Science & Research

Editors’ note

By
Sunday, May 30, 2010

CYBORG. The word conjures up B-grade horror films. It’s a word you’d expect to find in a work of science fiction from that anxious age between the invention of the computer and the day we became comfortable with smartphones in our pockets and GPS in our cars — when we realized technology might be OK after all.

In fact, every one of us has become a cyborg, “a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device.” And it was hard for us to think of a more prototypical cyborg than the average Brown student: a creature whose productive energies are spent entirely in the realm of information — first absorbing, in the classroom and in the library, then producing, with the attendant flurries of keystrokes. The college campus has long been a connected environment, but students now have access to the outside world more easily than ever before, summoning information to their screens with just a click, a tap — wherever we are.

In this issue, you’ll read about the “cyborg student” — who he is, where he goes and what he does. What do students do on their laptops during lecture? Can a cyborg student handle a week without 21st century technology?
Read on. Resistance is futile.

– The 119th editorial board