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 23C3 - Body Hacking 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 3:00 am
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Post 23C3 - Body Hacking
This is a good talk by Quinn Norton about functional body modification. It's 65 min and I think her observations on how society views body modification are accurate.



The talk includes magnets in fingertips, built in insulin-sensors connected to the Internet, blue tooth transceivers for cell phones implanted into the skull, brain pacemakers and so on.

She also talks a bit about vaccine and viagra. She points out that these are in fact functional body modifications too. She is right, they are.

I often feel that some subcultures seem old to me. More so since I started thinking along the lines of biopunk.

To me there is beauty in a functional body modification that hacks the organism. Like vaccine, viagra, caffeine, human growth hormones and so on. If you can take something that will make you strong, grow more red blood cells, be in perfect shape without exercise or not get sick. Then that's a body modification worth having.

There is something old and fake about inserting a piece of plastic or metal into the body. A feeling of trying to make old technology something it can never become, a part of the organism.

Is it just me?

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Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:01 pm
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Post Re: 23C3 - Body Hacking
When she talked about the Estrogen sensor implant I remembered how I a long time ago had the idea that a dog trained to sense ovulation could prove useful. :roll:

In a fashion the sensor implant would be the cyberpunk-tech solution - and a sniffing dog a primitive DIY biopunk solution :lol:

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Sat May 03, 2008 6:38 am
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Post Re: 23C3 - Body Hacking
Modifying a body is all good and well, but how long can we stay on the top of the food chain?

50 years, 100?

Don't get me wrong I'm all for bio-modification but I'm worried about the implications.


Mon May 12, 2008 1:27 pm
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Post Re: 23C3 - Body Hacking
I find the more I learn the smaller and more contained the risks seem to me. We are bathing in competing mutating microorganisms as it is, according to Venter a milli litre of seawater alone contains a million bacteria.

Synthetic biology offers a way to fix things fast when they go wrong. To not have to worry about migrating birds or end up burning a large portion of a countries livestock.

Not to mention fixes for cancer, alzheimer and so on.

Good things

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Mon May 12, 2008 2:40 pm
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Post Re: 23C3 - Body Hacking
But what happens if it all goes wrong?


Fri May 16, 2008 10:02 am
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Post Re: 23C3 - Body Hacking
Tommythewho wrote:
But what happens if it all goes wrong?

Could you give an example of what that means?

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Fri May 16, 2008 4:27 pm
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Post Re: 23C3 - Body Hacking
I think we are genetically inclined to be overly cautious. When there is something we don't understand our first reaction is to fear it. We avoid it or try to kill it. If a forefather heard something in the bushes 50000 years ago he was more likely to survive to produce offspring if his genetic makeup built him to be cautious - as opposed to curious or fearless.

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Mon May 19, 2008 8:13 pm
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Post Re: 23C3 - Body Hacking
Quote:
Could you give an example of what that means?


accidently creating a "mildly harmfull organism" (input: carbohydrates, water or other abundant resource. excreting: "choose your toxic substance") that has extremly superior reproduction capabillities. In a worst case scenario higher foodchains (including higher plants, mammals, reptiles etc..) all over the globe could collapse. Life on earth probably wouldnt end, but bye bye human society as we know it.

and such an organism isnt that hard to produce, create, summon :roll:

sorry if OT.

/apoptechsis


Fri May 30, 2008 10:30 am
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Post Re: 23C3 - Body Hacking
apopTechsis wrote:
accidently creating a "mildly harmfull organism" (input: carbohydrates, water or other abundant resource. excreting: "choose your toxic substance") that has extremly superior reproduction capabillities.


I think about the dangers along these lines:

Any microorganism released into nature competes with an unimaginable number of species already there. A ml of ocean water can contain a million bacteria and a hundred times as many viruses according to Venter. They are all constantly recombining by transferring DNA through plasmids and viruses like the Sendai. A million bacteria per ml means theres a lot of recombinant DNA going on in an ocean. I think (to us) toxic or pathogen bacteria probably are born and die by the billions every second. Seen in this context the idea that we would build something that would take over the show if released into nature seems less worrisome.

apopTechsis wrote:
In a worst case scenario higher foodchains (including higher plants, mammals, reptiles etc..) all over the globe could collapse. Life on earth probably wouldnt end, but bye bye human society as we know it.

and such an organism isnt that hard to produce, create, summon :roll:


I think if we build something dangerous it would be something like what nature produces by itself. The worst case scenario I can think of would be something like a virus spread by both birds and humans, with long incubation time, and infecting in a way we have weak defenses against, like a retrovirus maybe. Nature does this kind of thing by itself all the time without aid from us. When these things happen they can(and have done in close historic times) disrupt societies.

To me synthetic biology offers the only way to patch this if we want to.

We have been rebuilding DNA for 30 years now. As far as I know no one has got hurt yet. It's not a question of whether we should do it or not any more - we are already doing it.

My 2c

- Splicer

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Fri May 30, 2008 8:51 pm
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Post Re: 23C3 - Body Hacking
Wow!
Just think of the implications. Good and bad.
I wanna see an interface implanted inside your brain that could pull up your vital signs, kinda like biofeedback but with you having it always.

Interenet would be helpful too.
hah. maybe 60-120 years from now.
what do you guys think?
bad idea, good?


Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:38 pm
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Post Re: 23C3 - Body Hacking
Hydrochloric wrote:
Wow!
Just think of the implications. Good and bad.
I wanna see an interface implanted inside your brain that could pull up your vital signs, kinda like biofeedback but with you having it always.


There is something about implants that just feels impure to me. It just doesn't seem right to mix a biological unit with electronics. I know it's all the rage but maybe that has a lot to do with the level of technology we're capable of right now. I'm a biopunk so I can dream a bit. Electronics in flesh feels to me like soiling the flesh with a cumbersome technology that's not supposed to be there and doesn't interface well. It's just not as beautiful as a completely biological solution would be, something that would be wired into the nervous system, supported and repaired like other tissue, and show up as an extra sense. Maybe even inherited. It seems to me we have dreamed the marriage between electronics and flesh already, it's been a sci-fi topic for 20+ years and the tech in starting to catch up. If that dream is spent, what's the next one?


-dR

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Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:51 am
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