Are There Cyborgs Among Us?

In a recent article “The Underground World of Human Cyborgs,” a new group called biohackers are an underground operation away from medical regulation. These people use rare earth metals and implant them into their bodies with scalpels in tattoo parlors instead of hospitals, and without anesthesia. Once implanted, the biohackers can sense electromagnetic fields, giving them a “6th sense” to feel the world around them.

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One of the biohackers suggests that this will be the new wave of technology for humans that will soon be the norm. I partially agree with him because there is definitely a market for people who want to “push the limits” and crave that “6th sense” experience. He also makes another statement about the use this technology has for disabled people (such as the blind) and also firefighters which could potentially save people’s lives.

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These newer trends are significant if we consider the current relationship between handicapped people and the technology accessible to them. The possibility that it could save a person from danger seems to make me more accepting to it. i think that ultimately this would be a personal choice to “enhance” your body, but what if these technologies allowed people to cheat in life? Would these people be allowed on airplanes?

Some questions to consider:

1. Would you personally use some kind of enhancement like the ones discussed in the article?

2. Would you be okay with others using such enhancements?

3. Can you think of any ways this could be dangerous?

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4 responses to “Are There Cyborgs Among Us?

  1. This article somewhat reminds me of the movie Limitless. In the movie, Bradley Cooper takes a drug that enables him to access 100 percent of his brain’s capacity, rather than the usual 20 percent. Similarly, I feel like this implantation would give people some sort of superpower. I feel like this could be very dangerous if this actually were to make its way to markets. Who would have control of this technology? Could anyone use it or just the elite? I sense that this would create an even bigger divide in society than the one that currently exists. Granted, like you stated in your article, it could create opportunities in terms of safety. But, I feel like this is too good to be true and that a technology as powerful as this could have some major repercussions. Basically, I am skeptical that it will be used for its intended purpose. Great article! I have never heard of something like this before.

    • Thanks Sam – Great comparison to the movie Limitless! We use “enhancements” every day and don’t really think anything is wrong with it. Enhancements such as energy drinks,and coffee are very prevalent in our society. We are technically putting chemicals into our body to feel the desired effect of having more energy. I think that it will be interesting to see where technology takes us in the future and what the social and physical implications arise.

  2. Well, personally, I can’t even bring myself to put contact lenses in my eye, so I probably wouldn’t get any sort of enhancement like that. With that being said, there will be legitimate uses for it, but that will also come with the side effect of malicious use. I mean, medicine has its legitimate uses, but people also can make meth out of certain kinds, or people use it for recreational purposes. If it exists, there will be an abuse of it (there are exceptions, like cost, but generally I’d say it’s a fair assumption).

    So I guess it really depends on the kinds of benefits that such enhancements would provide. Is it compelling enough that it’s worth the potential abuse that could come with it?

    Other than the potential benefit for the amputees, which I think is great, right now it’s just a bunch of guys in a basement experimenting. As of right now, I don’t think there is a compelling reason for such enhancements (since I’m unaware of a comprehensive list of its benefits), but as the technology develops and the usefulness starts becoming apparent, I think it’s a position I’ll have to reconsider.

    In high school, one of my (admittedly unliked) professors threatened to put electromagnets at the bottom of our desks to wipe the hard drives on our mp3 players and our phones so we wouldn’t use them in class. I’m pretty sure he was being facetious, but if people could put those electromagnets in them, I’m thinking such a thing is possible. So it might be a downside, since lowlifes could possibly delete information from your devices without you even knowing. It’s probably possible nowadays too, but I don’t think it’s common.

  3. I think the biggest danger with biohacking right now is that it is still underground. Granted, tattooists probably understand the importance of sterility, but they aren’t surgeons: there is plenty of room for error and infection in the surgical step of enhancement. As jhibbs1 and jabong1 have pointed out, there are also practical issues like accessing airports and using technology: Computers, for instance, can be severely damaged if ever in the proximity of magnets.

    As jabong1 said, anything medically-related can be abused, and this technology is no exception. However, biohacking already exists, and it’s probably not going to disappear. So, I think its benefits for people with disabilities, as well as the health risks associated with keeping it unregulated, justify its coming under the control of professionals. Though they may lack the innovativeness of the current underground inventors, legal and medical professionals ideally have the knowledge and power to make not only the technology safe, but also the environment in which it will be housed.

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