The Illusion of Perfection. The Main Myths About Biohacking
Does biohacking really help a person turn into a cyborg with indestructible health and enhanced physical capabilities-and what does it pay for?
Biohacking, literally “biological hacking”, is a synthesis of biology and high-tech. Many of the world’s technical elite are into it now. While the medical and biological elite shrugs their shoulders skeptically, or even grasps their heads.
Biohacking Expands Physical Capabilities
Indeed, implanting implants into the body is one of the two cornerstones of biohacking.
Since 1998, the implantation of electronic chips in the arm has been gaining momentum. They are needed to open electronic locks without a card and to contact one’s own computer. There are already people with NFC implants, who use their hand instead of their phone to pay for their purchases and use it to connect to other people’s smartphones, and maybe one day such devices will allow people to deposit money to their Tonybet sportsbook accounts with no need to log in or even turn their PCs on. There are reports about the successful implantation of a Wi-Fi sensor in a deaf person, but they do not explain how it helped to establish sound perception.
Some chips in the hand are made catchy – diode lights glow in the skin. Another fashion is to implant magnets in the fingertips. This allows you, for example, to pick up a paper clip or fork without picking it up. Some magnet carriers report that this is a kind of new sensory organ, talking about acquiring almost telepathic abilities.
In fact, there is nothing fundamentally new about it. Medicine has long used implants – pacemakers, cochlear implants for people with hearing loss, bionic prostheses to replace a lost limb. Biohacking only emphasizes the cybernetic component of implants – paying with your hand, communicating with gadgets, lights under your skin like in a sci-fi action movie. It’s impressive, but it’s not at all clear what the impact on health will be. Won’t these chips be rejected, won’t they cause inflammation, won’t they migrate into the tissues? The answer is still no. There is no acute need for them. The emphasis on outward comfort and outrage is a feature of biohacking.
Biohacking Allows You to “Speed up” the Brain
Stacking is another trend of biohacking, which involves taking up to 40 drugs at a time. Already there are manufacturers who make special drugs – or dietary supplements – specifically to improve attention, memory, the ability to concentrate on the task, and so on. Despite the solid price, the composition is quite primitive: caffeine, B vitamins. In 2017, the Internet broke the news – the famous writer Dan Brown writes bestsellers all day long thanks to a special coffee with triglycerides. It activates the brain, like an experienced IT specialist “speeds up” the computer processor.
Now, public and medical organizations in the U.S. are sounding the alarm that schoolchildren and students are using these drugs en masse – everyone knows what symptoms to describe to the doctor in order to get a prescription for them. The use of these and other psychostimulants by the scientific and technical elite is shamefully silenced: Nobel Prizes and the creation of supercomputers cover everything.
The biggest problem is not that biohackers swallow handfuls of pills, but that they urge others to follow their example. And they do it very convincingly.
In fact, it all starts with nootropics and ends with LSD. As the American media found out, it turns out that so-called microdosing is widespread among mid-level professionals in Silicon Valley. Those who take it remain anonymous, saying that in this form it does not cause an altered state of consciousness, but perfectly stimulates the intellect. Whether those who practice microdosing are actually making breakthroughs in modern cybernetics, or whether it’s just their delusions while drugged is still a mystery.
Biohacking and Longevity
So, biohacking is really a new, breakthrough use and development of technology. It really gives the human body and brain functions previously unavailable to them. But it is still difficult to say unequivocally that biohacking improves health and prolongs life. On the one hand, it is impossible to predict the long-term consequences of the “cybernetization” of the body. On the other hand, biohacking also includes recommendations that are already recognized as the basis for longevity. Among them:
- Getting enough sleep each night.
- Eating a diet without an excess of carbs.
- Regular physical exercise.
- Quitting smoking, minimizing alcohol.
Since biohacking is originally amateur research and development, recommendations for a healthy lifestyle are not mandatory. Everyone decides for himself whether he needs all those boring daily exercises and unsweetened food or a glowing chip in his hands and vigor in the whole body after taking the drug is enough.
Moreover, one cannot be sure that these chips and drugs will not destroy the body faster than nature intended. By the way, let me remind you that for over 30 years there has been a trend called anti-aging medicine, or preventive medicine, which is just about how to prolong your life and health through lifestyle and sensible intake of vitamins, peptides, and signal molecules. The results of its work can be seen, in particular, in the leading figures of world politics, who are over 60 and over 70 years old. Obviously, it will be possible to assess what biohacking is – a glamorous fashion or a breakthrough into the future – only in 30-40 years.