This page is intended as an infodump for my research as plan my surgery, perform the implantation, and learn about biohacking (and adjust to life as Magneto). Use the links to the right to navigate the pages with relevant information about my surgical procedures, FAQ, and more.
Biohacking has something that’s intrigued me for quite sometime. Ever since I read Charles Stross’ Accelerando, I was immediately intrigued by the depiction of technology as a seamlessly integrated part of life. In the book, a headset is worn by nearly every person on the planet, facilitating high speed communication, access to vast amounts of pertinent information, and augmented senses. Rather than distancing people from each other, this interface allows them to connect in a more effective way, exchanging data and ideas much faster and more completely than they ever could. Essentially, the medium of communication itself becomes effortless, and the simple flow of information can take place.
In that vein, I am a firm believer in the transhumanist movement. Transhumanism (AKA “h+”) is, in broad (and possibly differing, depending on whom you ask) strokes, the idea that emerging technologies and advancements can be used to better the default human intellectual, psychological, and physical parameters.
Anyway you look at it, humans are remarkably ill-equipped for the world we live in. Now, don’t misunderstand my stating that to imply I don’t have wonder in regards to the human body – biologically, we are stunning works of engineering and functionality, with systems so complex we can’t even understand them all.
However, examining our physical parameters in comparison to the rest of the animal kingdom that, like it or not, we are a part of, we pale in comparison. We’re not the biggest or strongest, nor are we the fastest. We can only see three colors and sense only a small fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum. Unlike other creatures, we are not pressure sensitive, electroreceptive, echolocational. Our sense of smell is worthless compared to that of a dog. Our hunting skills rely entirely on our tool making ability. Eventually, we will die, because our bodies simply wear out.
Transhumanism seeks to better our existence and longevity through the use of technology. Biohackers, or “grinders,” are a subset of transhumanism that believe that the humanity won’t achieve the elimination of poverty, disease, and disability unless somebody starts doing the dirty work themselves. Grinders work in basements and kitchens to develop technological prostheses and implants that might hold the keys to bettering humanity, not necessarily in great leaps and bounds, but by harnessing a biotechnological union in useful ways to better our lives. The work grinders do is rarely sloppy or dangerous (although some take their hobby to a reckless degree), but does embrace the hacker ethic of tinkering, openness, and an intense attraction to making electronics (and the body, in our case) do things they weren’t built to do.
If you can’t open it, you don’t own it.
With the idea of biohacking in mind, I decided to implant a small neodymium super magnet into the tip of my ring finger. As nerves heal around the magnet, I gain the ability to sense electromagnetic fields as physical sensations of pressure, vibration, and attraction. I’m passionate about technology, so the idea of being able to sense the force behind so many things I enjoy and work with is exciting. I decided to perform the procedure myself primarily due to the dubious failure rate of the silicone coating used by body artists who perform this surgery.
While there is a fair amount of information about the procedure online, I wanted to add my story to the mix in the hopes that someone might learn more about why someone would want to do this.
On the left, you can see some more information under this page about what I used, my surgical technique, and a link to blog posts concerning the procedure. Happy hacking!