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So, it is the 26th century, and you are a terran soldier in the military. You made some stupid mistakes in Delta Scorpion, and ended up with inner organs becoming outer organs. You never read your contract, which stated any human that died in combat can randomly be selected for the CYBORG PRIME program. You get decked out with a metal skeleton frame, a robotic heart, a super action rocket mounted laser fist, and you get shaved. All corpses that are sent to the CP program are shaved completely(head, eyebrows, nose) before they get their augmentation. My question is, what is a plausible reason why this is done?

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  • $\begingroup$ Sounds a lot like RoboCop... $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Jul 25 '18 at 5:07
  • $\begingroup$ @RonJohn: Uh oh, Freeze Creep!!! $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Jul 25 '18 at 5:10
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    $\begingroup$ This question is currently being voted on to be closed as primarily opinion-based. (People, write comments why you flag things so OP can improve their question!) While i can see this claim not being far-fetched, I do think this question is on the edge as you can see with the answers given that there is a degree of plausibility and things not being pulled out of someones arse. Can you maybe give the question a little more direction so it is clearer what you are aiming for? $\endgroup$ – ArtificialSoul Jul 25 '18 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ It's been proposed that "Why would someone X?" questions are off-topic as either too broad or POB. These kinds of questions are difficult to answer because they're often a function of plot and not a rule of worldbuilding. I rarely VTC, preferring to see questions improved, and hope you will review those links and improve your question. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 25 '18 at 6:53
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    $\begingroup$ Unless you specify some constrains and evaluation criteria, this is strongly opinion based. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jul 25 '18 at 7:53
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As @Erik has already stated, it reduces the chances of complications due to loose hairs during the numerous surgeries required by the CYBORG program, particularly those involving the noggin. It's the same reason they shave patients going in for brain surgery - make's it easier for the surgeons to see what they're doing.

As an additional note - maybe some of the drugs used in the program are similar to chemo drugs, and have hair loss as a side-affect. Bringing someone back from the dead is a gnarly business.

Maybe it's just less upkeep and maintenance for the cyborgs if you don't have to worry about cleaning and trimming their hair.

Maybe one test subject had lice that got loose and infected the program, so they just went scorched earth and shaved everyone.

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    $\begingroup$ "Commander, the new cyborg is bugged!" $\endgroup$ – Shaamaan Jul 25 '18 at 9:24
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It is very plausible to remove all external hair before a surgical intervention in our days.

Before every surgery all the hair is removed from the spot. If a hair drops in the body it may cause an infection because the body may recognize it as a foreign body. Even if it's a corpse, they will be living organisms again, and as long as they are not complete robots, the problem may stay. Note that the body itself is covered with a lot of hairs that may not be visible.

I would also suggest you reconsider the shaving. It is a very old technique that holds the risk of cuts. Also the roots of the hair will stay. At my last operation I heard the nurses point that out. They said that nowadays (and that was like five years ago) we have a lot of alternatives that would do a better job and called shaving "barbaric" and "old fashioned".

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding! Please consider taking the tour[worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/tour] and check the [help center][worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/help] or Worldbuilding Meta[worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/] if you have questions about this site. Have fun! :) $\endgroup$ – ArtificialSoul Jul 25 '18 at 6:39
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    $\begingroup$ @ArtificialSoul Did you even take the time to read the answer before posting that comment? His answer is way possible than the most upvoted answer up to this time. Please do take time to read the answer, and you take the [worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/tour] yourself $\endgroup$ – Mr.J Jul 25 '18 at 7:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Mr.J Sorry, you misunderstood my point. I wasn't in any way suggesting they gave a bad response. I just wanted to recommend these places so in case of future need they know where to get help. I upvoted the answer myself, too. On a side note: please refrain from unnecessary hostility. I mean sure, you misunderstood what I said, but still. There is no point in borderline insulting people and I guess we can both agree that this is not what we want this place to be. $\endgroup$ – ArtificialSoul Jul 25 '18 at 7:45
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    $\begingroup$ @ArtificialSoul A welcome to the site is good but at the moment it's easy to read your message as implied critisism. i.e. that you are pointing people to the help center because they did something wrong. I suggest adding a "Great first answer!" or similar to the start of your message in future to help make that clearer. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Jul 25 '18 at 9:36
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    $\begingroup$ @TimB Yeah, you're probably right. I wasn't really clear. I'll improve it in future comments. I thought it was clear enough with the "if you have questions about this site", but obviously it was not as clear as i thought it was. $\endgroup$ – ArtificialSoul Jul 25 '18 at 10:03
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The top brass wants the other troops to see the cyborgs as equipment, not as people. Expendable equipment. That will be a problem with ex-human resources, and especially human-looking ones. So what can be done? Shaving the head is one little step in that direction.

Compare this story about bomb disposal robots, and how much bother it was for the repair staff.

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  • $\begingroup$ That depends on the scenario and the cost of the procedures. Nobody has expendable equipment that costs 10 billions to create. $\endgroup$ – ArtificialSoul Jul 25 '18 at 6:01
  • $\begingroup$ @ArtificialSoul: I think this answer focuses more on "not human" than expendable. E.g. it's not morally wrong to send them on suicide missions, "no man left behind" doesn't apply to them, ... For example, a jet fighter is massively expensive, but the pilot gets an ejector seat (thus resigning the jet to crash unguided) because a human life is more valuable as opposed to having the pilot maybe salvage the jet during an emergency landing but probably die in a crash. $\endgroup$ – Flater Jul 25 '18 at 7:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Flater I seem to be misunderstood a lot today. I wasn't really criticising the post. I was merely trying to add to it. Saying that if these cyborgs cost billions of dollars you don't use them like (not-quite-)meat shields, but are more careful with where you send them to guarantee getting them back simply for monetary reasons. This depends on the fictional scenario. If they have as many of those as the US has regular soldiers now this point is irrelevant. That is what i wanted to say. $\endgroup$ – ArtificialSoul Jul 25 '18 at 7:57
  • $\begingroup$ @ArtificialSoul: I think you're misunderstanding that this answer focuses on the human/emotional aspect of making the cyborgs seen as expendable equipment. The answer isn't focusing on finances, nor is it arguing that cyborgs should expended/wasted more than they otherwise would have been. It's about the perception of the human soldiers and preventing them from humanizing the cyborg. $\endgroup$ – Flater Jul 25 '18 at 8:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Flater I did not disagree with that, did I? I was trying to add this tiny bit of perspective to it. I did not criticise the answer, nor did I claim it was wrong on anything. $\endgroup$ – ArtificialSoul Jul 25 '18 at 8:04
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The most obvious reason would be that it reduces the chance of any hairs getting stuck inside the metal parts during the grafting process. That might cause weird defects later, and since the dead aren't going to object, removing everything that might get trapped and make the cyborg program less likely to go wrong in some way sounds like a good idea.

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If they already go into so much bother, wouldn't it be easier to just replace the entire body and keep only the brain? If these cyborgs are used in battle, every part where metal meets living flesh would be prone to separate or tear, and the flesh would get bruised or cut up just from metal parts moving against it so much. (I'm guessing your battles involve a lot of body movement, they aren't just sitting in a chair driving a battle mech or something.)

So it's not really a question of being shaved, more a question of people not bothering to give body hair to a cyborg, even if they make them somewhat human-looking on the surface for the purpose of getting the civilians to co-operate with them easier.

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