October Brainstorming Thread

edited October 2016 in Community
Hey all. So I thought I'd start out another Brain Storming thread. I think maybe 4 times a year might be good for these. This time, I think the prompt could be Organizing.. like the Hierarchy and categorization of Grinds. Obviously, I'm just talking about how I personally think about these things. How do you think of them? 

I think the domains of grinding are:
A. Technological
B. Biological 
C. Cognitive

We can further analyze each domain. I think a tiered approach to the  tech domain would look like this:

Level 0 Tech:
This includes wearables. Things that fall into this category include tDCS, Neuromuscular Stimulation, Binaural Beats, Light stimulation like Ganzfeld stimulators etc. The Northsense would fall squarely this category. I know the mount is transdermal but in all honesty it doesn't need to be. You could glue it to your forehead.  

Level 1 Tech: 
This category would include anything implanted subcutaneously that doesn't use power and which has a static function. So basically magnets, RFIDs, armor, etc. 

Level 2 Tech:
Level two tech includes powered subcutaneous devices that don't interact with the nervous system or biological function in a way that provides direct feedback. The Northstar would be an example of this as would the Circadia. 

Level 3 Tech: 
Level three tech would include devices which interface with the body. So, any nervous system interfacing like the Utah array would be included in this category. 

Level 4 Tech:
Level 4 tech would be powered implanted tech directly increasing functionality of the body or modifying functionality. So basically, an artificial heart, spinal stimulator, Deep brain stimuli via implanted electrodes. I would also include things like long term transdermal interfacing here. 

Ok, so the question that matters.. why? Who cares about Cassox's idea of the Hierarchy of implants? Well, the reason I think we need to consider this approach is because each level has requirements that occur cumulatively and sequentially. And these requirements are what I think we need to focus on as a community. So let's look at these levels again.. but discuss them in terms of what we are missing.

Level 0 - Wearables and Externals:
 Many many of us have experimented with this type of stuff. So where are the write ups? Where are the designs? Do they work or are they bullshit? 
I propose a community projects page for the next version of the site. This could just be part of the wiki or whatever... Consider tDCS. There are like 1000 different designs available on the internet. People are all using slightly different designs.. voltages.. and different electrode placement. As a community, could we settle on an easy to build but versatile version of the tDSC? Because if we could.. then we could also come up with a standard data collection set. Instead of setting up some mass experiment people could build and play around with tDCS and add to the data as they do. We could re-calculate statistics periodically and try to determine optimal electrode placement for certain functions. 
This same approach could be used for all kinds of externals projects. What about Binaural Beats? Is it bullshit? Is it effective for any of the stated purposes? What about aDCS? Or those wearable compass projects? 
Also - this could be used to raise money for the community. Lets say we all worked together to make an awesome tDCS design. We could have the voltage variable up to 4uv or whatever. We make it function like an arbitrary signal generator so the signal is totally programmable. We could find the best electrodes etc. We write up a great page explaining exactly how to make and use this thing... and then we also offer it for sale at a fair price but one which is definitely higher then costs. We use the profit to first pay back investors with interest. Then, whoever took charge of the project could basically keep all further profit except for maybe a small cut which could go to community funding. 

I'll tell you where this idea breaks down.. leadership. I don't personally have the time to do this. I have about 100 projects I want to work on already. In fact, the people who I know in the community well.. are all in the same boat. Which is why they so seldom post. How often do you hear from Rich Lee anymore? Or Tim Cannon? What about Ben Beezy? There are a lot of people that are doing really awesome stuff and never posting anything on the boards anymore... because they are too busy actually doing projects. The flip side of this is that the boards are full of people who are super interested but not actually doing much themselves. We need more people to step up and take leadership roles. You don't need a phd to lead. There is so much talent in this place but not enough chiefs. Tons of people are interested and capable but it just feels like everyone is waiting for someone to step up and take charge. So who's going to step up? We need people to lead and faciliate collaboration. We need these people to push projects to completion and to produce something out of them. It doesn't have to be a project page.. or profit for the site.. or any of my particular ideas. But seriously.. if you're interested then take on a project and do it. 



  • TLDR: Lets make some good project pages with a standard model of devices. We need more people to take point on projects.

