captain cyborg strikes again

really interesting day today. Paul and i met up with Prof. Kevin Warwick - yeah that Kevin Warwick, it was utterly bizarre that someone so important would be willing to come and talk to me for an hour in a Starbucks. but he was great - a really friendly, genuine bloke who pretty much seems allied to the biohacker community in that he's aiming for knowledge via self-experimentation just as we are (the difference being obviously that he's got access to facilities and surgeons and all that). he pointed out that while there's a lot of things he can do that one of us couldn't, there's also a lot of things we can do that he isn't permitted to - we're not bound by ethical committee approval, we're not going to get in potential trouble with professional associations for experimenting. because research scientists and biohackers each get different kinds of experiments done, we can learn from each other's results and share the information which will benefit future experiments on both fronts.

it was only a short chat but i was really pleased to be able to talk shop with someone genuinely interested in the biohacking world who can also give as much tips and information as i could (a lot more in fact). i would love to be able to share information, resources etc with the research world - even if that means not having very many resources to share that are material, i think biohackers could definitely share a lot of experiential information (what did not work as well as what did work was one thing KW mentioned as being useful, in that it lays a groundwork for someone who has access to good medical facilities to improve on the procedure). i would really love for there to be more of this sort of (even informal) info-sharing in the future. i think we could have a real effect on the research world, and vice versa.

on the documentary side of things, Paul travelled up to Reading University to do a filmed interview with Prof. Warwick a couple of days ago - he says he is disappointed about the slightly fuzzy sound quality but the actual interview content is great. we were sort of expecting KW to be on the "biohacking is a bad idea" side of things owing to some articles i remembered reading but this turned out to be wildly inaccurate. he did say he routinely gets misquoted, badly edited or misunderstood by various media sources (i remembered one newspaper thing in particular more or less telling readers that his Brain Gate project enabled him to communicate telepathically with his wife, so in all honesty i probably should have expected that) & assumed this was probably the reason i was horribly misinformed about his stance. so there will be a segment with Kevin Warwick in the documentary, plus some very kindly donated archival footage of his prior experiments - i've seen the interview already & thought it was pretty boss so hopefully you all do too when it eventually comes out. all in all it was really good getting to talk to him, i really appreciated it.

carpe corporem



Dan Campbell said...

Replacing a previous essay-like post, with a summarial version:

Great news, about getting Warwick as a contributor to the Documentary. That will make a difference, for sure.

Lepht’s comment about it being ‘bizarre’ that some as important as Kevin would choose to hang with a fellow biohacker, belies her own value in this field, and the future contributions that she and Paul will make, as experimenter & filmmaker. Warwick wants the same thing, that we all want – for human augmentation to become a reality.

Aside from this, it is so cool to see real progress with Paul’s Documentary, and Lepht’s experiments. What a great era to live in.

Brian McEvoy said...

I'm glad you were able to talk with Kevin Warwick and clarify that he is a supporter of biohacking. I was like you, I thought he was opposed to the idea of us doing this on our own.

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