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“You just have to get deep enough to open a hole and put something in. It’s that simple.”
March 8, 2011 11:41 AM   Subscribe

Lepht Anonym is a DIY biohacker (a.k.a. a grinder) who, with vodka, scalpels, an anatomy book, and a spotter if she passes out, inserts tings like RFID chips, compass chips, and nedymium discs into her body in order to expand her senses.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey (87 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I fully support the right of this person to modify her body any way she wants.

My only question is, how much is she burdening the public health system in Scotland with her DIY experiments?
posted by hippybear at 11:49 AM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are you curious if she's voiding her warranty hippybear?
posted by dobie at 11:51 AM on March 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


Interesting. 14 seconds ago was the exact moment when I became old. Good to know, I suppose.
posted by facetious at 11:53 AM on March 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


hippybear, probably not more than anyone who's a heavy drinker or smoker.

My problem with her is that this is more of a fashion statement than any attempt at transhumanism. If putting random stuff under your skin makes you transhuman, then I'm a motherfucking cyborg.
posted by ymgve at 11:53 AM on March 8, 2011 [20 favorites]


Whoops, the above link should go here.
posted by ymgve at 11:54 AM on March 8, 2011


I liked it better when you were injecting crayons, bro!
posted by Mister_A at 11:55 AM on March 8, 2011 [60 favorites]


>My only question is, how much is she burdening the public health system in Scotland with her DIY experiments?

"i pay taxes just like you do, and fund the NHS just like you. some of my experiments have led to hospital, one to an overnight stay; i've never been in ICU, and the service is meant to help all people, not just people with tragic accident-related injuries."
posted by xbonesgt at 11:55 AM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a cyborg and I love it
posted by benzenedream at 11:57 AM on March 8, 2011


I once got a splinter that let me sense pain and annoyance at a piece of wood being under my skin.

Was a cyborg until I took that sunofabich out?
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:00 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah.. so one of her self-implanting procedures went like this... she took a vegetable peeler and opened up her fingers to implant stuff, things went horribly wrong and she would up in the hospital... the lesson she learned: "Sterilize everything!" WOW...!!
posted by ReeMonster at 12:00 PM on March 8, 2011


I liked it better when you were injecting crayons, bro!

He's moved on to mainlining straight candle wax now.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:00 PM on March 8, 2011


She makes a big deal about how all of what she does is so simple. I'd imagine that's related to the fact that nothing she does actually seems to have any useful effect.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 12:01 PM on March 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


Yeah ok so RTFA but do these implants... work? Do they do anything?
posted by RustyBrooks at 12:01 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, science is full of notable research that basically could only have happened by self-experimentation. On the other hand, these particular experiments aren't that interesting or scientific and I for one am a bit concerned we're egging on a cutter.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:02 PM on March 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


take what she says for what it is, but i find it odd that she's never used a microphone or seen that many people before. hm.

re: sensory extension, hallucinogens and/or hypnagogic training seems like a less stressful journey.

from what i understood, she's inserting devices that emit electrical pulses under her skin. i'm not sure why the subdermal aspect matters at all. why can't you just shock yourself in a variety of different ways?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:02 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


2bucksplus, having lived with a cutter, I had the same thought. She seems like a really angry person.
posted by Mister_A at 12:03 PM on March 8, 2011


Everclear would be superior to vodka. A gold coating on the neodymium magnets is an intriguing idea, since they are so damned brittle. Of course, you pretty much are signed on for making tough choices when it comes time to get into an MRI machine. Otherwise, I would do this myself.
posted by adipocere at 12:03 PM on March 8, 2011


I for one am a bit concerned we're egging on a cutter.

Admittedly my first thought was that it seemed like a fetish.

Do they do anything?

Still watching ... all she keeps talking about is stimulating nerves with electricity.

She seems like a really angry person.

She doesn't seem angry to me, but she does seem affected.

