The BioCurious Hazard

The Art, Science & Philosophy of Transhumanism, Biohacking & The Quantified Self

A Grinders Beef

         Whimsical self-deprication: Grab ya torch and pitchfork – theres a strawman to burn!

In the interest of transparency I should note I reside at the experimental grinder end of Biohacking. Many Biohackers just want to be as healthy as biologically possible. When Rich Lee address’ the divide in Transhumanism he identifies the ‘Maximisers’ and the ‘Beyonders’ as the two distinct families embracing Biohacks.

Maximising processes is an understandable desire, but as someone partial to technological determinism I find many ‘naturalistic’ biohacking techniques unbearably intuitive to the point where I find it embarrassing to be placed in the same category.

SEO can make biohacking look pretty whitebread.

Biohacking articles that posit techniques such as ‘Standing in the sun’ or ‘Breathing air from nature’ is a biohack. I lament myself for an ad hominem attack but I suspect may Biohacking Authors are simply jumping on the clickbait buzzword bandwagon.

I suspect my own disinclination to this may be rooted in technomania – as the ‘Hacker’ mindset is derivative of technological elements, I would justify this as inherit in the epistemology of biohacking.

        Subsequently I must state I am not remotely the arbiter of Biohacking, but…

I would still posit technologically dependant Biohacks – such as subdermal Implants, nootropics and TDCS (electro-stimulation) are more accurate examples of Biohacks than the aforementioned ‘naturalistic Biohacks’, on the objection that without technology, it is not an accurate usage of the word ‘Hack’.

Furthermore, I would state use of technology is a more succinct embodiment of ‘hacker ethics’ within a biological context and systems thinking. The use of the word ‘Hack’ has been hijacked from its etiological roots and being wielded by buzzword culture amongst SEO exploits. I would agree that definitions, at least within English, evolve proscriptively not descriptively – and this eventuate with with the word ‘hack’.
Contemporarily however, I would urge usage to be centralised around a more etiological and I daresay, intuitive, definition of hack – my defence not being my bias toward the culture itself, but that exploring the traditional context of hacking will provide a tremendous amount of insight into systems thinking and the effects of technology – which will simply be ignored if people associate biohacking with organic optimisation such as ‘Eating plenty of Greens’ or ‘Turn off your phone when you go to bed’.

Photo from – Broken URL


Transhumanism in Practice: H+, Biohacking and the Quantified Self.

         In regards to a tangible goal for H+ pursuits, I believe the most amenable role is to act as a transitionalist for transhumanism providing a wealth of knowledge and practices that can ultimately decrease the amount of hostile utility directed towards the philosophy. This would require implementing a strategy of cumulative knowledge in many fields over an extended time.

         How to inject this strategy into everyday life is manifested by the conjunction the quantified self and Biohacking. I would posit these fields are exercising practical Transhumanist philosophy. The real trick is the keep it in the forefront of one mind.

          Realistically – I often forget I am not separate from evolution, but a simply a step in it (albeit it a miniscule one). By explicitly retaining Transhumanism as the focus of my Biohacking experimentation it not only provides empirical evidence but assists with critical thinking along two paths – Immediate results from the experiment and formulating future hypothesis’.

          Whilst recording the individual’s experience is anecdotal, cumulative experimentation within an evolutionary timeframe could provide useful data. To embrace conscious evolution I would posit that trapping the data solely inside my own meatbag would do injustice to future anthropologists. I’m attempting to be history assisting the historian.

          Knowing this, it is advantageous to keep records of these Biohacks in a tangible manner via self quantification.

          To give a perceptable example, if Soylent (Food supplement) is the focus of a Biohacking experiment – the Hypothesis can be concluded by using appropriate metrics to quantify empirical effects of this on the self. Furthermore – the more metrics and variables one can account for will surely assist with empirical conclusions by establishing lengthy average controls.

