Why do you biohack?

In 2020 I created this thread 'm finally coming back to it here in 2021.

So, why do you biohack? What motivates you?

I originally got into it through a friend and going to the biohacking village at DEFCON. Eventually, I found all you wonderful people and a community. Tomorrow I’m getting sensory magnets installed, which I think will be the next chapter for me personally.

EDIT: Thanks for the responses so far everyone!

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I got into it through CodysLab posting about his sensing magnets. However, I was much younger when I saw that, and didn’t really see it as something I could do. I think it was Deviant Ollum’s videos/DEFCON talks that got me actually interested in implants, especially as someone who wanted to go into some form of cybersecurity career. Since I was too young still to get an implant (and too scared), I went for a DT NFC ring. It was neat to show friends, but I had no real use for it, and as I’ve since found out, I hate wearables and jewelry. I still have it, but now it sits in a box.

I was once again reminded through The Modern Rogue’s video, and all of a sudden it became much more realistic. I still didn’t have an installer though, and as far as I knew, there wasn’t one in the state. A year or so passed. Once I found that Pirate, literally down the street, did installs, things progressed very quick, and I had 3 implants put in 2 weeks later.

As for what motivates me, I’m a CS student that now has technology inside me. What could be cooler??? haha

DT implants are a maker’s absolute dream. The only limit is your imagination. You can make whatever you want, it’s all open.

Now that I actually have stuff that relies on them (KBR-1 for login, CaRFID, my NFC safe, etc.) I could never go back, and I’m still finding new ways to integrate implants into my life.

Plus, they’re a great icebreaker when I meet new people :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: (sets apart the people I actually want to associate with vs. the mark of the beast crazies, too. Useful feature :wink:)

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I’m still unsure getting RFID transponders implanted qualifies as biohacking. But let’s assume.

I used to lose my keys. Now I don’t lose my keys no more. Simple as that.

As for “proper” biohacking - i.e. getting new functionalities into my body, I’m still trying to find physicians who would agree to carry out the modification I have in mind.

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I believe that biohacking is a function of body modification. A subset and within that subset, there are different motivations for everyone. Some people use their implants as tools. A functional piece of unique technology. Like, a pocket watch in the 1800s. For others, it’s a reclamation of their body from capitalism or gender. For some, it’s a journey. I’ve been working to make sensing magnets happen for several years now. I imagine as well that there is a spectrum between something like a NeXT <> xSIID <> xG3 <> Titan. With sensing magnets you now have something directly interfacing with the bodies perception of the world versus just a tool like the example of keys. Each of those takes a higher level of dedication. I don’t think what we’re doing is Grinding as that is fringe of fringe. We’re just fringe lol. DIYBio and Citizen Science don’t really work either. I guess that’s my argument for the use of the term.

I’m also just writing this out for my own reference because if I don’t it’ll be lost when I sleep haha

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I think a better and more general term is “human augmentation and enhancement” with the understanding that it’s a function of body modification. Biohacking would be a subset of HAE

saw ghost in the shell on vhs when i was a very young kid, shit had me totally obsessed with robots and cyborgs. always wanted to be just like motoko when i grew up. think it was a conversation about deus ex several years ago, someone mentioned magnet implants in passing, and i got a little curious. was immediately totally fuckin obsessed with every facet of this hacker subculture and absolutely had to be a part of it. finally got my first chip in 2017, and as dumb as it might sound, it’s honestly helped change a lot of shit for me, having a lot of issues with depression and body image or whatever. finding implants was like finally finding a reason for myself, where otherwise i always thought shit was just fantasy, or distant future at best

apologies for sappy bullshit, this stuff just means way too much to me than it should, i know

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It’s not dumb at all, and I experienced something similar. I’ve had issues in the past with depersonalization, and implants really helped that issue. It’s a “permanent” body modification that I made, if that makes sense. I’ve left my mark on my body, it’s no one’s but my own.

It’s helped me feel like I’m myself. It also feels like a form of self-expression, the same way that I imagine tattoos and piercings do for other people.

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I’m reasonably new to this, but I’ve always wanted a magnet since I saw that one fella do it a couple of years ago. It fascinated me watching him install it - The intelligence, Sanity, and reason being shared while watching this man cut into himself with a scalpel frightened and amazed me.

When I found DT Last year had injectables [XG3] I immediately shared the link with my wife for my Christmas list. Super excited and super nervous about the upcoming install, I was trying to figure out where and how.

I’m a tattoo fan, I was going every two weeks before Covid getting my arms tattooed for a few hours at a time. I treated it like it was therapy because, to be honest, it was. Give me an opportunity to shoot The breeze with someone I normally wouldn’t have any kind of interaction with. Face to Face with your tattoo artist is a very personal time. Honestly they are cutting into you they are ripping your flesh they are stabbing you thousands of times a second it’s a nice time to just open up.

