created: Fri 20 October 2017; status: published;
Human Augmentation is a broad term for the idea of enhancing the human body. It branches into numerous areas where professional and amateurs work. My particular interest is in adding new senses to the body to expand our personal sensorium. That is, to sense more of the universe than I otherwise could with the senses granted by evolution.
I identify with the ideas of the "grinder" community who want to "improve their own bodies with do-it-yourself cybernetic devices" (see Wikipedia on Grinder). First - I have no augmentations nor even a tattoo as of 2017. I support augmentation and will go down the self-experimentation route one day, but so far the work being done doesn't interest me enough. I prefer to survey and think about the grinder/augmentation landscape until I find the thing that makes sense for me personally.
How Unnatural Is Body Hacking / Augmentation / Grinding?
Everything the grinder community does will seem extreme and odd, because grinders work in new areas. As augmentations are explored they become cheaper and more common until they become everyday and are no longer thought odd. Case in point: vision correction. Although this definitely came out of the medical community and not hobby exploration, the progression was the same: contact lenses have become entirely common, but now LASIK vision correction is cheap and safe enough for many people to do. Twenty years ago this technology was scary and dangerous, but those willing to experiment drove it quickly to normality. Grinders don't consider LASIK to be an interesting augmentation because it is normal, and anything grinders find interesting to experiment with lies outside the normal. The normal slowly changes and the grinders move on, pushing forward.