My appearance on the News was predictably too whimsical for my liking – I’d like to use this post to address context and the nuanced divide between “what is does” and “why I got it“.
Weeks ago I got my implant – and whilst I don’t like dealing in anecdotes, people are naturally curious about personal experience.
I elected to go the Piercing urge in Melbourne Victoria. I’ve been into body modification for about a decade and for at least the past 9 the The Piercing Urge had always emerged as one of the most professional and experienced studios in NSW/Victoria.
Pete Sheringham a piercer with 25 years experience who has installed at least 30 so far conducted the procedure with a remarkable absence of pain.
The intrusive part of the procedure itself took less than a minute. In the interest of transparency, I would indicate that the procedure took longer than usual as the implant itself did not exit the needle entirely upon first insertion.
At this point I will reiterate the importance of going to an experienced professional and touch on the necessity of the implant ‘pocket’ during installation.
Installation Note: The Pocket is where the needle creates a space for the implant by penetrating the dermis and subsequently being retracted slightly. This displacement allowing a locations the implant to comfortably sit. On a related sidenote, this process illustrates why serious piercers tend to stay away from piercing guns and why the injector assembly maximises efficiency of the procedure – hollow needles themselves create a space for the foreign material to sit, whereas guns use brute force, to create the negative space.
This may explain why anecdotally I found that this ‘piercing’, regarding pain, was non existent when compared to any other piercings. . I’ve had gun and needle piercings and needles have always been less painful and better healing. (Admittedly, this area of the hand does avoid major nerves)
The healing process was uneventful and I barely bruised from the procedure. Pre-natal will internally help with the process and I’ve know people to use Bio-oil so ensure there was no scarring.
I found over the first one or two days – I experienced a slight ‘tingle’, but could not ‘feel’ the implant inside the hand, I kept checking its presence (monitoring possible migration) from the outside. Movement of the tag under the skin was not painful or noticeable – by now I can push it up against the dermis to reveal the outline with no irritation or pain.
In regard to how long before I used the Implant – I was ten meters from the piercing studio before I had tested and secured the tag. Remember: Securing the tag is the first thing to do.
For myself, what I USE it for and WHY I got it are two different issues.
I use the tag itself as a NFC key (for NFC locks) and a Virtual Business Card (Automatic input of contact details) – conveniently as I work at an NFC company I find many uses for NFC in everyday life so I will experiment with it as ideas arise but frankly, at the moment it’s quite ‘useful’ so I haven’t experimented as frequently as I expected.
Why I got the Implant has to do with my Philosophy. As a Transhumanist, I would posit that Biohacking is the embodiment of applied Transhumanism.
On this scale, more of a lean forward than a step.
I intend embrace the risks of Implants (strictly within elective self-experimentation) in order to achieve greater insight regarding the future application of this technology.
I need rational and empirical evidence before I can nudge it in a more amenable direction. (I would also note that the ‘risk’ of this implant in particular is not a concern, this philosophy will become more apt as implants progress.)
Furthermore, once I can derive rational and empirical evidence – I will simultaneously be in an informed position to make decision take practical action where necessary. I am not glib about this – unforeseen dangers exist with any new technology. However this is not like an automated machine you can hurl your shoes into – regardless, the machine would keep spinning. Since the technology exists, people will choose to augment. Whether that’s a curious biohacker in his garage or, perhaps parabolically, a secret government lab. Its unrealistic to think everyone will ever think and act the same way.
The best disinfectant for bad ideas is sunlight, this is the main reason I would favour the democratisation of science – the choice, the knowledge and access to this tech is vital to make informed decisions and practical efforts regarding its future.
Realistically, the data I will draw from this experience is not just for myself, but for any persons who can extrapolate something useful from the data.