          Whilst biohacking provides the catalyst for the data, the data itself is what’s essentially important to myself. Quantified Self establishes tangible metrics for investigation, as well as retaining the goal of cumulative knowledge in everyday life.
I would defend that for a consistent experience with a biohack, not only would a control (as much as possible) metric be amenable, but once the information is articulated it assists with pattern recognition, building a rigorous conclusion and subsequent hypothesis’.

Bias Disclosure

            It is apt that I breifly mention my philosophical bias. Warning this is full of generalisations and the language will make me look like a wanker.

         – Full disclosure: I am partial to existentialism. More postmodern than Nihilistic.
I could go into why I believe this, but it will not change my bias or add to this disclosure.

          – I employ skeptic attitude toward knowledge – I enjoy the mental exercise of knowledge and reason but doubt any truth in anything. I find the only resilient hypothesis cognito ergo sum and I find the idea of a subjectively conceivable, absolute objective truth absurd.
          – My unshakable Existentialism nurtures blind, immediate, epicureanism; however I also manage to employ niche-inspired stoicism (for lack of a better phrase) when it comes to ‘meaning’. I attempt to balance these in the pursuit of eudaemonia. It’s tricky.

          – My ethical structure is heavily utilitarian based, Virtue ethics are factored in and subsequently, deontological ethics, however I would posit that the former two are too far from any possible objective truth for the weight of consideration.

          – In the pursuit of Eudaimonia, I find epicurean delight in Knowledge, thought and Reason. This is the ‘aesthetic phenomena’ that justifies my existence.

(Sidenote: – On the chance, that the knowledge I gain is in fact, somewhat objective – the most logical path is the progression and application of the knowledge I regard as both Important (Stoic) and absolutely enthralling (Epicurean).

           – Subjectively, This knowledge is epitomised by Extropian Transhumanism i.e
           – “Be the change you want to see.”
           – Employed approach is proactionary not precautionary I.e. This derives from being more concerned with my-persons as a catalyst for data than that as a sacred temple that I eternally reside in.

In retrospect, this post may have been for myself more than anyone.

Obligatory Introductions

           G’day, I’m Jesse Barber and prepare for an haphazard introduction out of social convention.

          Professionally, I currently manage an innovation collaboration (Possumworks) with an education in Technology, Communications and Media Production. Next month I will be launching GoHackYourself with the intention of bringing BioHacking products and resources to the Australian Public.

           This Blog (A BioCurious Hazard) document my exploration of BioHacking, Quantifying myself and Transhumanism – specifically within an Australian context (with an emphasis on accessibility).

          I should iterate here (For myself more than anyone) that I must resist perpetuating a ‘cause’ to spearhead; organic development seems more amenable than becoming overly attached to a single idea and confirmation bias. I would emphasise my use of the word exploration above.

This Blog exists to

  1. To log and contribute to the Art, Science and Philosophy of Transhumanism, Biohacking & the Quantified Self
  2. Subsequently, Production of this content will force more concise scrutiny upon reflection
  3. As a ‘responsibility’ mechanism to contribute to personal focus

The notable thing, is that my motivation for this experimentation seems to be very different to a lot of BioHackers.

          In a systems context, reduced to a feedback loop of ‘Input-Output-Data’ most are chasing Output, they seek improvement (or just refinement) of their health and the human condition.
         Personally I am fascinated with the Data itself. The motivation behind my Biohacking is the experiment itself, to derive the good or bad. Of course, most BioHacking is in the spirit of self-improvement and naturally, most of mine should (in theory) improve the quality of my life.
However, in the scope of things – I realise my time is limited. Hopefully my data can be of use beyond this meatbag.

          As I am my persons are the grounds of this experiment its seems fitting that as much base data can be established as possible. This is where Biohacking and the Quantified self overlap.
Naturally I must note that there are realistically far too many variables currently to be anything more than anecdotal evidence, but hopefully, overtime – as the data contains less variables, it should become less anecdotal and subsequently more useful.

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