Mark Atwood (fallenpegasus) wrote,
Mark Atwood
fallenpegasus

"Body Hacking" by Quinn Norton <quinn@ambiguous.org>

One of the talks a few days ago here at OScon, was a session called "Body Hacking". The room was crowded, the speaker was interesting, and the topic was fascinating. I know I have people here on my f-list who are into transhumanism and/or medicine. Check this out:

  • Body Mods. Where are we now?
    • mainly cosmetic, but there are exceptions
    • functional body mods vs cosmetic body mods
    • genital piercing is a functional body mod
    • does surgery count? plastic surgery?
    • what about drugs and other meds?
  • Hacking is "freedom to act your will on a system".
  • What is body hacking? "Acting on yourself, with or without assistance, to enhance the function of your body or your perceptions."
  • The Make Magazine motto: "If you can't open it, you don't own it."
  • Are we ready for First Life furries?
  • Let's do some hacking! What can you do at home today?
  • Want a sixth sense? EM field sense
    • the speaker, Quinn Norton, had this done to her
    • implant rare earth magnet into the edge of the tip of the left ring finger
    • biosilicone sheathe over gold over a rare earth magnet
    • no anesthetic, so it was "art", not "surgery"
      • legal definition. "body artists" dont need to be a surgeon or certified physician
      • yes, it hurt to implant, a lot
    • the wonders of neuroplasticity! brain maps in a new sense
    • it takes time to sink in, takes training, but it is a novel sense
    • unexpected encounters with EM fields
    • can feel running motors, live wires, spinning HDs, and phone cords
    • cannot explain how it "felt"
    • now, why am I not going to tell you how to get one...
      • the sheath breached, scar tissue, sense failed
      • needed to be surgically removed
  • there is a theme of control, but also a perception of fungible self
  • this is Artur. he has a rare tumor
    • he got a CT scan, got the cd, downloaded & ran OSIRIX himself
    • built his own body visualization images
    • had his own surgical procedure videotaped
    • you can go to youtube, search for CT scan and MRI. People post their own medical imagery
  • "The Expert Patient"
    • you can get certified as an "expert patient"
    • doctors have mixed feelings about expert patients
    • studies have been done. expert patents have better long term outcomes.
    • is there a line between a bodyhacker and an expert patient?
  • technological sensors and telemetry
    • practitioners want to track data when the patient isnt in the clinic
    • glucometer, implanted or surface
    • ovulation watch
    • hydrometer
    • brain monitoring
    • blood surveillance
    • advanced users and geeks
      • want to access and interp their own telemetry
      • want to publish their own telemetry to the net
    • High rez EEG scan and interp is now a consumer item!
      • "Emotiv" controller, 18 sensors, lots of DSPs
      • It can sense moods and emotional state
      • It can compute your facial expression
      • Will sell for about $200
      • It is game controller! There is a dev kit, it is currently closed.
        • Video games where your emotional state is an input
        • This can be interesting, if you are playing the Incredible Hulk game
      • What will hackers do with an open source version of this?
      • What will these devices makers do when toys and games expose disorders like skitzo, bipolar, depression?
  • Democratizing our bodies
    • We want to understand and want access to our own bodies, and our own data
    • Playing with this stuff is old fashioned geeky fun
    • Access to our own bodies is becoming a human rights issue
  • What counts as a sense?
    • EM senses, implanted magnets
    • direction sense, can buy a device from feelspace
    • Air Force has been playing with stuff for decades. They will try anything.
    • What about TMS? kind of a fake sense
      • transcraninal magnetic stimulation
      • there is an OpenTMS project!
      • induced mental states
    • night vision goggles
    • is the "driving scan" a sense?
  • Where treatment ends and enhancement begins
    • legally, FDA requires "pathlogize" something so can "treat" it.
      • anti-depressants, required pathologizing grief
      • stomach staples, required pathologizing obesity
    • sexual super powers
      • boob jobs
      • gender reassignment
      • sex enhancer drugs
      • IUDs
      • genital piercing
  • Slate article "The Beam In Your Eye"
    • pro athletes all get LASIK
    • Why is it that "Steriods bad, LASIK good"?
  • We've left treatment well behind
    • provigil exploding in popularity
      • prevents sleep
      • neuroprotective
      • it doesnt "feel good"
      • wakefullness and focus
    • pharmaceutical classism is coming. people who can get the drugs get ahead
    • who wants CUV1647?
      • the barbie drug. makes you tan, makes you lose weight, increases sex drive
      • we just need to make up a "disease" for it to "treat".
      • the FDA doesnt approve drugs that dont treat disease
  • But most of all, biggest deployed body enhancement is
    • vaccination
    • "every child a superbeing"
    • a century ago, EVERYONE had the childhood diseases
    • if you didnt get them, you were a witch
  • the problem is timescale
    • we used to have generations to get used to each change
    • now we have decades, at best. soon, only years, or months...
  • messing with our brains made easy
    • Mitch Alman demos "The Brain Machine". it works, its cheap
    • there is EMDR, for PTSD
      • "Eye Movement Densensitizing Reprocessing"
      • It can be done with tools and techiques you already have.
        • computer and headphones
        • bodytapping
      • effect discovered by accident
      • changes the emotional response of memories
      • clinicians know it can be used for enhancement, but refuse to use it that way
      • It can be very dangerous! If you activate a bad memory when alone, you have no way out.
  • what are we doing soon?
    • direct interface is already here and growing fast
    • coch implants, vision implants, neuro pacemakers
    • already a guy who hacked the firmware in his own coch implant
    • lots and lots of tailored drugs. phara for intellegence, emotional fortitude, sleep, wakefulness, ...
  • "Elective Home Surgery FAQ" is online
  • Rise of a "Medical Black Market"
  • Its Your Body. But Is It?
    • your medical records, can you get them?
    • procedures, what can you get access to?
    • social transgression and transgressive communities. do we really want them to be the ones learning about this stuff?
    • arbitrary access to pharma, is currently already completely arbitrary, based on which doctor you get.
  • Dying? Living? Prospering?
  • This is the next "Open vs Proprietary Debate".
  • When biotech law locks up access to genes, tests, procedures, knowledge
    • KILLING PEOPLE AND CHILDREN
    • this is not theoretical, it is actual real killing people
  • This is a mess, much worse than high tech
  • Actual headline: "Meth lab in home yields 'hospital room'"
    • was used by the local uninsured community
    • cheaper, faster, more available, and more able then a "real doctor"
    • black market medicine is here, will only grow
    • even "universal health care" wont stop it
  • What do you do when medical ethics in your country don't allow the procedure that you want? Medical Tourism!
  • Should everyone have all the freedom they want? People will make themselves into people that you dont want to live with.
  • But Ethics Shmethics. People want advantages, and will get them.
    • Two options. There are NO other choices.
      • We create a non-medical free market for human alteration, or
      • Back room enhancement for the poor & medical tourism for the rich
    • Medical Classism is a self reinforcing truth. If you can afford to make yourself smarter and stronger and more able, then the wealthy and privilaged really ARE smarter and more able.
    • How far is too far?
      • Professional Coercion. To work here, you must...
      • Those furries again.
      • Who gets to hurt themselves?
      • What is not fair anymore?
      • What does "neurojustice" look like? When we break the metaphor of "freedom" and "choice".
    • And the question throbbing at the heart of all this: What counts as Human?
Tags: geek, oscon, oscon2007, transhumanism
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