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Conclusion

Don't take my word on Clark's views. If you want the real skinny on his cyborg angle, you'll need to read his book—but he makes a point about purchasing that I think sums up the worth of any disembodied assistant that scans the market on high-tech products.

Clark sees a future in which "software agents" will figure out what we as individuals look at most, what we choose, and what we buy. I asked him if he thought we might eventually have a haptic link to these agents.

He agreed it was possible, following up with this faintly unnerving summary that uses Rudy Rucker's term for the human nervous system part of a cyborg. "Any technology that operates robustly and continuously," he said, "can be factored in by the rest of the mind so as to become as much a part of us as non-consciously operating wetware."

No wonder his book suggests that we could become so used to these electronic shadows that if we were to lose them suddenly, it would be like having a stroke.

I'm not sure if he's tuned in the future perfectly here, but it does suggest that periodically we should all shut off the power and use our original equipment to perceive the outside world.

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