She's said "anything electrical under your skin works as an implant" and "if you can stand the pain" 8-10x times already ...
posted by mrgrimm at 12:05 PM on March 8, 2011


My only question is, how much is she burdening the public health system in Scotland with her DIY experiments?

If she comes up with some great implant idea or haptic device or whatever, it'll be well worth the $.00000001 it cost each taxpayer. Which is exactly why we share costs like this.
posted by DU at 12:06 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Everclear would be superior to vodka
And standard rubbing alcohol would be even better, and dramatically less expensive. But it wouldn't be cool.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:07 PM on March 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


> I once got a splinter that let me sense pain and annoyance at a piece of wood being under my skin.

Was a cyborg until I took that sunofabich out?


A steampunk cyborg, maybe.
posted by Brak at 12:09 PM on March 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


Previously.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:10 PM on March 8, 2011


She says "I'm on a lot of medication ... a lot, a lot of medication ..."

Hm.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:11 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eh, decent rubbing alcohol is verging on hard to get these days. Sure, you can buy 70% at Walgreen's but you're kidding yourself if you think the other 30% is just water. There's glycerine in it, for one. I did manage to buy some 99%-and-the-other-1%-is-just-water-we-swear, but I had to get it shipped.
posted by adipocere at 12:12 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


She seems to come from the Violet Blue/Xeni Jardin school of attention-seeking science-innumerate 'hackers'

who need to get off my lawn.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:13 PM on March 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


Autoclaves and betadine can be had for cheap, so can surgical textbooks and training videos (if you want to watch 300 bowel resections, the internet has them for free!). If you're going to carry out insane self experiments, at least learn proper technique.
posted by atrazine at 12:15 PM on March 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


300 bowel resections and nothin' on.
posted by hal9k at 12:16 PM on March 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


If want to be a hacker, the first rule is: don't be incompetent.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 12:18 PM on March 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I get that self-experimenters often innovate, or can make very convincing points. See the scientists who drank bacteria-causing ulcers to prove that ulcers are caused by bacteria.

But cochlear implants are running laps around what this lady is doing. And science/medicine is already besting that by working on cameras wired into the brain, that literally let the blind see. Once that's matured (so that it's no longer extremely low res), it won't be too hard to work on an AR system that directly accesses one of our most prominent senses. That strikes me as a much more elegant solution than a kludge where you put a magnet under your skin to see where metal is.

This really seems more like self-mutilation justified as "cyborg experimentation."
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:20 PM on March 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


The moment you put on a pair of glasses you are something like a cyborg after all. The difference here is, what if you sometime want to stop sensing something? Sensory input is a tiny piece of mindfulness dedicated forever to the thing you're sensing. Having internal direction sense might be useful when exploring in the woods, but what if you just want to read a book?
posted by JHarris at 12:20 PM on March 8, 2011


I liked it better when you were injecting crayons, bro!

I was picturing wolverine but with crayolas instead of adamantium.
posted by delmoi at 12:22 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am a fan of pretty much any form of extreme body modification you can think of, and I think this is great.

But that said, I'd like to see some rigorous scientific examination of these 'enhances the senses' claims (and I'm not crazy about some of the neologisms--but they'll probably grow on me).
posted by box at 12:23 PM on March 8, 2011


But cochlear implants are running laps around what this lady is doing. And science/medicine is already besting that by working on cameras wired into the brain, that literally let the blind see.
I wonder how long it will be until Cochlear implants are good enough to fully reproduce audio the way the human ears year it (which seem to have extreemly high frequency discrimination). After that, why not just replace normal human's ears? We could set them up to play audio from electrical sources... How awesome would that be? We could hear ultrasound! Or even electromagnetic frequencies (they would have to be downshifted, of course)
posted by delmoi at 12:27 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Delmoi: same thing with visual implants. Who wants to see Infrared and Ultraviolet?
posted by leotrotsky at 12:33 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]




Ugh, this isn't biopunk or biohacking. To combine a few comments before, this is the steampunk of cutting. This is the biohacking equivalent of super-gluing a few gears and brass on something and calling it steampunk.