    Level 1: Static Implants
    Ok, I'm on this one. I hope to have out by the end of the month a pretty heavy writeup about biocompatible materials as well as most of my Implant guide completed. I think those are the big issues at this level of tech. The board is way waaaay too full of people using shitty technique to implant shitty objects. Both of these issues have been solved people! But those who have worked out solutions just aren't talking about them or it's hard to find where they are. I hope have both of these issues solved basically... BUT the flip side of this is that a standardized procedure isn't grounds for being a dickhead. I'm going to write up a couple types of procedures that if properly performed are successful. But that doesn't mean it's the right or only way. My very first implant I did on myself I did a shitty job. I was working in some random dirty room with substandard equipment etc. And that implant? It's still all good. Educating people is good. Criticism though gets out of hand here sometimes and makes it unfriendly. People come in excited and pissing themselves with glee because they had the balls to cut themselves open and implant something. And then a bunch of people take the wind out of there sails telling them that they did a horrible job and that they are a piece of shit that is going to take the community down after they die of magnet aids. It gets old. Yes, I agree that it's foolish to take these risks but dude, I've had a lot of people reject for various reasons.. poorly coated magnets.. bad technique.. poorly explained aftercare. I've also seen people do really shitty procedures with non-sterile tools etc. and have the implant work out just fine. Try to be nicer?

    TLDR: We need a comprehensive guide regarding biocompatible coatings and implant procedures. We should work on keeping criticism constructive.

    Level 2: Powered Implants
    One of the big issues at Level 2 is power. I've heard people talk about using capacitors rather then batteries. Obviously, we have the ability to charge via induction but what about the safety of batteries? I have yet to see a really good run down comparing and contrasting power sources. Putting a battery in the body is a HUGE risk. I really think we need to make a concerted effort to come up with something ultra safe. We need something like a battery system enclosed in titanium that doesn't outgas etc. In fact I don't know enough about batteries to do this really but it'd be awesome if someone took it on.
    Second, education.. DIY implantation of a magnet or RFID is nothing compared with trying to put in a Northstar. I recently placed some really big stuff in someone and despite all the time I've spent researching implants.. I learned a ton. The problem with relying on the body mod community is.. well that a good portion of the body community sucks. Not necessarily at implants. I used to kind of scoff at Haworth but as I keep doing larger and larger projects I've realized that he really does have serious skills. On the other hand, he charges an arm and a leg for even simple procedures. Fair enough. You're paying for his experience. But then you have douche bags like Saampa who literally lie such as in the recent post about the guy who was convinced that DT things sells unsafe non-sterile yaddah yaddah. The body mod community really is about reputation and playing games. Grinding is not and we shouldn't be locked into an unhealthy relationship with a group more interested in pretending to be the best then striving to actually be. I'm making my piercing portfolio now. Not because I'm really all that into piercing but because it allows me to get registered. I'm going to really focus on honing my skills and blogging about techniques etc. During the last grindfest I gave a little presentation on suturing that most people seemed to enjoy. We talked about the possibility of having a one week intensive up at the Point Dume lab where by the end people were able to perform pretty much all the basics like implanting magnets and RFIDs etc. with finesse, precision, and safety. I'd like to do this but I feel like I'm going to really need to step up my own skills first. Anyone interested in collaborating on this let me know. I think we need some body mod artists who began first as grinders and perform their work with a Grinder ethos.

    TLDR: We need to focus on safe batteries/power systems for implants. We need a solid group of people dedicated to learning how to perform invasive procedures who get registered as body mod artists.

    Level 3: Implanted powered interfacing implants.
    Warwick did something pretty damn cool.. a long time ago. There are really two factors holding us back from doing the same thing: someone able to perform microsurgery and multi-electrode arrays. I think there's a lot to work on before we try these things BUT we are totally ignoring the other end of the project. Maybe we could make some similar types of devices that function externally? I mean, why not have a bottlenose which periodically reports HR, Temp, etc.. via vibration. It could use different modalities for each channel of information. Speed of vibration, magnitude, pulse width, whatever. After that.. why not move to an electrical signal via electrodes? What about if those electrodes were on the skull like tDCS? Although tDCS is pretty much imperceptible if done correctly.. could we learn to feel signals such as this? Could we learn to percieve data this way? I doubt it.. but my point is maybe we could start working on the aspects of BCI that we can actually make progress in.

    TLDR: BCI is one of the big goals of grinding.. what can we do about it now?

    Level 4: Serious shit like synthetic organs

    I don't have a whole lot to say about stuff at this level. I'm never going to be doing implants that are deeper then subq. At this point, we'd really need to go with Surgeons etc. Most of you are probably familiar with Rich Lees proposed brain implant vacations. The only Level 4 grind that I think has potential right now would be significantly improved transdermal tech. There are a few ways to do this. It's outside my scope at this point but it would be a game changer.

