Hi, I’m a cyborg.

I am a woman who truly does what she wants with her body.

I’m not just talking about owning my sexuality or believing abortion should be my choice alone.

I mean, I want to live forever. Specifically, I want to be healthy forever. And I want to make living the best possible experience I can.

So, my perception of owning my body extends past the realm of reproduction-related ownership.

I’m not talking about adorning by body with piercings or tattoos alone either.

I am a biohacker.

My body is my system of conveyance and it is what enables me to interact with the world outside of myself. It’s important.

I want to make my body as robust as possible.

And that may mean implanting stuff in it. Which tends to be the most interesting part of biohacking for most people.

Biohacking includes many things. It overlaps with the transhumanism, but doesn’t necessarily have to. Those who are into biohacking generally also embrace AI and the idea of space travel. But strictly speaking, it’s about hacking the personal unit (or other biological units).

Another name for us is “grinders”. We got stuck with that word due to a comparison in Doktor Sleepless by Warren Ellis. Probably some brilliant asshole/space gangster I know perpetuated it though.

Biohacking is broad. It’s using supplements to improve my mind and body function. Biohacking is tracking information about my body to ensure my health is optimal. Biohacking is eating healthy and exercising to ensure my body lasts as long as possible. Biohacking can involve nanotech and body alterations. A nonhuman example would be adding to plant DNA to make them glow. Or, in humans, switching out the type of vitamin A we use so we might be able to see in infrared.

And there are implants. And that’s the focal topic here.

My first implant did have to do with reproduction. It’s a Mirena. This implant is considered the most “normal” even though I think it’s the most dramatic. It is certainly an augmentation to my biology, but innovated in the medical field, so is more accepted by society.

My second implant was a magnet, implanted under my skin in one of my wrists. Why, you ask? Because it allows me to feel small magnetic fields, giving me extra sensory input. It tells me a little more about the world around me. Plus, I can use it to pick up paperclips and cheap flatware. *eyebrow wiggle

Like I said, I want the most robust experience possible.

My most recent implant (though it was years ago), was an xNT chip by Dangerous Things. This little baby is in my hand, a 13.56MHz NFC tag with 888bytes of storage (seems unimpressive, but hey, it fits some stuff- emergency contact info, website, so on). Do to it being NFC compliant, I can read and write to it using my phone. But my main use is to get through my door.

Know what that means? No keys!

Perhaps you have a car and not a bike-type like me. The guy I work for hacked his car and motorcycle so he could unlock and start it using his chip. So, still no keys! A few less things to lose or remember.

Another question I frequently get is: Can the government track you with satellites or something?

Nope! I’m safe. It’s a passive chip that can only be powered if it’s within a few millimeters from the antennae used to read it. There is no battery, so no broadcast.
The only tracking it could so is if you use it for the bus or something and there is a record of what tags used it. But you know what the government could use to track you? You’re cell phone. Just sayin’.

And, being that I come from the deep south, I also have gotten: “But the mark of the beast?!” Rather than get into an argument over religion, to them I say, “If you’re really worried about it, just stick with your left hand. Steer clear of the right hand and the forehead and you’re golden.”

I think life without keys is pretty sweet.

My next implant will probably be the UKI by Dangerous Things. It’s a smart card implant. We’re talking strong cryptography. That means it could be used for payments and in some cases, an ID. I’m looking to get rid of my wallet too.

These implants have a lot to do with convenience (and when it comes to the UKI, security; although if convenience can equate to mental health, that’s a thing). But biohacking is about adaptation that increases the function of the body.

For me, I’m going cyborg.

I’m doing my best to keep this body as healthy and as long-lived as I can, but I look forward to being able to, say, switch out my organs for ones that don’t break or degrade as easily. Perhaps make my body run more efficiently so I use fewer resources. Give my brain a backup on a server somewhere in case something happens to me. Gain more senses so I can experience more of the world. Cryptographically secure my brain so no one else can toy with it. Install extra memory into my brain so I can store all that new data. Upgrade my processing power do I can think faster. And on and on. This is where my flavor of biohacking overlaps with transhumanism.

We’re amidst a maker revolution in the United States (at least this guy thinks so) and people don’t want to leave science to the privileged. We have access to more information and free education than ever, there is open source and open access options becoming  available all the time, and we have maker and citizen science groups learning and self experimenting in ways that I believe will change the world.

We can all partake. We can innovate. We can upgrade.

We’re in the future.


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