Friday, May 13, 2005

Lucretia Cyborgia

Someone recently asked me (not entirely without provocation, admittedly) what the difference is between a robot and a cyborg. So it's probably time to clear this debate up once and for all.

A robot is an entirely mechanical contraption programmed to do routine tasks like reconstitute dried potato powder while cackling like a maniac, hoover the bottoms of swimming pools and wreak monstrous destruction on mankind.

A cyborg is an organic being that uses technology (debate continues on the extent to which the technology needs to be embedded into the organism for it to qualify as a cyborg) to extend or enhance its organic physical capabilities.

Thus: the Daleks are robots, but Davros is a cyborg - although not a very good one, because it's difficult to see how placing oneself inside a gigantic knobbly metal skirt can result in anything but physical limitation of the most frustrating and risky sort.

The jury is still out on whether the combination of Thora Hird + stairlift (see Quinquiremes passim) is an Intimation Of Cyborg Things To Come, or simply an Old Biddy Who Will Not Die*. I favour the latter.

Also: everyone knows that the only halfway decent cyborg is Seven of Nine, and then only for her supreme mastery of dismissiveness and contempt.

* I thought she *was* dead, but others claim otherwise.


patroclus said...

I have a horrible feeling that I've done nothing more here than crack open a can of tasty worm morsels. Mmm, tasty worm morsels...

cello said...

Ha-haaahh,(picks up first wriggly worm), but Daleks have an organic wobbly brain inside their metal carapace. And, as of last week, they are capable of 'feelings'. So there.

That was delicious.

patroclus said...

Yep, I knew it. Don't listen to me, I am a fraud and a charlatan.

Pashmina said...

I'm not in any position currently to discuss cyborgs vs robots (not sure that I ever am, come to think of it), but I can confirm that Dame Thora is truly dead.

Fizzy good said...


belladona said...

Ah, yes, as cello so rightly said, Daleks are actually cyborgs too.
I'll pass on the worms thanks, I remember clearly that they tasted of mud.

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