    OK! So, please comment. What do you think? What do you agree/disagree with? Do you have a proposed organization for the other Domains (Biological and Cognitive)? Did anything catch your eye and you want to take charge of it and form a task force? I know this was a long painful diatribe sorry.. but I hope it might lead to something utile.
  • Regular brainstorming is a great idea, and I'm pumped to see another thread for another round :D

    Breaking out the degree of grind-body integration into a small set of varying levels is a great idea, and I think will really help with project scoping. Not to mention it sounds like a handy way to reference how invasive a certain project might be in a pretty easy to get way. It also shows where we could really use certain skillsets.

    These initiatives will make for some awesome progress for the community as a whole! Maybe once I finish the polish/nuances in the Projects&procedures directory, I can focus on how to have highlighted 'core' projects. They'd include things like a basic tDCS and such, so we can start that library of standard stuff. 

    I spent some time this morning reviewing what I've found so far regarding Piercing licensing, and I found this red cross class directory which should help people find the classes they need to get started with training requirements, or that they might just find useful. Hope it'll help others looking into this too! I know this just made aiming for that apprenticeship in a nearby shop much more viable for me. Having a solid section of resources in the wiki will be a huge benefit. And honestly the creation of a solid wiki base should be an easier task than the directories and form. I'll take a look today and see if maybe we can just have a new, more powerful wiki spun up earlier than later.

    More words will have to wait till I can caffeinate, but a lot of this catches my eye as a fantastic approach to sorting out where we are a a community now and where we want to get to.
  • I tend to go long, so I'll try to split my post into two distinct sections...

    I don't currently have time to do much with organizing or writing up wiki content, however it has come to my attention that with so many people linking images from various file sharing sites to share on the forums (videos and other files too, but mostly images) that some of them are going missing. I don't currently have a great solution to locate and download each image file, but if someone else has an idea for locating and downloading all the images linked to in the forums on a somewhat automatic basis (automated, but we may want to allow users to opt out) then I'd be able to provide digital hosting for images on a central location that could also provide a unique URL for each file with relative ease. That may be something better suggested as a site upgrade, but it seemed relevant, so I mentioned it. Of course I think it'd be better if we could just upload files to the forums software itself, again more of a site suggestion.

    Standardizing Implants:
    I don't have the experience at this time to say anything about implant procedures but I'd be willing to do some work with developing a standard "safe" design for certain implant parts, such as batteries. I'm not a fan of batteries myself, mostly due to their relatively limited lifespan, and that there is a teeny tiny possibility of them overheating, swelling, combusting, leaking... you get the idea. However I don't have any other great solution that's entirely subcutaneous that can sufficiently power any electronic device such as my data storage implant or a small communication device. I'm a fan of hydrogen generators, such as fuel cells, but those can't be entirely subcutaneous and aren't 100% safe either, more so than lithium ion batteries in my opinion though. So, for the time being I'll keep working around batteries unless someone has another suggestion. But I will give some thought and do some experimenting towards some safety mechanisms. My first thought is a small 3D printed metal shell containing whatever lithium ion battery is used in powering an implant. I think that, if you were to leave some additional air space inside the case with the battery, then any leaking or swelling should be somewhat contained, though it would take a bit more space that way.
    I do think that transdermals have lots of potential, mostly with powering things, and keeping things interchangeable. Biggest issue I see with transdermals is how to seal it where the skin meets the implant. My only thought for that is some sort of pressure seal, and just keeping the opening small, like a small needle (think IV needle), with a metal ring on the surface that is held tightly against the skin to keep air flow to a minimum around the needle. That doesn't solve everything though, skin grows and would push the ring out, ruining the seal, semi-regular peeling, of the top few layers of skin cells, could help (I think), of course you wouldn't want to do so much as to lead to scarring or anything, just to control when and how the skin comes off. Maybe that's a crazy idea. It was a bit off topic, but that's all I have for safely standardizing transdermal implants.
  • Cassox  and good ideas. 

    I am fairly new here and don't have any implants.  I haven't ruled out a magnet or a couple other small implants but don't have any immediate plans to get any.

    I have been playing with (I mean studying) the TDCS device as well as a TENS unit.  I have constructed my own TDCS device using just a few parts as a test but am still working on designing a more advanced machine.  I'm trying to work with the ATTiny85 chip but it might need the full Arduino to control it the way I want.

    I haven't tried Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) or the Nervana headphones but could imagine something similar could be home built.

    I'm also interested in reading signals from the brain or muscles but haven't started working on any of that yet.

