Each Tuesday Nikolas Badminton, Futurist, summarizes 3 to 5 future looking developments in the realm of transhuman and cyborg-related technologies.
In Transhuman Tuesday – Biohacker Rights and Memory Implants we look at the discussion around the the ethics of being a biohacker and a parent, memory implants, taking the augmented self too far, and curing headaches with psychedelics.
This dad is a genius biohacker. But he could lose his kids because of it.
In the name of science, Rich Lee has done things to his body that most of us wouldn’t dare imagine. He’s implanted permanent earbuds in his ears that allow him to listen to music on the sly. He’s implanted magnets in his finger and experimented with eyedrops that would allow him to see in the dark. Most recently, he installed tubes of armor under the skin of his leg to act as a sort of built-in shin guard.
Lee is what’s known as a grinder, part of a community of biohackers that use their own bodies as laboratories to push the limits of the human form. The human body, they reason, is a machine that can be “hacked” for improvement in the same way you might add features to a computer or a car. Lee sees himself as a mad scientist, tinkering with his own physicality in search of perfection.
But to Lee’s ex-wife, his biohacking isn’t just an odd hobby—it’s a disturbing and potentially dangerous one that makes him a worse parent. She’s arguing in court that it poses such a hazard to their kids that Lee shouldn’t get custody of them.
Read more at FUSION
New Implant is Being Developed for Enhancing Human Memory
In 1998, Andy Clark and David Chalmers proposed that a computer operates together with our brains as an “extended mind,” potentially offering additional processing capabilities as we work out problems, as well as an annex for our memories containing information, images, and so on. Now a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, Theodore Berger, is working to bring to market human memory enhancement in the form of a prosthetic implanted in the brain. He’s already testing it attached to humans.
The prosthetic, which Berger has been working on for ten years, can function as an artificial hippocampus, the area in the brain associated with memory and spatial navigation.
Read more at BigThink
Codebreaker, S02-3: The Augmented Self
The man who collected too much data, cyborgs who want to make their body-hardware mainstream, robots that rebuild your hairline and a conversation with Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge aka LeVar Burton. Listen, decode, and decide: Can the augmented self save us?
Listen to more at Marketplace.org
How Psychedelics Helped Me Deal with Excruciating Cluster Headaches
I call the time of year in which my headaches come the mean season, and when I’m in the mean season, I am always less than ten minutes away from my home, mostly in my bed, either having a headache or anxiously preparing for one. I can’t drink, I can’t get high, and I can’t fuck my boyfriend, because all those things will trigger a cluster. (Oddly, when I feel a cluster coming, I’ve found I can sometimes divert it by masturbating, though it’s hard to kindle a chub when you know you might soon be squirming from unimaginable pain.)
What’s crazy is how long the psychedelic solution has been out there, waiting for me to find it. If you had asked me at one point what was the worst thing I could imagine, I would have said, “Having a cluster while tripping.” Funny how the answers are sometimes in the last place we think to look. I’ve now been pain-free for three years. Unless you suffer yourself, you have no idea just how beautiful that actually is.
Read more at VICE
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.