Inequalities caused by augmentation/selection

Hey all,

Opening this up for general discussion. People who are keeping an eye on the progress of genetic research have probably heard of a company called Genomic Prediction:

https://genomicprediction.com/

They're offering incrementally more detailed estimates of the attributes that an IVF embryo will develop in adulthood. From my understanding the method is basically to sequence a cell from one of the first few divisions, and compare the sequence to their library of thousands of people using machine learning to pinpoint polygenic traits (like height or intelligence). Right now I feel it's mostly media hype, but it could turn out to be some straight up Gattaca shit.

This capability has generated significant discussion about the societal stratification that could result. What I'm interested in is the parallels in the Grinder and DIYBio space. Many of the participants in this community share their progress in an open-source fashion. That being said, there's little hand holding. If someone wants to utilize the augmentations we develop, they often need a significant level of understanding and drive. I feel like some on the outside could accuse us of being exclusionary, because we expect a basic level of competence from participants. We're so immersed in the space. Things that seem simple to us could scare off others.

Amal at DT is a good example of how we can simplify things for the layman, and make our developments available to a wider audience. What I'm really getting at is:

Do you feel that it is our responsibility, moving forward, to make biohacking "easy" for the uninitiated?

Comments

  • @Satur9 said:
    Hey all,

    Opening this up for general discussion. People who are keeping an eye on the progress of genetic research have probably heard of a company called Genomic Prediction:

    https://genomicprediction.com/

    They're offering incrementally more detailed estimates of the attributes that an IVF embryo will develop in adulthood. From my understanding the method is basically to sequence a cell from one of the first few divisions, and compare the sequence to their library of thousands of people using machine learning to pinpoint polygenic traits (like height or intelligence). Right now I feel it's mostly media hype, but it could turn out to be some straight up Gattaca shit.

    This capability has generated significant discussion about the societal stratification that could result. What I'm interested in is the parallels in the Grinder and DIYBio space. Many of the participants in this community share their progress in an open-source fashion. That being said, there's little hand holding. If someone wants to utilize the augmentations we develop, they often need a significant level of understanding and drive. I feel like some on the outside could accuse us of being exclusionary, because we expect a basic level of competence from participants. We're so immersed in the space. Things that seem simple to us could scare off others.

    Amal at DT is a good example of how we can simplify things for the layman, and make our developments available to a wider audience. What I'm really getting at is:

    Do you feel that it is our responsibility, moving forward, to make biohacking "easy" for the uninitiated?

    No. Science is not easy, and requires competency. Biohacking is linked to lacking capital and a large experimental team, which does not inherently equate to inexperienced, easy, sub par science. Freedom of information does seem to be a common quality within ¨biohacking¨ groups, but information is powerful and must be treated as the monumental force it is.

  • I would probably define "easy" first.

    If we are talking about making the science "easy" as in everyone gets to do experiments and progress in knowledge, then no, that's not possible.

    But if we are talking about making it easy to access as in "if a layman wants a magnet in their finger they can have it without going through all the tests and experimentation that the pioneers had to do", or even just a guide for them to do the DIY properly, then yes, we should make that kind of easy.

  • > @IvoTheSquire said:
    > But if we are talking about making it easy to access as in "if a layman wants a magnet in their finger they can have it without going through all the tests and experimentation that the pioneers had to do", or even just a guide for them to do the DIY properly, then yes, we should make that kind of easy.

    That was what I was getting at. Lots of projects on here are "finished" with piecemeal information from one or more threads. I feel that it's partly why so many threads get necro'd when a new person gets an account. As a community we could engage in some more proactive cleanup and documentation of the well defined practices. Maybe it could be through the Biohack.me Wiki or some other venue. Things like:
    * A complete list of proven successful implants with a brief overview of each
    *Review/update the sterilization and wound care procedures
    *Procedure for testing a magnet coating
    *Common misconceptions about DIYbio

    Things we gets asked about regularly, where we could just point and say "here's the info, you don't need to engage one of the more experienced members just to learn". As is, the barrier to entry seems high.

