Symmetric bionic augmentation.

07 April 2017

Something that's always bugged me about science fiction is the lack of common sense of characters' bionic enhancements.

No, I'm not going to call them cybernetics.  RPGs and movies have it wrong.  Those aren't cybernetics, they're bionics.  The former is a feature of the latter.

Characters pretty much always seem to have their augmentations installed bass-ackwards.  Most of the time their positioning doesn't make sense at all.  Let's look at some handedness statistics: Depending on where you are, between 2% and 12% of people are left-handed.  Depending on your upbringing (if you were born left handed in some places, whether or not you were socialized to favor your right hand anyway) your grip strength with your off hand may be off by almost 11%,with a requisite difference of manual dexterity.  This makes sense because your off-side is always a little behind but training and practice can make up for that.

So, postulating advancements in technology, why would you have your dominant side augmented and your non-dominant side not unless you absolutely had to?  Let's look at a character from a fairly recent movie who is a prime example of this.  Watching Logan, this particular character appears right handed throughout the story, uses his left hand only under duress, but for whatever reason had his right hand replaced with a presumably stronger and more durable prosthesis.  It would make sense, from is observable in the movie, for him to have had the limbs on his non-dominant side replaced with prostheses to make up for the lack of strength and dexterity.  I mean, it's a movie with superheroic mutants, powerful telepaths, and offhand "Hey, let's hack your genome" levels of technology, I'm pretty sure that the surgeons could have gotten his left hand up to scratch pretty easily.  If you're a candidate for augmentation, you could either have something you're already good with replaced, and spend maybe twice as much time getting both sides of your body roughly equal, or you could have your less-good side worked on, which you're going to need to rehab and train anyway.