CyberPunk Yourself – Body Modification, Augmentation, and Grinders

“We accept pain as a price of doing business, even if it is just for aesthetic purposes. You want to put a magnet in your finger, a doctor will ask you why; a mod artist will ask when you can start.” As with many other people who are part of the growing grinder movement, [Adam] has taken a step that many would consider extreme – he’s begun to augment his body.

Grinders – men and women who hack their own bodies – are pushing the boundaries of what is currently possible when it comes to human augmentation. They’re hackers at heart, pursuing on an amateur level what they can’t get from the consumer market. Human augmentation is a concept that is featured heavily in science fiction and futurism, but the assumption most people have is that those kinds of advancements will come from medical or technology companies.

Instead, we’re seeing augmentation begin in the basements of hackers and in the back rooms of piercing studios. The domain of grinders is the space where body modification and hacking meet. It mixes the same willingness to modify one’s body that is common among the tattooed and pierced, and adds an interest in hacking technology that you find in hackerspaces around the world. When those two qualities intersect, you have a potential grinder.

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DIY RFID implant

[Quethe] implanted an RFID chip into his hand so that he can access his handgun safe without having to fumble around for keys or buttons. He’s also planning to do more with the chip, including installing readers so he can access his car without keys. [Quethe] claims that inserting the chip hurts less than drawing blood. From the video he’s apparently using livestock grade equipment for the injection. While we applaud his ingenuity, we’re not sure that the convenience of easier access to guns and cars is actually worth the trouble of putting a chip in your body.

We’ve covered quite a a few hackers that have chosen to chip themselves in the past. [Mikey Sklar] did it back in 2005 after constructing a pair of pants to block the signal. [Amal Graafstra] ended up writing RFID Toys after implanting himself. [Larry Pesce] from the PaulDotCom podcast had his chip cloned on stage by [Major Malfunction] at ShmooCon. [Annalee Newitz] had her chip cloned by [Jonathan Westhues] while covering RFID hacking for Wired. It’s interesting to see the practice of DIY RFID chipping gaining traction, and, thankfully, all of the people just listed understand that it’s not a form of security.

[via Boing Boing]