Humans have always been preoccupied with enhancing their performance. “Biohacking” is the use of technology to alter and improve a body’s structure or function. Proponents believe advances in this young and fast-evolving field will radically improve how we live – and what we are. But what are the risks to society? Will anti-biohackers be the anti-vaxxers of the future? Where does Self reside when all parts can be changed?
From brain-boosting nootropic drugs and performance-enhancing nutritional supplements to wearable biofeedback sensors and electronic implants, the field of biohacking is exploding. How might this ability to artificially improve their performance affect (some of) society? Among the possible concerns are what Geoffrey Woo and Michael Brandt refer to as “coercion” and “authenticity of self” in Humans: The Next Platform, a quick review by the two nootropics startup founders in TechCrunch.
Digital products and companies are not just changing the way we live our lives, but also playing larger and more influential roles in public policy and governance. This trend of the technology industry driving broader social policy will perhaps be even greater with biohacking companies as their product innovations begin to alter and transform what it means to be human.
If the networked computer (mainframe, PC, and mobile were the dominant platform of innovation in the 20th century, the human will be that platform in the 21st.
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