surface dwellers, uploaded minds living in supercomputers, cyborgs, deliberately devolved primitive hominids, and so on. I believe Egan is largely correct."
—From Sentient.developments.blogspot (i.e. dolphins)
This post is Max Renn approved!