I am actually of the opinion that wearable technology, which is logically defined as technology that can be worn (generally embedded in the clothing or itself), offers a good metaphor for the differences between cyborg and posthuman.
Posthuman implies a consciousness independent of form, namely that consciousness can reside in a variety of identities, an attempt to understand the world from multiple perspectives. Essentially, the consciousness is mobile and not a singular, defined individual. Perspective emerges from multiple views, etc.
Cyborg, on the other hand, implies an augmentation of rooted self. Haraway defines the cyborg as a “cybernetic organism”, a kind of “a hybrid of machine and organism”, “a creature of lived social reality” and even a “creature of fiction” (Haraway). Fiction notwithstanding, I am inclined to agree with this notion of hybrid and lived social reality. I think wearable technology speaks to this a bit.
I do believe, however, that hybrid might imply some sort of permanence in the communion between human and machine, which I don’t intend to dispute. I would merely argue that these unions are many and often transient (me at the computer right now), at least for the time being. I have worn glasses for decades and that is the most permanent of my cyborg inclinations. However, like networks of any sort, connections are fast, varied, and often temporary, discarded when utility has been extracted.
Further, I see cyborg as augmentative unions between humans and machines; they push past physical limitations, harness existing physiological processes for maximum gain. Like glasses; I would be blind without them.
A lived social reality? Cyborgs “change what counts as experience” in that fact feeds fiction and vice versa; they are intertwined in a continuous feedback loop. Not unlike wearable technology. It uses our physical human reality (in the video, it is the heartbeat) as a feedback mechanism for some sort of sensory delivery. In the video, the heart triggers the sound which feeds to the mind which regulates the heart (very simplistic reflexivity there). The social environment, though, is feeding into the heart. Walking down the busy streets of a major modern city, identifying potential threats (even potholes), climbing stairs, jumping on the subway, a slew of sensory stimuli. This wearable technology augments the human capacity to navigate this barrage of sensory stimulus by maintaining an equilibrium; homeostasis of the human system through automated self-regulation.
I, for one, am rarely without my iPod when traveling, working, running, anything. It regulates anxiety, regulates my “system”, and increases capacity for work.