It gives a bad name to the future biohackers who will really be extending what it means to be human.
posted by formless at 12:36 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Delmoi: same thing with visual implants. Who wants to see Infrared and Ultraviolet?

That would be neat. On the other hand, I augment my sense of sight with polarized sunglasses currently, so some of these distinctions may be (ahem) artificial.
posted by norm at 12:38 PM on March 8, 2011


She could be doing this probably better, but ... well, why not? People have successfully done magnetic implants before. I'm self-experimenting with something entertaining right now (not magnets) and it is a hoot. Sure, there are some unpleasant bits, but put into context I think, "This, too, shall pass."
posted by adipocere at 12:39 PM on March 8, 2011


Speaking as the guy who posted this, I'm kind of underimpressed. This is the meat equivalent of cuting a hold in the side of the box and duct taping a digital watch in there.

I want to grow cone cells for IR or UV. And the neruoplasticity to process them. And a pony. (That can also see in IR and UV. Duh!)
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:40 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


My reaction.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:40 PM on March 8, 2011


She says "I'm on a lot of medication ... a lot, a lot of medication ..."

According to the weblog that would be Buprenorphine, which is usually prescribed to withdrawing heroin addicts, and whatever it is they give you for borderline personality disorder (previously misdiagnosed as autism).

So I'm guessing doing a bunch of inept 'experiments' on her own body are the least of her problems.
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 12:41 PM on March 8, 2011


MeFi's own glider did magnetic implants once upon a time. Poke around BME to find images. I ain't lookin' at work.
posted by mkb at 12:42 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was picturing wolverine but with crayolas instead of adamantium.

since crayons soften at 105F you'd better hope that Crayonicarus doesn't run a fever. And the sauna's probably not a great idea either.
posted by dubold at 12:47 PM on March 8, 2011


After that, why not just replace normal human's ears?
And for those who can't afford the operation, we'll have a special free version that's funded by contextual ads based on your conversations! It could even block out competitors brand names and replace them with those of the highest bidder.

This could also be just what the record industry needs to close the Analog hole. Have the implant track exactly what music is entering the beloved customer's ears at any given time, and debit their account as appropriate.

Please excuse me, I have a patent to file...
posted by d11 at 12:52 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the neuroplasticity will come with it, Kid Charlemagne. Just have to wait a few months.
posted by adipocere at 12:56 PM on March 8, 2011


Good anesthetic is largely impossible to buy, so she screams a little, and sometimes passes out.

Umm... injectable lidocaine is available on the interwebs, LMGTFY.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 12:58 PM on March 8, 2011


so she screams a little, and sometimes passes out.

I just watched 127 Hours, so I am unimpressed. Plus, dude's got a crazy claw hand now. Definitely more of a "biohacker", in my opinion.

oh god cutting the nerve it haunts my dreams
posted by backseatpilot at 1:01 PM on March 8, 2011


On reading the post, my first thought was "Lepht Anonym chooses to do things to her body that I have nightmares about." But then after I RTFA and thought about it some more, I realized that I too have been a fan of using both (though separately) vodka and sticking things I maybe shouldn't in my arm to "expand my senses" (the latter, of which, if my H-dar is anything to go by, though you may have called what I was doing my "experimental phase", I had generations of users before me who'd done the real experimenting. So I guess on this matter, I'm just not an early adopter.

And I'm fine with that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:03 PM on March 8, 2011


This is lore nosy mosidication for the sake of it than a serious attempt at expanding the senses.

I can't find the link. A sense expanding experiment that I love consists of a belt worn close to the skin around the waist. It has 16 or 32 cellphone vibrators and a compass chip. The North pointing vibrator vibrates when the subject changes orientation ans periodically after that.

