The Body in Society – Everyday Cyborgs (Week 7)

In order to prepare for today’s lecture, we were given two pieces of text to read. I had a look a couple of days ago and found one really easy to read and understand (and took notes and highlighted it while reading) however the other one was much more difficult. It always helps me when reading a complicated piece of text to highlight the key phrases as I go along, which then helps me to summarise it for myself once I had finished reading but even this was easier said than done with this one!
Although it took me several reads to get it, I think I eventually managed to get the gist of what it was all about.

Today’s lecture was about the application of technology to the body. I found what Ashley was saying about Oscar Pistorius really interesting because I wasn’t familiar with the debate about his participation in the 2012 Olympics, and only knew of his name due to his recent trial.
I’ve looked into it further since coming home and have found that the articles online on the subject are very mixed in their opinions.
One from The Telegraph for example has a very positive feel to it and celebrates that he is the “first double amputee to compete at the Olympics” and looks at the argument from his point of view, stating that “He said he wanted to be judged as a competitor just like his peers.”
However, Ben Rushgrove, writing for The Guardian, has a very different take on the debate: “it was wrong in my opinion that Oscar was allowed to take part in the Olympics”, “The whole point of the Paralympics is to have races that are fair”.
Looking even further into this, I found out that the author of this article, Rushgrove, is himself a paralympic runner with cerebral palsy. This made me realise that he has a first hand experience of that world and can empathise with Pistorius. I understand now that the subject is likely to be one which is close to his heart and is personal to him. It is interesting to get the opinion of someone who this really matters to.

Oscar Pisctorius at the 2012 Olympics in London

Ben Rushgrove


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