Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Journal of Evolution and Technology
The Permanente Journal
Bionic Boys
IFTF's Future Now

Michael Chorost


Michael Chorost had been hard of hearing since birth. Up to the age of 36 he had managed with a hearing aid, but then his hearing failed completely. This meant that he needed a cochlear implant, which meant a big change in his life. In Rebuilt:My Journey Back to the Hearing World (alternatively subtitled How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human), he tells his story

You might not think that having such an implant makes you part computer, but Chorost make a persuasive case of why he might be considered a cyborg. The device electronics doesn't simply replace missing parts of the ear - it creates its own interpretation of sounds. Chorost tell how he had the choice of several different programs for the interpretation. Which one was most correct? - its a meaningless question, since what we use as a criterion of correctness is simply another program (implemented organically) to interpret sounds. Chorost explains how this led to a new understanding of the works of philosophers questioning the reality of what we experience. His new thoughts also lead him to take stock of his life, which up to then had been somewhat solitary, using computer dating (technology again) to search for the 'one true love'. So there's much more to this book than simply report on a medical procedure, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to understand our relationship with technology, and what we need to do to deal with it sensibly. info
Hardcover 240 pages  
ISBN: 0285637509
Salesrank: 3696418
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 2006 Souvenir Press
Amazon price £10.16
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Product Description
After Michael Chorost suddenly lost what was left of his hearing, he took the radical step of having a cochlear implant -- a tiny computer -- installed in his head. A technological marvel, the device not only restored to him the world of sound but also could be routinely upgraded with new software. Despite his intitial fear of the technology's potentially dehumanizing effects, Chorost's implant allowed him to connect with others in surprising ways: as a cyborg, he learned about love, joined a writing group, and formed deeper friendships. More profoundly, his perception of the world around him was dramatically altered.

Brimming with insight and written with charm and self-deprecating humor, Rebuilt unveils, in personal terms, the astounding possibilities of a new technological age.