The subjects wore it for a few weeks, and they all reported that after some time they stopped being aware of the belt ans had completely internalized this new orientation sense. They built super accurate mental maps of their cities and commutes, never got lost and had lots of fun sensing natural and artificial magnetic fields and big iron things.

When they gave back thw belts, the subjects felt incomplete and depressed for some time, with phantom sensations of the belt. Just like amputees.

I have the skill to build one of these, and the money for the parts, but not the time or the motivation. Any hardware hacker here interested in building one? I may be able to get thw funding together.
posted by Dr. Curare at 1:09 PM on March 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think that's North Paw. Have at it.
posted by adipocere at 1:11 PM on March 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


More body, not lore nosy.
posted by Dr. Curare at 1:11 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cargo cultism.
posted by eeeeeez at 1:16 PM on March 8, 2011


Who wants to see Infrared and Ultraviolet?

Yeah, I'll pass. I've never seen Infrared, but I saw Ultraviolet on late-night cable. Total crap.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:18 PM on March 8, 2011


2bucksplus: "On the one hand, science is full of notable research that basically could only have happened by self-experimentation. On the other hand, these particular experiments aren't that interesting or scientific and I for one am a bit concerned we're egging on a cutter."

Agreed. This reminds me of one of those people who compulsively keeps doing things to their penis from piercing to subincision to subdermal implants to injecting oil into it (no really, google "penile paraffinoma") until they have this tattered appendage that doesn't do anything, all the while they keep going "NO RLY IM A MEMBER OF A SUBCULTURE, THE NEXT STEP IN HUMAN EVOLUTION WHY ARE YOU SO INTOLERANT" at anyone who expresses concern for their well-being.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:27 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dr. Curare, I believe the answer is OMG yes. Is it this one?
posted by zug at 1:35 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dr. Curare- The cellphone/compass experiment sounds really interesting and useful, esp. if you're visiting a new city with a different set of geographical markers. I wonder if the newfound sense of direction would maintain itself for longer than a couple of days or after a transoceanic flight. That being said, is something wrong with your keyboard? Dude/tte, preview comment.
posted by kittensofthenight at 1:36 PM on March 8, 2011


Actually, after reading her blog, I think that she is an artist and a vanguard, and a lot more interesting than the people passing judgment like myself.

carpe corporem indeed.
posted by eeeeeez at 1:42 PM on March 8, 2011


"Lepht Anonym" is an anagram for both "Mean Nth Ploy" and "Mental Phony".
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:49 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


We have such sights to show you.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:59 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


BitterOldPunk: ""Lepht Anonym" is an anagram for both "Mean Nth Ploy" and "Mental Phony""

I think you nailed it.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:02 PM on March 8, 2011


My only question is, how much is she burdening the public health system in Scotland with her DIY experiments?

I wouldn't worry about it. With MRSA and other wee nasties floating about, she is more likely to end up to take herself out of the equation with her homebrew surgical projects, anyway. A Darwin Award is probably on standby.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:05 PM on March 8, 2011


She has nothing on Dick Cheney, the world's most evil cyborg. He wears an LVAD. And by "wears" I mean has it installed into his chest and wears a bag that powers it.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:12 PM on March 8, 2011


Heck, as someone who's colorblind, if artificial eyes (or implants, or whatever) existed that would let me see the colors clearly that currently are all confused (red/green, green/brown, blue/purple, etc), I'd sign up if there weren't significant downsides to the procedure. I'd love to see a rainbow that had more than just a couple of distinguishable colors -- and if we could toss in some near IR/UV, so much the better.
posted by Blackanvil at 2:18 PM on March 8, 2011


Don't really get all the hatin' going on. I think this is really badass, and I'm not into body modification any further than tattoos. I think what she's doing, whatever her reasoning or inner-hidden-deeper motivation, is really cool, and she's obviously working her way upwards in complexity and usefulness. If her Southpaw thing works, that's sort of amazing. Yeah, she's fucking crazy to actually do it in her kitchen at home, but crazy people make the world go round — or at least, further round than it did the last time.
posted by cthuljew at 2:21 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]




In the 19th century, people would pay to go inside asylums and watch the mentally ill.

