Introduction: Intro to Bio-hacking. the Trans-humanism Primer. Cyborg-lite.
First lets start off by defining some key components of bio-hacking. Bio-hacking is part of the trans-humanist movement and trans-humanism is just achieving something beyond human abilities, be they, intellectual or physical or even spiritual. Like any well known movement there are certain groups within the movement. There are many theoreticians that predict the future, and some futurists, like Ray Kurzweil talk about the future and by extension talk about trans-humanism. Part of the theory for many futurists is that far in the future we won't be exactly human and our technology will likely take us beyond being human, ie into trans-humanism.
Some people see trans-humanism as a dark scary void of sorts, I was one of those people, until I saw it didn't have to be like "the Borg" from Star Trek it can instead be inspiring and motivating. Some trans-humanists, called Grinders, practice what they call "practical trans-humanism" and it's happening now.
What I would like to do, aside from giving you a glimpse into this fascinating sub-culture, is give you an opportunity to safely experience "practical trans-humanism."
I learned about trans-humanism by looking on websites about future utopias and especially by reading Ray Kurzweil's "The singularity", which is about trans-humanism, the singularity and so much more.
Please see my extensive list of links at the end for a great deal more information and read some books on futurist theories or trans-humanism if it interests you.
Let's start off by saying that in the future, hopefully, everyone will be healthy and happy. If everyone isn't, then technology will step in to assist them. But what about for those of us that feel an ennui (dissatisfaction) with everyday life. What about those of us that seek more from life, sort of like Neo in the matrix? Well there is hope. One day if you get into an accident and lose a leg, a robotic prosthesis will likely make you near whole again. But these prosthesis are getting very good, and soon they may surpass normal human ability. what then? People will start to seek out being something more than they are. Today, there are around a thousand people walking the earth that can feel magnetic fields with their hands. As real as you or I would pet our dog, these people can feel their microwaves energy. They can feel the power that is being emitted at their face through their computer monitor, trust me it's there. They can sense underground power lines and high voltage and all other manner of magnetic or electromagnetic fields.
The movement is called "grinding" and it is pretty new, but it only took hearing about it to give me the bug so to speak. With my love for technology it was only a matter of time, and I'm not alone. The grinders are practicing the future now. Giving abilities that no other humans have. With their technology, as crude as some of it is, they can feel things almost no other human on earth can.
I have an EMF (electromagnetic field) meter at home. It will tell me with great accuracy what strength a field is near the probe. But it cannot ever give me the intuitive feel for what the field is like. It cannot allow me to feel it in 3 dimensions. To "see" how big it is by wrapping my hands around it, but the grinders can tell me this and more. How?
As stated above some of the grinder methods were crude in the beginning. But today, they are a sophisticated bunch of body-hackers that, through specific implants, can do things you and I simply cannot. This sounds like science fiction; Body implants, advanced abilities etc. but you can try it out in the comfort of your own home, and I will show you how.
Typically grinders will implant a small Neodymium magnet just below the skin, close to the nerve, in their non-dominant hand's ring finger. So, me being right handed, would put it in my left hand ring finger for example.
They make a small incision, pop in a bio-neutral magnet, coated in PTFE or medical grade silicon or parylene or some combination of these things.
The wound, once healed, and sometimes before then, will close with the magnet inside, allowing the lucky recipient the power to actually feel magnetic fields. Interestingly, after having the implant for a while many grinders report a sense that the magnet has become part of them, they feel its sense as an extension to their body, no longer a foreign object the magnet has become a 6th sense.
Now, we are not going to do that! Firstly, I will not recommend it, for legal reasons and secondly I said you could experience it at home. In comfort. Please see the links at the end if you wish to further explore trans-humanism or Grinders or magnetic implants etc.
My way is easy and pain free. It only requires 2 items. A small Neodymium magnet and Elmer's glue.
I use Elmer's glue because it dries reasonably fast and it won't stick permanently to your skin.
1. Put a SMALL drop of glue on your finger tip, any finger will do, since this isn't permanent. Spread the glue around a little.
2. Place the Neodymium magnet into the layer of glue. Again since this isn't permanent you can experiment with orientation and positioning as you see fit. I use a cylinder style magnet and usually stand the cylinder up. I believe that gives some mechanical advantage to the field and allows for more sensitivity in feeling things. I could be wrong.
3. When the small thin layer of glue has dried, or skinned over, with the magnet attached, and you can turn your hand upside down without the magnet falling off then proceed to add another drop of glue on top of the magnet, allowing it to drip down over the magnet and encompass it a little. See images for help.
4. Hold flat and steady for around 10 minutes to allow to dry. If it takes longer than this, you probably added too much glue.
5. Enjoy your new sense.
THINGS TO FEEL.
First try to put your hand/finger near fields and stay away from metal if you can. The metal will attract the magnet too much, since it is only held by a little glue, and it will pull it off of your hand. Look instead for anything that will give off a field.
Try the cord of a window air conditioner. Just run your finger over, or close to the INSULATED power cord while the appliance is running. Try this with all manner of electrical cords. BUT BE CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH ANY ACTUAL BARE WIRES. ALSO BE CAREFUL AND LOOK OUT FOR BAD SPOTS IN THE WIRES THAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE NOTICED BEFORE. I ONLY WANT YOU TO TOUCH THE OUTER RUBBER INSULATION OF THE POWER CORD.
Sorry, I had to get that out of the way. Seriously be careful.
Try putting your hand near any powerful appliances. Sometimes you can get close and don't have to touch anything, you will feel small vibrations in your hand. You could even make your own electromagnet by wraping some wire around a nail and then momentarily touching the wire to a 9V battery it will create a pretty nice field. I have done this and it is a sure thing, if you cannot find any other fields.
Also, go outside. Train stations are apparently a great source of fields. being close to a power station could be interesting. Walking around the streets, you may find fields that seemingly come from no where. They could be underground utilities or maybe underground equipment.
After you have felt some fields you may want to add a magnet to the other hand or more magnets to both hands (really get a 3D feel). This way you can actually get your hands around a field, really feel the shape and size of it.
I would recommend you stay away from Airports, banks, government building and anywhere that it will look suspicious or strange to be "feeling" the air with your hands. It may not be illegal (check your local laws first) but it might get you detained which wouldn't be fun. Please see my pictures and links. Thank you.
http://discuss.biohack.me/ (grinder and trans-humanism discussions as well as projects and application)
http://www.longecity.org/forum/page/index.html (mostly about all things longevity related)
http://www.grindhousewetware.com/ (a couple devices that extend the abilities of the magnet implant)
http://www.scribd.com/doc/60163195/A-Novel-Human-Machine-Interface-Using-Subdermal-Magnetic-Implants (a scientific paper
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPNHkRXQjTQ (video of magnet play)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpcI38RGWE0 (project bottle nose, check it.)
http://www.grindhousewetware.com/press (a link to more good links)
((Easter egg: The best field comes while heating your food.))