Body Hacking: If You Can’t Open It, You Don’t Own It

Technology
Body Hacking: If You Can’t Open It, You Don’t Own It

Magnet Implant

Quinn Norton has posted the slides from the popular Body Hacking talk she gave at O’Reilly’s recent ETech conference. She defines body hacking as:

Acting on yourself, with or without assistance, to enhance the function of your body or your perceptions. Body hacking is, like all other forms of hacking, ultimately a form of violation: the freedom to enact your will upon a system.

Going beyond the more obviously transgressive body modifications (such as scarring, piercing, tattoos, and subdermal implants), she shows that much more is at stake than cosmetics, for both body hackers in particular and society in general. Co-opting Make‘s mantra (“if you can’t open it, you don’t own it”) to our own physical body, she points out the need for control (or at least an attempt at control) of our most important asset: ourselves.

Quinn herself has a rare earth magnet implanted in her finger, giving her a “sixth sense” (in addition to the obvious ability to lift small metallic objects with a single finger), which is itself fascinating, though not nearly as interesting as hearing her describe the process of getting it, her reaction and response to it in her body, and the larger implications for such a procedure.

I heard Quinn deliver a more informal version of this talk to a smaller, rapt audience last year, and all indications suggest that the response is the same every time she gives it. If you haven’t had the chance to hear it directly from her, you’ll want to check out the slides and video links at the end of this post. Quinn’s really putting body hacking on our radar as a fascinating area that’s moving quickly.

Links:

(via Boing Boing)

6 thoughts on “Body Hacking: If You Can’t Open It, You Don’t Own It

  1. Postal says:

    Why don’t you try the ultimate body-hack: Go fuck yourself.

  2. Dang says:

    Magnet in penis ?

  3. Jeff says:

    Hacking is “ultimately a form of volition” not “violation.” Although many might believe the latter to be true, this isn’t what she or her presentation is about.

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