Friday, August 10, 2012

Biohackers, Cyborgs, and Body Miners: Are we ready for them?

"Computers are hardware. Apps are software. Humans are wetware." The term 'hacker' is familiar to most of us this age where almost all of us are dependent on computing devices for information. On the other hand, 'biohacker' is uncommon. Biohacking is where a hacker experiments and modifies the human body by implanting or connecting devices to specific human body parts to enhance human experience by adding additional senses and/or functions.

Cybernetics For The Masses

by Lepht Anonym

Lepht Anonym is an underground wetware hacker who uses materials available in the household to perform experiments on her body, e.g. vegetable peelers, vodka to sterilize things, and perhaps - kitchen knives to cut her skin. The case of Lepth Anonym has sparked controversies mainly because her procedures are performed in extremes and are open to many risks that question safety and legalization; even questioning her psychological capacity to perform such acts.

Below are the three video series of her talk titled "Cybernetics For The Masses" held at the 27th Chaos Communication Congress on December 2010, which discussed how biohacking can be performed even with low budget.

Neodymium Metal Disc Implant

This short video documentary by The Verge covers a group of biohackers as they demonstrated a neodymium metal implant surgery on finger. The neodymium magnet disc is a type of magnet when implanted to the fingers, can add a sixth sense where the nerve endings on the finger sends signals to our brains of how vast and strong a near electromagnetic field is. However, neodymium is a toxic element and it needs to be bioproof (which means it should stay well in a bio environment such as inside the human body). On Lepth's talk she suggested silicon or a product named Sugru to bioproof the said metal.

A neodymium implanted finger as it reacts to a metal object

Most biohackers conclude that we are at the end of the natural human evolution process and it is now in our hands to enhance and improve the human body.

The question is: are we ready for this? Are you willing to cut yourself and implant an element not in nature with our human body for an additional sense and function?

I bet this dog does...

The dog from the Biohackers video documentary. A dog cyborg anyone?


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