Is it necessary for humanity to evolve into cyborgs to survive? The moral and ethical question is one open to debate, and probably will continue for years to come. Technological advancement has brought with it this dilemma, amongst others. However, the advancement and revolution of the digital age is not without its miracles and blessings either.
Grindhouse Wetware is one biotech company on the technological forefront. Founded in 2012, they developed what can only be described as innovative technology to fit within the human body, arguably advancing our capabilities – be it for medical of personal scope, or as they put it, “augmenting humanity using safe, affordable, open source technology.”
During an interview with Ryan O’Shea, who is a spokesman and advisor for the biotech company, and Justin Worst, CEO of Grindhouse Wetware, and graduate from Syracuse University in History and Anthropology, I had the luck of discovering more about this new ‘movement’ and what draws people into ‘biohacking’ their bodies.
The ethical divide of race and religion continues to plague the 21st century. With the growing divide (which is constantly promoted by MSM) between blacks and whites, Christians and Muslims, I asked Wetware’s take on the ethical implications of creating a subset of humans that would possibly contribute evermore to this dividing hatred.
“Body autonomy” drives Wetware’s goals. Their focus rests in what they hope as a personal decision for the individual, as O’Shea states.
But would the cyborg lead to an eventual superior race?
“I believe [in] transparency and democratization of this technology. We need to make sure this is available for everyone regardless of financial or status geography and does not exacerbate existing class or racial divides,” says O’Shea.
It is vitally important to Wetware’s creators that to become a part of this culture, the individual must make the decision, rather than it be enforced. It’s a common thread during the interview with Wetware.
O’Shea, who is also a “futuristic speaker and television producer” from Pennsylvania of acclaimed podcast “Future Grind” sees an introduction of “cyborg” qualities as a “breakdown of what even defines a ‘Species’,” a positive step for perhaps a much needed “directed evolution.”
There are some lofty goals to be found in Wetware’s ambitions, and they very readily admit to it. Over-population issues to renewable energy supplies; “mind uploading” and living with no physical form, are but a few topics touched on.
When asked about cyborgs spurring on a population crisis, however, and becoming a superior race with issues like choosing who will live and die, O’Shea counters the argument, that equality may eventually reign, and that sustainability would become a byproduct of this quest.
The “use of resources is often related to our biological needs for calories, shelter, transportation, etc,” says O’Shea. He hints at the possibility of overcoming this by making humanity more efficient with the use of advanced science. “Getting more extreme, perhaps a cybernetic organism wouldn’t even need traditional food to survive, eliminating the needs for farming, hunting, or crops. It’s also possible that by eliminating the need for biological bodies through something like mind uploading, “humans” could live forever with no physical form.”
But there is a fine line between evolution and interference, some would argue. Would this be why the medical field refuses to actively participate in the ventures of Wetware?
Essentially, the medical profession is locked out of the arena, for now, according to Worst. Surgeons aren’t enlisted to perform procedures because of the stringent regulations and restrictions they are bound by in the medical profession. For this reason, Wetware have to “rely on reputable body modification artists who are well trained.”
O’Shea adds that although medically trained doctors would be very welcomed by Wetware, the overarching consideration is that the medical industry is only concerned with helping those who are sick. “They seem largely uninterested in overcoming biological limitations or making a healthy human even more capable.”
Although the implants placed under the skin are coated with a protective Paralyne C and silicone, and proper sterilization procedures are followed, it’s still a risky business. Admitting that rejection and complications can occur, though rare, says O’Shea.
Wetware’s CEO, Worst adds his own experience with biohacking, discussing his implanted Northstar, a device in his hand that uses LEDs; a psychological effect (albeit minor in his words) when an early design flaw saw the device stop working. “While the device was safe to leave in my body, I still felt like a part of me had stopped working, and when I received a new device I felt whole again,” Worst said during the interview.
Whatever the thoughts on biohacking, the subject matter sprouts enough contentious interest on either side. Good, bad or indifferent to the subject, people do rely on the familiar. It’s human nature’s very essence, but arguably one causing us grief.
But O’Shea takes it with a grain of salt. “There is always a fear of new technologies or fads,” he says. “The fact of the matter is that humans have been directing their own evolution for thousands of years, and certainly hundreds. If you diet or exercise or drink caffeine for the stimulant effects or use medicines or drugs, congratulations, you’re a biohacker. Welcome to the club.”
Source: Grindhouse Wetware, A Special thanks to Grindhouse Wetware’s time.