In the 21st century, news media have taken the middle-man spot in that process.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:33 PM on March 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't really get all the hatin' going on. I think this is really badass, and I'm not into body modification any further than tattoos. I think what she's doing, whatever her reasoning or inner-hidden-deeper motivation, is really cool, and she's obviously working her way upwards in complexity and usefulness.

I guess the question is whether this falls more on the side of tattoos and tongue piercings, or over where the cutters and the pro-ana message boards are. If this were someone I loved, I'd be fucking terrified for her, is all I can say.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:39 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was picturing wolverine but with crayolas instead of adamantium.

Would you settle for Spiderman with Crayolas?
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:54 PM on March 8, 2011


tylerkaraszewski : I'd imagine that's related to the fact that nothing she does actually seems to have any useful effect.

Actually, you can find a few write-ups on the magnet idea online - It does far, far more than "nothing"... Grinders who've done it describe it as an entirely new sense - The ability to detect electric fields (including knowing if they carry AC vs DC), "feel" some aspects of the composition of an object based on feromagnetism and induced eddy current, and of course the obvious (though apparently difficult to learn) awareness of magnetic north. And of course, you can hold pins and paperclips without using a second finger. ;)

If not for the fact that every single one of these mods ends up with the magnet breaking up and leaving a hideous black blotch under the skin (with who knows what long-term health effects) - Not to mention that the "sense" stops working at that point - I'd have done that very mod a decade ago when I first heard about it. I looked into the various coatings possible, but none hold up: Gold (thin plate) and glass break off too easily under mechanical stress, epoxy eventually gets absorbed, and the body tends to reject shallow plastic objects.


mccarty.tim : But cochlear implants are running laps around what this lady is doing.

Can you give yourself a cochlear implant? Can you do it for under $20 worth of materials? Can you even find a surgeon willing to do it for you, at any price, for the purpose of sensory enhancement rather than to treat a disability?


The FDA has long held the official stance that normalcy does not merit treatment, and violently crack down on any technologies, substances, or practitioners daring to challenge that stance. As a result, no licensed medical professional or ERB/IRB-answerable researcher will have anything to do with low-tech sensory enhancement mods. In this case, however, "we don' need no steenkin' approval", and kudos to those using themselves as guinnea-pigs. ...Now hurry up and find a stable coating for NIB so I can finally get one!
posted by pla at 4:09 PM on March 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Zug: That is a newer version, but the same concept.

kittensofthenight: I am using a touchscreen while I brew some beer. Wet fingers, bad eyesight and Android autocorrect are a perfect storm of typos.
posted by Dr. Curare at 4:12 PM on March 8, 2011


Actually, you can find a few write-ups on the magnet idea online - It does far, far more than "nothing"

Ah, but how does it work? The jury's still out on that one, my friend!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:25 PM on March 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Can you give yourself a cochlear implant? Can you do it for under $20 worth of materials? Can you even find a surgeon willing to do it for you, at any price, for the purpose of sensory enhancement rather than to treat a disability?

The notion that CIs treat a disability is arguable.
posted by entropone at 4:37 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've got hearing aids (which, in my case, do treat a disabling condition-- I've got Meniere's), a lens implant (WOO HOO GOIN' TO SPENCER GIFTS TO STARE AT THE BLACKLIGHTS), and a scleral buckle (holdin' on ye olde retina).

All in all, I'm pretty happy with my augmented senses. They beat the shit out of those of an untreated person with Meniere's, a cataract, and a detached retina.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:46 PM on March 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, no CI on the planet is an "enhancement" in the Weapon X comic-booky sense.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:48 PM on March 8, 2011


Of course, you pretty much are signed on for making tough choices when it comes time to get into an MRI machine. Otherwise, I would do this myself.