    Using the Tens unit, I noticed that some settings felt almost like "writing" under the electrode.  I haven't experimented further but I think a special electrode could be made with separate contacts in a grid.  It would take some work to get the power high enough to feel but not be painful with the small electrode contacts but should be possible.  Then, it could be used as a way to input data from whatever you want to interface it with.

    TLDR:  I'm interested in working on a design for a TDCS.  Where or how do we start a project page for it?  It doesn't have to be MY project alone either.  I know there are others here who have used the TDCS or other brain stimulation devices as well as the Arduino programming and wiring it would take to make a more complex but more versatile machine.
  • edited October 2016
    @Birdhanz. Awesome! Thanks for stepping up on that Birdhanz! I further the nomination regarding to head up a tDCS project!

    Good question regarding it though.. where or how? Well, I'd advise you to talk to Bird about a project page. She's one of the people involved with updating the site. In the mean time though.. why not make a Wiki page to start it?

    You could do a general thread about the project. You could ask people who are interested to form up a group. There's a Slack board for the site and you could make a channel there or just use email. I'd probably ask people what features theyd like to see for it.

    You could either yourself or assign people in your team to do some literature review etc.

    I'm actually just now learning some of the skill regarding programming and building that might be useful. Although I don't want a leadership role in this project I'll totally join your group and contribute in building and programming.

    One last thing.. no need to reinvent the wheel. A ton of people here have made tDCS arrays. Myself included. Maybe look through the site for these people and their advice. Some people are keeping their designs secret. Others like Grindhouse I think have published circuit designs.

    Ha! I'm glad you've stepped up!
  • edited October 2016
    @Jupiter have you seen any of the research on transdermal prosthetics? I know Chironex trialed a similar type of coating on some jewelry. You might look into it. 
  • @Bird I looked through the Redcross link.. I didn't see anything related to piercing. Was it blood borne pathogen stuff you're looking at?
  • Aye, near me in order to get an apprenticeship license you need CPR certification, First aid certification, and Prevention of Disease Transmission and Bloodborne Pathogens certification. The town next door also requires a college level anatomy or physiology class, but I'll need to do more hunting before I can find resources for that... maybe edx? Anyway, while it varies a lot by location, those 3 seem to be the requirements I hear about most. So it might be useful to help someone get through some of the first hurdles of licence stuff

    @birdhanz The project site is close to being ready, and hopefully once it's out it'll be the perfect place to start putting up docs and writing and diagrams and projects logs and such :) But meanwhile the wiki does seem like the next best place. It's not ideal, but better options are close. I'd definitely agree with kicking off a thread, too!

    And I'll see what I can dig up RE Grindhouse's past tDCS work. I'm sure there's gotta be a file somewhere...
  • BirdMachine or anyone else.

    I checked the Wiki pages and didn't find an entry for TDCS.  I've only tried editing the wiki one time but I assume I am able to edit or even add to the site.  I just don't want to mess anything up trying things.  I'll probably start with a word processor to get a start to the future entry to the wiki before posting.

    Where should TDCS go on the Wiki?  I'm thinking under Haptics and Readers is as close as I can come without adding a whole new category.  Same page as the Bottlenose?

    Maybe a new category for things like TDCS (and other brain stimulating devices) as well as reading brain and nerve signals?
  • I'd enjoy having a section about that in the wiki as well. A new category is probably a better bet.

    I had a thought for level 2 devices as well. Maybe get one of those monster Chinese Qi chargers that have a range of a couple feet and use it to broadcast power to several devices. Like a mini wireless power station. But would the internals then be considered level 1?

    In addition to the criticism issues, I think that after we get a working standard magnet out for sale, we should focus on making magnets that will minimize the damage for all of the less than sterile implant methods out there. I know slathering a magnet up in antibiotics would probably make things worse, but something more carefully thought out than that, which minimizes the aftercare the implantee needs to do seems like it should be a pretty high priority. Pretty much the only work done on magnets so far has been finding better shapes and ways to coat them, aside from that experiment @cassox did with the nerve growth factor.

    I'm pretty hyped for a project page.
  • Being able to go to a projects page would be great, I'm sure there's some projects that could have been great but never happened due to lack of visibility on the forum. @Birdhandz Im half decent at Python and am starting to learn other languages like arduino, as well as taking an electronics class. I'm not sure if I could help, but if you're looking for more people to help in it, I'd be happy to give it a shot.
  • This is something I debated on adding in:
    I somewhere have a link to the actual paper just can seem to find it now, I know this is not a few cheap beaker and hardware store chemicals project. Who knows maybe someone here can explain the nano assembly process? Honestly I would be first in line to get something like this done, hell I have been trying to figure out a alternative for awhile now.

    John Doe
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