What happens when we leave behind cosmetics and start to modify our bodies and minds to enhance who we are and what we can do? In this talk, journalist Quinn Norton explores how technology and flesh are coming together. She'll explain what's possible and what people are doing, inside the established medical system and in the growing grey and black markets of body hacking. She'll touch on her own experiences and talk about what's coming next- and the ethical questions we will soon face as people choose to become something post human. In September of 2005 journalist Quinn Norton began to explore the world of functional body modification with an implanted rare earth magnet that gave her a sense for Electro-Magnetic fields- until it began to go wrong. Since then she's research the edges of what's currently possible and what's likely to become possible in the near term. Technology that was the traditional purview of the medical establishment is migrating into the hands of body hackers, and the medical establishment itself is finding ways to enhance humans, not just cure disease, and faces a new dilemma about whether and who should be enhanced. All of these advancements come with health dangers and unanticipated possibilities, as well as an ethical debate about what it means to be human. This talk will touch on the latest medical advances in neurological understanding and interface as well as physical enhancements in sports and prosthetics. But more time will be given to how the body hackers and renegades of the world are likely to go forward with or without societal permission. Quinn will touch on sensory extension, home surgery, medical tourism, nervous system interfaces, and controlling parts of our bodies and minds once thought to be nature's fate for us. How society is likely to react to enhancement technologies or enhanced humans? Early adopters face dangers including pain, disfigurement, and death- how will that shape progress? Technology and flesh are going to come together, but will they come together in you? Bring your own stories of modification, and you own ideas about what constitutes post human- and whether that's a good or bad thing.
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