Biohacking – What is it, and is it Dangerous?
What is Biohacking?
Biohacking is when individuals ‘hack’ or manipulate their body to achieve their health goals. This involves increasing both physical and mental capabilities such as intelligence. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to change your diet, for instance cutting out bad substances like unnatural sugars. Another example is going on the Keto diet, where low-carbohydrate intake means you burn more fat. You can also take steps such as reducing exposure to artificial light before bed to increase sleep, or take vitamin supplements.
However, there is a much more extreme form of biohacking that goes far beyond changing to your diet. People are manipulating their body chemistry to go beyond the limits of humanity, with the goal of living forever.
Extreme Biohacking – Serge Faguet
On 23rd September 2018, The Guardian released an article about Serge Faguet, who has spent $250,000 on biohacking. Faguet believes he has ‘hacked’ his body in every conceivable way possible. However, to achieve this Faguet takes up to 60 pills every day, which treat illnesses and conditions he does not have. Faguet takes SSRIs to lift his mood despite never suffering from depression. He also takes metformin as an anti-ageing drug rather than for its primary use, which is to treat Type 2 diabetes. Whilst this appears dangerous and unnecessary, these drugs are administered by medical professionals. Some doctors see value in prescribing these pills because they may prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s before they are even present.
This article also shows another angle to this subject – the use of robotics to extend human life and abilities. According to Faguet, this really is the key to living forever. He predicts that in the future, people have to ‘upgrade’ to gain status in society. It is important to note that Faguet is by no means alone in his beliefs. The biohacking community is growing, including more specific kinds of biohacking such as biopunk.
The Guardian’s article is very thought-provoking. Is biohacking the key to being in control over and conquering death? At what point does playing around with your body chemistry become dangerous? Does it really work?