Biohacking or Wetware Hacking is the practice of engaging biology with the hacker ethic. Biohacking encompasses a wide spectrum of practices and movements ranging from “grinders” who design and install do-it-yourself body-enhancements such as magnetic implants to do-it-yourself biologists who conduct at-home gene sequencing. Biohacking emerged in a growing trend of non-institutional science and technology development. Biohacking is a crazy-sounding name for something not crazy at all—the desire to be the absolute best version of ourselves. The main thing that separates a biohacker from the rest of the self-improvement world is a systems-thinking approach to our own biology.
AN INTRODUCTION TO TRANSHUMANISM: THE PHILOSOPHY OF TRANSCENDING THE HUMAN BODY’S LIMITS
Transhumanism is a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values.” – Max More (1990)
Transhumanism is a way of thinking about the future that is based on the premise that the human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase.Transhumanism is a loosely defined movement that has developed gradually over the past two decades.
Transhumanism can be viewed as an extension of humanism, from which it is partially derived. Humanists believe that humans matter, that individuals matter. We might not be perfect, but we can make things better by promoting rational thinking, freedom, tolerance, democracy, and concern for our fellow human beings. Transhumanists agree with this but also emphasize what we have the potential to become. Just as we use rational means to improve the human condition and the external world, we can also use such means to improve ourselves, the human organism. In doing so, we are not limited to traditional humanistic methods, such as education and cultural development. We can also use technological means that will eventually enable us to move beyond what some would think of as “human”.
- Used Book in Good Condition
- Zoltan Istvan
- Futurity Imagine Media LLC
- Edition no. 1 (03/30/2013)
- Paperback: 298 pages
INTRODUCTION TO THE CONCEPT OF BIOHACKING
Biohacking is a crazy-sounding name for something not crazy at all—the desire to be the absolute best version of ourselves. The main thing that separates a biohacker from the rest of the self-improvement world is a systems-thinking approach to our own biology. You know how coffee feels like a shot of energy to your brain? Within minutes you can feel a big change in energy while the only difference is the coffee in your stomach. What you put into your body has an ENORMOUS impact on how you feel. We all know this. What we eat and drink is one way we alter our state. Music is another. If you put on smooth jazz, you’ll feel different than if you blast techno. The things we put in our stomach and ears are inputs into our biology.
Biohacking is what you get when you combine biology with hacking. It’s a way for individuals to effectively “hack” their bodies to achieve certain goals. Sometimes, this hack is as simple as taking a nootropic supplement every day to boost your cognitive ability. Other more advanced methods of biohacking include installing a do-it-yourself body enhancement. In some cases, biohacking refers to scientists researching genetic sequencing to identify genes with the most positive qualities.
Ultimately, biohacking is a systems-based approach to managing your body. It is based largely on the concept that what we put into our bodies has a huge impact on how we feel. If we want better “outputs” from our systems (like reduced diseases, better memory, better focus, and superior athletic performance), then we need to improve our inputs.
In Head Strong, Asprey shows us that all of this is possible—and more. Using his simple lifestyle modifications (or “hacks”) to take advantage of how the structure of your brain works, readers will learn how to take their mental performance to the next level.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BIOHACKING AND TRANSHUMANISM
Since the beginning of time, humans have always wanted to improve their bodies. It’s one of the central parts of being human. Biohacking arose out of that idea: a constant desire to improve our brain power, physical ability, and overall human strength. At the same time, biohacking also has roots in the “biopunk” and “transhumanist” ideologies.
Biopunk revolves around the belief that anyone should be able to access genetic information, and that gene sequencing research should be a democratic process.
Transhumanism, similarly, is the belief that it’s in humanity’s best interest to improve the human condition using modern technology in order to create a superior “post-human” being.
Some people call them cyborgs. Other people just see it as a natural extension of modern technology. In any case, humans have been dreaming about improving their bodies since the beginning of time. Thanks to recent advances in technology, it’s now easier to do that than ever before.