    @ThermalWinter
    I certainly don't mean that we should become lax and cut corners in our application of science.

    An inexperienced person could misuse some of the information we have, but it's not our responsibility to withhold it from them out of fear that they won't respect it's power. We should share what we know openly, in the hope that it will inform people to do things correctly/safely, instead of fumbling in ignorance.
  • Totally agree. It's something we've been trying to deal with for years. It happens in spurts as people have the time and will. I think what we really need more of is Cyberlasses or the equivalent. I see the value of project management more and more all the time.. It's a skill set I don't have. Feel free to grab onto whatever catches your fancy and put it in the wiki! I hope to focus on documentation and writing this summer too. One of the first ones I want to do is actually RFIDs. Honestly, I haven't even kept up on what's available. Both Amal and Alex have some really kick ass new stuff. Also, people are constantly asking stuff like.. what phone is best.. how can I put my work badge on my chip etc. Each site has their own documentation.. But it sure would be nice to have a comparison page and such.

  • edited June 11
    Since there is interest, I'll start another thread related to updating the Wiki. I have some experience with project management and documentation. I've been keeping up with DT and Cyberise pretty closely, so I should be able to get some info together.

    This conversation is still open if anyone wants to brainstorm ways we can make biohacking more novice friendly, or talk about why we shouldn't do that.
  • @Satur9 said:
    Since there is interest, I'll start another thread related to updating the Wiki. I have some experience with project management and documentation. I've been keeping up with DT and Cyberise pretty closely, so I should be able to get some info together.

    This conversation is still open if anyone wants to brainstorm ways we can make biohacking more novice friendly, or talk about why we shouldn't do that.

    I fully support making it more laymen friendly, but only after we refine our production of magnets to a sufficient degree. At the moment a majority of our work is simply unsafe for those that don't do the proper research, which would increase capital for more research but at the same time is disservice to the test participants.

    In it's current state, I am fundamentally against having individuals who don't fully understand the science, surgery, and implications having easy access to a 'faulty' product compared to what will eventually be available. It's important to do in terms of marketing but R&D in this stage shouldn't be sold outside of official or individual testing, however in the long term that's a vital business strategy.

    @Satur9 said:
    > @IvoTheSquire said:
    > But if we are talking about making it easy to access as in "if a layman wants a magnet in their finger they can have it without going through all the tests and experimentation that the pioneers had to do", or even just a guide for them to do the DIY properly, then yes, we should make that kind of easy.

    That was what I was getting at. Lots of projects on here are "finished" with piecemeal information from one or more threads. I feel that it's partly why so many threads get necro'd when a new person gets an account. As a community we could engage in some more proactive cleanup and documentation of the well defined practices. Maybe it could be through the Biohack.me Wiki or some other venue. Things like:
    * A complete list of proven successful implants with a brief overview of each
    *Review/update the sterilization and wound care procedures
    *Procedure for testing a magnet coating
    *Common misconceptions about DIYbio

    Things we gets asked about regularly, where we could just point and say "here's the info, you don't need to engage one of the more experienced members just to learn". As is, the barrier to entry seems high.

    @ThermalWinter
    I certainly don't mean that we should become lax and cut corners in our application of science.

    An inexperienced person could misuse some of the information we have, but it's not our responsibility to withhold it from them out of fear that they won't respect it's power. We should share what we know openly, in the hope that it will inform people to do things correctly/safely, instead of fumbling in ignorance.

    Despite how it seems to have come across, i'm actually pretty much agreeing with you. I just feel as if it's a better business and lab practice to wait to release it to a broader audience until the product is capable of doing so. This is my own personal business philosophy, I am preparing to increase the market pool as soon as I've developed a worthy magnet and think that reaches a better outcome for all parties involved.

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