Re: On the difference between Biopunk and DIYbio
Good to see you. I think we understand each other well. A few comments from my biopunk perspective:
Can't say I agree with this assessment, I'm afraid! My reasons why are similar to those you outlined when you suggested compartmentalisation to avoid confusion; there's a level at which unnecessary division only causes confusion and hinders collaboration.
I hear the ”Don't rock the boat” comment often. It's usually the first reaction from most people who have heard of DIYbio when they learn it's not hacker culture and that the difference actually means something. Different perspectives are good. There is no reason for confusion or lack of collaboration. If DIYbio was the be all and end all of personal biohacking then this community would be a very small pond.
By this I mean that, in my experience, there are many people in the DIYbio community who are "in it for the wetware", rather than obsessively making their own equipment and sequencing things using only their own tools. Just as I imagine there will be Biopunks who insist on using their own tools and equipment simply because they want to know they've done the job well.
Yes, but the focus in a DIY community is still on making your own tools as opposed to hacking your environment. I'm not saying the biopunk never builds her own tools, I'm saying it doesn't matter to her whether she does or not. The tools are a means to an end. What matters is the hack, the actual manipulation.
Likewise, the services that we provide for ourselves or others in the community, we do because we have little alternative in a field where sequencing may not be available to individuals. It's not that we insist on doing it ourselves (although some might), it's because we have to.
Commercial sequencing is not expensive or restricted (why would it be?). It costs less than $5 for 400bp excluding primers. The reason for the diy gel box is primarily that it is the sort of thing makers/diyers do. The scarcity mentality is part of the DIY paradigm.
This might change soon and people that under your classification would be strictly "DIYers" will very suddenly become "Biopunks" as they start using outsourcing, borrowing and sharing much more than before. But I would suggest that they were always in the same category, and simply divided by their means.
I see the trend going in that direction too. And yes they are largely the same category with different means, but I find the hacker paradigm more useful than the maker/DIY paradigm. Should I wait until the maker/DIY paradigm is obsolete for biohacking before I voice that?
I'm excited to see another major forum on what I would see as DIYbio and Biopunk online, and I hope to keep calling back! Forgive me if my assessment doesn't suit you.
I forgive you