How my legs give me super-powers
There seems to be a lot of resentment targeted towards her ability. In modern society beauty, intelligence, cunning, where you grew up, your last name, height, weight, family disease history, bi or multilingualism all give advantages so to say that these are negative because one person has them and you don't is actually rather silly, we are all born and or given a certain lot in life, some can do more, some less, it is unfortunate and we should do what we can to help those that have less, but to resent those that are able to do more because of opportunities, luck, connections, doesn't end up doing anything and is actually quite counterproductive. I believe Ms. Mullins doesn't need to be inspirational, though of course I can be wrong, but rather wants to inspire conversation about the future of humans and our possibilities. There are millions of people throughout the world without the resources that Ms. Mullins have but in the same predicament with missing legs, arms, etc. She is not saying in her talk that they should be pitied but that given the opportunity both the abled and disabled can be more than we are right now, that the future of prosthetics doesn't have to be dull and we can use it as a vehicle to think about the future of us all as humans. I am not so sure that she would or wouldn't want her legs back. She has been on an amazing journey and seems quite happy where she has landed. Yes we are very far from creating superhero bodies but if we don't start talking now, we will never get it done.
Ricardo Aguiar – March 12 2009
Yet, for all the beauty of the prosthetics, for all the art , I am sure that given the possibility she would trade it all in for her own real legs.
Transhumanism is a nice flight of fantasy, but we are very far from creating anything as miraculous as what nature gives - most of us - at birth.
That said, it was still an inspiring talk, and proof that you should take what life gives you and run with it.
Cory Burt – March 12 2009
Very interesting. A strong argument for disassociating "disability" with "special entitlement." Perhaps the Americans with Disabilities Act should be repealed. Actually, re-engineering our bodies for aesthetic purposes is just a form of the ancient art of self-adornment. It is rather like having eyeliner tattooed on your eyelids or rouge tattooed on your cheeks. Doing it to increase physical capacity is one of the inevitable next steps of evolution as "memetic evolution" takes over from mechanisms like natural selection. In the end, however, Aimee has far too many assets to ever qualify as disabled which is why her missing limbs have brought celebrity and privilege rather than disadvantage and deprivation. Several people have already pointed out that really good prosthetics are a available only to the privileged few. Aimee is, in fact, far more mobile than I am with arthritic knees that I cannot afford to have replaced. In that sense, I find her less than inspirational.
Harman Dhillon – March 12 2009
Well said @ Andrew
"Beautiful again Aimee.
Unfortunately good prosthetics really are still only available to the privileged."
Paul Johnson – March 12 2009
Don't be scared Herr Decker.......
This is nothing new..... It's all we've been doing since we picked up flint and started cooking food.... have you not heard of clothes and bags and spades that help people to dig deeper than their hands could..... knowledge never stays witht the rich though it's material manifestations often begin there... that's just their gift.... and not all rich people are evil Honorary Degree.....
to Aimee.... you are gorgeous.. with or without legs and I'm not just talking physically either... thoughy that's sure there.... your spirit and bravery and strength and love were gushing out of you in streams there and it almost brought me to tears...... thankyou and well done...
also it occurs to that 'D' and 'TH' are very close linguistically and interchangable in some languages.. maybe you don't have Dis-ability or That-ability..... maybe today you have 'This'abiliy and who knows what ability you will imagine for tomorrow.....
Splendid splendid stuff.... a true role model.....
Dries De Decker – March 12 2009
If this would help people to look at 'disabled' people in a better way, that would be a very good thing.
But I'm not the only one who is concerned that there is another side of it as well. If we can engineer our body how we like (and to some extent this is possible today), we will need limits. At first, walking around with longer, faster or more beautiful legs seems wonderfull. But what if, like others suggested here, this could go much beyond aesthetics or small increases in performance? I'm talking about science fiction-like ideas with people integrating robotic parts, electronics, and senses that will be better than ours in the future (not to mention the military applications). It would be limited to the rich and I think people will go that far if possible.
jacob starkey – March 12 2009
danger zone. if you prick your prosthetic legs, they do not bleed, and they do not tickle.
engineering our bodies is a big area of discussion of ethics and i would say especially as the technology develops of health (physical and mental).
not to say it's not worth the change, i agree a lot with the breaking of the stereotypes of abilities, but something about this talk has me putting on the breaks a bit (maybe it was that cheetah picture) Storage Rack.
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