Transhumanism is a movement that encourages the use of technology to transcend the limitations of the flesh.
Followers believe that the fusion of man and machine will improve humanity, making us stronger, smarter and helping us live for longer.
Many people fear the movement. Historian Francis Fukuyama has called it the ‘worlds most dangerous idea‘.
Cyberpunk is a genre of literature that takes transhumanism as one of its themes. Reading it you can see a disdain for the flesh. In William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer’, the body is viewed as ‘meat… a prison’.
Most transhumanist procedures are expensive and conducted in laboratories. But not all of them.
Meet Lepht Anonym. A body hacker in the literal sense, a bio-hacker. A scrapheap transhumanist.
In her kitchen she cuts away at the meat of her body, cutting holes to insert pieces of technology. Inside her body she has a chip which emits electronic signals, now she can have a door open or a computer switch on just for her. It is her home-brewed bio-identification.
But more than that she has given herself a new sixth sense.
With neodymium-60 nodule magnets at various places underneath her skin, she can feel electromagnetic fields. She describes:
‘There’s an entire world of electromagnetic radiation out there, invisible to most. Our cities are saturated with it. A radio, for instance, gives off a field that’s bigger than the device itself. So do power supplies and wires in the walls. The implants pick up on the fields, and because they’re magnets, they fizz with gentle electricity, telling you this hard drive is currently active, that one is turned off, there’s the main line in the wall. Holding a mobile phone, you can feel the signals it sends and receives. You know it’s ringing before it starts to play any sounds, and when you answer it, you stick the touchscreen stylus to the back of your hand to hold it, then to your finger to type.’
And at less than $50, this sense come cheap.
This is punk transhumanism. Her call is for others to begin experimenting in the same way.