Not to mention the adrenaline high you get from the trauma. And after I come down from the trauma I sleep like a baby.

Since Covid started I have not been back to my fella so it’s been a bit of a withdrawal phase for me. In the span of one month [more like two weeks] I installed 6 X-series chips into my hand and arm - Same adrenaline and same endorphin rush every time I try to scan one of these little guys.

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I read about Kevin Warwick’s experiment pre 2000, and it read like Magic rather than Science. I fell in love with the idea of the ‘cyborg’, but was too young and there wasn’t any path to follow through. Fast forward 20 years to early last year, when one of my friends sent me something about the Sentero wearable. In their marketing material I discovered the xSIID and went “oh sh*t, it’s that cool thing I’ve been waiting for!”. Now here I am. :slight_smile:

As for the why; it’s got the same ‘feel’ to me as tattoos and targeted physical training. I’m marking my body and altering it’s function with intention, with the goal of being more ‘myself’ and less ‘off the shelf’. I don’t know if rfid implants count as biohacking, but they’re certainly a transhumanist pursuit; and that’s what brings me here. I love that I have the choice to do something more or different, to perceive and interact with the world in a different way, and cherish the unique experiences the pursuit brings me.

I thought about that the other day: I remember reading about prof W’s experiments in technical and scientific journals and being utterly mesmerized by what he was doing.

Fast-forward 20 years, thanks to people like Amal, I can click on order, wait for my very own magic chip and some extra cheap-ass consumer electronics to go with it in the mail, possibly pull out the soldering iron and code a bit of something, put it all together like one installs a home stereo, and voila: I’m Kevin Warwick too. Just like that, with a credit card and a bit of time.

It’s fascinating how it’s gone from university research to something that’s available to average Joe Blows like us. That’s progress! Ain’t the times we live in wonderful?

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Back in 2018, I Google’d “How to get superpowers” out of boredom.

Sometimes I search up random questions, some I even know the answer to, out of curiosity as to what will pop up.

Scrolling through, some of the clickbait articles went over biohacking. From there I kinda just slid down the rabbit hole, now I’m getting my first implant this month.

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Coming from the bodymod-side, I can totally agree to this. In a way, displaying on the outside what’s already inside of you.

I “biohack” because… dunno, just 'cause I can?
Been altering my body (and mind) for a pretty long time now, through various means ranging from piercings and tattoos to scars and (silicone subdermal) implants, and every little bit makes me feel more myself, more whole.
The first chip I got implanted was the flexNExT, and it was, to be honest, mainly for the blinkies - I always wanted to add some sort of bioluminescense to my mods (and still looking for different ways to achieve that). Since I had absolutely no clue of its technical possibilities, I read a lot here and slowly start to understand things better, and I like the things I can use the chip for, but… well, my flexie had to be taken out ultimately, and I’m going to more-or-less replace it with a xEM and a XSIID in some time, and when thinking especially about the xEM… it will have a practical use for sure, but it feels less “emotional” to me, simply because it will be invisible, “only” adding functionality. I’m a bit surprised myself that I feel that way (though I still gonna love it^^) :woman_shrugging:

Next thing planned is the Titan, and that’s more of a “biohacking” thing for me again, because it will add another sense, opening up new ways to realize the world around me… definitely a big thing, I’m curious how I will feel about that once it’s inside my body.

So I think I biohack because it opens up a new world of possibilities for me and is close enough to bodymods to be tempting to me :wink:

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Simply for the idea that backing and participating in projects and hardware like this will slowly normalise biohacking as an industry.

The ultimate goal in mind being able to augment my body to do more than naturally achievable. To be able to change and ‘upgrade’ my body.

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No apology needed!

Ghost in the Shell is on my to-watch list. I’ve surprisingly never seen it but I’ve heard how great it is.

Did you do all six as self-installs?

i did - i was learning as i go so there are a couple things i did better as i went along.

It’s interesting to go back and read journals from that time period regarding implants.

We’re extra early adopters! :sweat_smile:

I just got my first sensing magnet installed last night after almost five years wanting one. I’m really excited to see what the next iteration holds.

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Props to you! I don’t think I could self-install personally.

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This was a really interesting thread to read, lots of interesting stories and opinions! I really like what many of you have said about taking ownership of your body, that very much resonates with me as well. Actually, a huge amount of what has been said resonates with me :slight_smile:

I don’t have any implants or other biohacks yet, but I’m researching and planning and definitely want to get some in the near future :slight_smile: If I end up moving to Sweden over this summer, I’ll probably end up getting a NeXT, a walletmor, and a Spark 2… we’ll see :smiley:

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