So, have you heard of body hacking? It’s the very latest breakthrough toward creating the sort of world that has terrified us since the invention of science fiction, where we are stalked by artificially enhanced human beings like Cybermen, Cylons and Pamela Anderson.
Body hacking is the same as computer hacking, except instead of getting through the firewalls of, say, the Department of Defense, you’re getting through the skin of some poor guinea pig. Oh, and since body hacking does not seem to be taking place under any scientific auspices, the guinea pigs are actual humans.
Take, for instance, Tim Cannon, co-founder of Grindhouse Wetwares, who has implanted a magnet in his finger. As evidenced in his photo at right, this has had the unintended and inexplicable consequence of attracting hair randomly to his chin.
This procedure has not, as you might expect, turned Cannon into Magneto from The X-Men. It’s more like he is an extremely discounted Six Million Dollar Man. All it has done is allow him to faintly detect electromagnetic fields that may be nearby. For instance, he says he can tell immediately if his laptop is on. That won’t do him much good though, since it’s very difficult to use the keyboard with paper clips dangling from your finger.
I suspect that Cannon and his weird (I’m assuming) friends at Grindhouse have really developed this technique as a way to meet women. (“Oh, I’m sorry. You must be wearing a nipple ring. Let me just pry my finger off your breast.”)
As I mentioned in a recent post, I don’t even understand why people punch holes in their bodies for adornments like earrings. So it’s totally beyond me why someone would insert something into their body that would make it impossible to ever again get through airport security.
In fact, before founding Grindhouse, Cannon was a tattoo artist/body piercer, which certainly makes him as qualified as any doctor to perform minor surgery. He follows in the footsteps of the woman who is considered the Mother of the Field of Body Hacking, Lepht Anonym, who has described what she does as “cutting holes in my body and putting things in there.” (By the way, I’m guessing that Anonym is a pseudonym, possibly adopted at the behest of the Mother of the Mother of the Field of Body Hacking.)
Cannon makes the point that what he is doing is no different than using eyeglasses, “a piece of equipment that enhances your sense, and pretty quickly becomes like a part of your body.” I see his point, but I might argue that using technology to correct an impairment is different than using it to add a superpower, like being able to play with a Woolly Willy without wielding the wand.
This seems like a good time to point out that, for folks like Cannon and Anonym, it is illegal to use anesthetics, so that, in the short term at least, the only people likely to be undergoing this procedure are the types of customers Cannon used to have in his old job.
To quote Ms. Anonym (and you might want to read the following with your eyes closed):
“I’m sort of inured to pain by this point…I’ve made scalpel incisions in my hands, pushed five-millimeter diameter needles through my skin, and once used a vegetable knife to carve a cavity into the tip of my index finger. I’m an idiot, but I’m an idiot working in the name of progress.”
So she’s saying that the future of humanity consists of a bunch of crazy people running around with various foreign appendages protruding from their bodies.
The fact that these are the pioneers in the field of “transhumanism” is not exactly comforting. I mean, it’s scary enough bumping into a biker-type with 38 head piercings. I at least want to know I can try to run away like a frightened little girl without his being able to send out a magnetic wave to reel me in by my belt buckle.
See you soon.