As humans, we are complex systems. Our input determines our output. Our behaviors, our health, and our performance in all areas of life are outputs. If we want better outputs, for example, to have more energy and focus, to be free of disease, to have a better memory, to perform optimally in business and athletics by tweaking the things we put into our body and mind to stack the deck in our favor. Biohackers use the tools of the Quantified Self to measure these inputs and outputs and to experimentally test the effect of different tweaks. As we mentioned before, biohacking is about getting your hands dirty and learning from experience.
- Edition no. 1 (05/06/2013)
- Paperback: 480 pages
6 EASY SUPERHUMAN BIOHACKS YOU CAN TRY ON YOURSELF
1. Butter for breakfast.
We’re not talking about butter on toast or a bagel either. We’re talking about, wait for it… putting butter in a cup of coffee. This isn’t any ordinary butter either; it’s organic, grass-fed butter. And, that’s not all. Mix in a tablespoon of coconut oil, or its more concentrated cousin, MCT (medium chain triglyceride), which biohackers claim pays off in hours of hunger-free energy and focus. That’s because MCT is broken down into ketones, which some research suggests, can be a good source of fuel for the brain.
2. Fat first, and second.
In what he touts as an upgraded paleo diet, Asprey has been known to consume 30 to 50 percent of his daily caloric intake from fat sources. After eliminating processed foods like sugar, gluten, grains and alcohol, Asprey suggests eating grass-fed meat and healthy fats alongside organic fruits and vegetables for a more potent punch of nutrients — without all the additives and empty calories.
3, Eat, stop, eat.
We’ve been told that grazing throughout the day helps keep our metabolism humming. However, there’s not exactly a ton of evidence to support that fact. Asprey suggests eating when hunger strikes, even if that means skipping a meal. This approach, known as intermittent fasting, favors long periods with no food. Richardson says that this approach is “less of a diet, and more of a pattern” wherein food is consumed during a feeding window. Richardson follows a routine that has him eating his meals between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. each day. Although the techniques differ, the goal is usually the same: accelerated fat loss improved insulin sensitivity and protein synthesis.
4. Good vibrations.
Biohackers like Asprey say that one of the best ways to shake up a lousy workout routine is to actually shake up our bodies using Whole Body Vibration Training (WBV). Although researchers are still on the fence, a number of pro athletes and Olympians are sold. They’re using WBV training as part of their workout routine to help speed up weight loss, improve strength and stability, and increase the hormonal response to exercise.
5. Just breathe.
Meditation and yoga can help reduce stress, promote productivity, and encourage creativity. The next evolution of these practices is heart rate variability training. This technique extends beyond simply monitoring the heart rate. As Richardson puts it, he is using his “brain and breathing pattern to control his heart rate.” With the help of a biofeedback device like his emWave2 from HeartMath, Richardson sets out to “gain awareness of and alter this physiological function.” Over time, he says he’s been able to “alleviate stress and slip into ‘the zone’ at will.”
6. Shut it down.
When it comes to sleep, it’s all about quality. Researchers at the University of British Columbia reported that poor sleep quality can be disastrous for our mental, physical and emotional health. That’s why biohackers like Richardson and Asprey are making an effort to improve their sleep habits. Richardson avoids caffeine after 2 p.m. and usually reads in the evening instead of watching television or surfing the web. Asprey takes the process one step further by using the sleep tracking app Sleep Cycle to monitor the quality of his sleep and detect disruptions.
!For more biohacks, we really recommend the following book! (again)
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM BIOHACKING?
When you tell somebody they can take simple steps to improve their body, mind, and overall ability, it sounds enticing. I mean, who doesn’t want to do that?
People who can benefit the most from biohacking include:
— People Who Feel Like They Have Underachieved In Life
— Anyone Who Has Trouble Concentrating, Especially On Difficult Tasks At Work Or School
— Those Who Feel Unhealthy And Are Ready To Make A Positive Change
— Anyone Who Wants To Become A Better Human Being