Advantages of a Prosthetic
So, here's an idea for you lot: replacing a limb for utility. I'm talking all function, no flesh. Is there anyone on this board that, if given the chance, would volunteer to lose an extremity? I'm intrigued with the idea but as a disclaimer I'm not to the point of finding the nearest saw and hacking away. If you've had the idea like me, I want to know what you would lose and why. Do you have body integrity identity disorder (BIID)? On the off-chance that someone who reads this is currently suffering, why are you dissociating from that body part? What would you gain from the procedure? More along the lines of what I came here for, what would you invest in when it comes to newfound utility? using myself as an example, I think there are a few good self defense applications for a prosthetic.
- Integrated taser/pepper spray
- a prosthetic could very well protect against a stabbing
- it could house a weapon for emergencies
the applied force of a prosthetic is naturally better than a regular hand.
General utilities could include
housing a battery
- integrated chip on the shell
If anyone has any resources they can provide, I would appreciate it greatly. As for papers on BIID, I've read a few but am open to more. Finally, I want to hear your stories, ideas, anything pertaining to the subject.
Oh, I already plan on doing this one day, hopefully sooner rather than later. If you truly believe in a science or field, you must be willing to sacrifice a part of yourself to further said field.
I think BIID doesn't apply here; the desire for a prosthetic, IMO, isn't based on the desire to amputate a limb or be paralyzed/disabled, as BIID usually and notably presents itself as, rather, amputating a limb is the step to get to a legitimate, non-BIID related goal: to have a prosthetic limb. Now, I think most people would argue whether or not the desire for a prosthetic over a real limb is BIID or not depends on the reasoning behind wanting the prosthetic over the real limb. I think that argument is redundant and meaningless. At the end of the day, anyone who seriously wants a prosthetic limb over a real one wants it because of the capabilities and possibilities that prosthetic limbs have over real limbs. A good prosthetic arm, the ideal prosthetic arm is better than a real arm. We're just not at that point yet, but it is definitely coming, and I believe that is why many people, me included, want to have a prosthetic limb. To become involved. To be test subjects. To eventually have the ideal prosthetic.
The prosthetic you're looking for is called a pocket.
Well, I prefer novelty to being tactical. I'm very unfamiliar with sensation in prosthesis, is that an innovation that's common place? Most of what I listed was spitballing, more general ideas than what I'd personally prefer, and of course I use my soft meaty hands more than pepper spray. Also, I'm new to the site's formatting so bare with me as i learn to adapt.
Do they make those on arms? you have a valid point that I'm more or less overlooking for the sake of brainstorming. A prosthetic with more than one use is a reality I think we should explore these next few years. Wouldn't it bee cool if you could charge your phone on the go, and still have pockets for other things?
Sensation of prosthetics is pretty new, but has been shown to work in some best-case scenario amputation and prosthetics. They're mighty expensive and the sensation is extremely limited, but hey, it is a good start on eventually making prosthetics that feel like organic limbs but don't suffer from the drawbacks of organic limbs. This discussion is nothing but a hypothetical, and I don't think there's anything wrong discussing some fun hypotheticals of the future of body modifications.
That's very true. I had no idea that was a thing. I'm probably gonna have a binge of watching videos on that now after class lol thank you.
Just IMO prosthetics for utility aren't very likely to take off until (1) a prosthetic that combines a BCI (like Neuralink) with adequate sensory feedback is developed, and (2) people stop being so attached (pun intended) to their limbs. Regardless of whether or not a prosthetic is practical, most people would never have to think twice before saying no to replacing a healthy limb with a prosthetic. They have fantastic potential, but most people aren't wired to be okay with removing a healthy body part and replacing it with something artificial. That could change too, but it could take a long time for society to be able to accept the idea of replacing a healthy limb with a prosthetic.
As for advantages, I think a prosthetic would be most helpful for mitigation of later problems/pain (i.e. getting prosthetic fingers if you're predisposed to arthritis in the knuckles). Another interesting use would be the creation of a "super surgeon", where people could integrate with machines to perform significantly more delicate procedures (like brain surgery) with very little effort. Imagine a perfectly steady hand, with high-resolution sensory feedback and all, able to be manipulated accurately down to fractions of a degree at a time. It's all got a lot of potential. Nice topic, OP.
I agree with your sentiment about pain management being a motivator for prosthetics. As a personal testimony, I have psoriatic arthritis that only affects my left arm. I get occasional joint pain, and as I age it will inevitably become more frequent and intense. In a few years or decades, I would seriously consider replacing that arm. Even so, having a compelling motivator and a biohacking mindset, I would thoroughly explore other options like nerve-deadening before taking such a drastic step.
Funny thing, replacing parts for the sake of pain management is already a thing: That's what total knee / hip replacements are entirely for.
Aimee Mullins gave an interesting TED talk a few years back, in which she described her lower-leg prostheses as devices that had augmented her body rather than just provided more or less adequate replacements for her real legs.
For "simple" body parts like lower legs, I reckon the field of prosthetics is sufficiently advanced to provide better replacements than the natural thing. For anything more complex - above knee amputations, upper body parts - prostheses are inferior and undesirable at this point.
All that of course is assuming the wearer doesn't have to deal with phantom pain: I once knew an amputee who had severe pains in his phantom limb, and it pretty much ruined his entire life.
So the advantages of prostheses aren't that many, and even getting an "unimportant" bit of limb hacked off to make room for one for transhumanist research purposes would be a hazardous proposition at best.
But prostheses do have one very clear advantage: once you have a missing limb (voluntarily or not), if you're the enterprising type and you have the know-how, you can pretty much create any prosthesis you want for yourself without asking anybody's help or permission. Not so with any other forms of biohacking, because whatever body augmentation you may have in mind, the medical establishment will turn you away if you're not disabled to begin with.
Just to be clear, this isn't because the medical professionals are being stubborn or anything like that. It's just that if doctors / surgeons got it wrong (or heck, make a mistake in the procedure) there's a much bigger risk of litigation and loss of careers and so forth.