Critique of "Bionic Legs, i-Limbs, and Other Super Human Prosheses You’ll Envy" [article on Fast Company]

Bionic Legs, i-Limbs, and Other Super Human Prosheses You’ll Envy

“Prosheses”. Super Human Grammar You’ll Envy. Pfffrt :) But it gets even more idiotic. The Fast Company strikes, some people that lack understanding cite his works as “that is where we are headed” [360].

Paul Hochman writes “Because the new machines — and they are machines — are becoming so lustrous and so efficient that some people are already willing to chop off a perfectly good limb to get one.” Of course that, now, well, but, there is a mental disorder called Xenomelia, Apotemnophilia or Body Identity Integrity Disorder – a problem Paul conveniently seems to ignore. No one will ever want to lose their hand for a prosthesis. Ever. For this entirely brain depleted arrogance, someone should beat him around the office all day. Better, all week. This is so shitty, it cannot be apologized.

At the end, Hugh Herr is cited saying “So why do you anticipate 30 years from now that amputees will give a shit about human beauty? They won’t. Their limbs will be sculptures.”

D’oh. Obviously they missed we already do artwork. 30 year ahead of Paul’s plan. I’m painting the town blue inasmuch as my prosthetic parts are concerned – and Dan Horkey‘s building sand castles on the beach front of prosthetic appearances. And so are many others, including Aimee Mullins and Jacques Monestier.

So this man-machine type author (half yoghurt, half coffee cup) that came up with that gibberish is Paul Hochman [new simple|facebook|fast company|twitter|linked in]. He called himself a ‘gear guy’.

My guess is he should take lessons. Urgently ;)

Idiocy level: 5/5
Hype level: 5/5
Grammar distortion of relevant ‘kee’ words 4/5
Art ignorance: 5/5
Detail ignorance: 4/5 (they missed out mentioning the Smart Hand, the Michelangelo and the DEKA arm projects).

Re-check 2013: They finally corrected the mistyped title of their article. Also they deleted all of our comments. What they should have done was work with a psychiatrist to correct the mistyped complete article. But then that must be Paul Hochman and how he is. – So, the Fast Company journalists do seem to have a problem with cogent critique. They deleted my first critical comment that also was backed up by Jon Kuniholm at the time. Really, we (not them) nail it with regard to prosthetic arms these days. So I took liberty to critique their article again – deleting really relevant comments by users should invite a reaction. From that experience I would assume that the Fast Company should be monitored close for hyped distortions, far closer than so far. 

Re-posted critique:

Your article posts projections that are not even close. They are not reality at all. You pretend things you have not the faintest idea about. Reality is that you can wear whatever prosthetic arm you want – none, low tech, high price – and you STILL will be an amputee, you will have the same exact social problems no matter what, and change is not in sight. It is honorable to see you team up with Hugh Herr whose job it is to get funding for his academic projects – but arm amputees have been the butt of industry hypes since the Carnes arm. All arms are too expensive, too heavy, lacking function and integration with the human body. No body prosthesis interface really works – osseointegration bolts break and draw infections like nothing else. Sockets slip, cause skin problems, restrict motion, can be uncomfortable. Skin electrodes are not too reliable, and their function degrades once you sweat. Multi-articulated hands suck batteries empty like nothing else; sufficient power is heavy. These hands are fragile, their motors are loud. The whole idea of prostheses being anywhere near to even a minimal real hand function is entirely ludicrous. But in the future, we read elsewhere, robots will have empathy. Maybe we can put two and two together and get robots to type articles about amputees and their prosthetic problems. Then we would not have to read texts such as this.

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Critique of "Bionic Legs, i-Limbs, and Other Super Human Prosheses You’ll Envy" [article on Fast Company]; published 21/01/2010, 15:50; URL:

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1614817101, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Critique of "Bionic Legs, i-Limbs, and Other Super Human Prosheses You’ll Envy" [article on Fast Company]}}, month = {January},year = {2010}, url = {}}