I have a CI - with a much stronger magnet than this, I suspect - in my head. Turns out it's not really a tough choice; CAT scans can substitute for MRIs in most instances, and I bet removing these magnets from your fingertips in a pinch would be pretty trivial. (It can be done with CIs, too, I believe with just a local anesthetic, and then you put the magnet back in later ... but the fingertips are still easier to get to. No hair, closer to the surface.)

I think I fall in the middle of the comments here - it's neat, nothing inherently wrong with it as far as I'm concerned (yay bodily autonomy!), but it's hardly groundbreaking or edgy. People have been doing that shit for years.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 7:29 PM on March 8, 2011




I'm not implanting anything.

As Tony Soprano once said (and I paraphrase from memory here) when asked about his new car: Yea, that's a nice car, after ya tear alla the GPS shit out of it!
posted by IvoShandor at 9:15 PM on March 8, 2011


I think it's totally cool that she's willing to try this stuff. Having done accidental surgery on my fingertips (bagel cut) I can attest that it really does hurt like hell, but it still just seems really cool that people are finding ways to modify themselves. It's like a cyberpunk world coming to life. Then again, most cyberpunk worlds are also dystopian futures, so let's hope it doesn't go in that direction.

I'm also glad she repeatedly says that she's not a doctor, but is that sinking in? People are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to risk their lives, so it seems like this is a good time for hacker spaces and like-minded groups to start some extra safety courses (not to encourage, but to educate).
posted by willhopkins at 9:17 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


She ain't no Stelarc.
posted by mistersquid at 9:19 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


As someone who works on research for implantable devices, and is excited for their potential... is she crazy? Never mind the particulars (antiseptics? Local anesthetics?!), it's just incredibly short-sighted to assume you can implant things and have them DO things, and to have them last for any reasonable period of time. The device integrity is a problem. Immune reaction is a problem. Infection is STILL A PROBLEM, even if you manage to practice completely aseptic surgical techniques and shove everything in an autoclave beforehand. It's a damn good thing she doesn't have the materials/wherewithal to do anything like implant long electrical leads or anything of the sort. The greatest point of failure for such devices in controlled, clean, experimental settings? Massive infections along the entire implantation site, particularly along the entire length of implanted cables. Very, very difficult to have man-made things survive in the body's environment. Long-term implants with electronics still pretty much require the entire device to be encased in metal, and you still get measurable amounts of fluid infiltration if the timescale is extended to months or years.

Even getting past all that, things just don't behave in accordance with what little established theory there is when you involve biology in all this. You have no idea how jealous I am of figures in Physics papers, what with their curves all nice and mathematically defined, with their error bars so small that they're not even visible on the scale of the graph's axes. TAUNTING me, while I'm dealing with noisy data with error bars the size of skyscrapers. The point being, a lot of unpredictable things happen with biological systems. Part of it is that we don't know it well enough yet. Part of it is that, generally, it's an inherently stochastic system (or there are so many interacting variables it might as well be one).

I'm all for DIY hackers, and things like the Make community make my heart all fuzzy. But realize these people are largely working with established technologies and modifying/leveraging them into things that are not commercially viable (or just cool-looking). Cutting yourself open and dropping in magnets are not the same as buying an MSP430 and making your Roomba do cool things. There's a giant gap in knowledge with the former, and consequences are much more severe.
posted by Tikirific at 12:51 AM on March 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


entropone : The notion that CIs treat a disability is arguable.

Umm, can you explain that one? Last I knew, "deafness" still counted as a disability. Not really much to argue there, unless I missed you making a joke...
posted by pla at 3:38 AM on March 9, 2011


pla, I understand your confusion, but, yeah, not everyone supports cochlear implants.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:37 AM on March 9, 2011


Last I knew, "deafness" still counted as a disability

Many Deaf people don't consider deafness a disability, and (to keep this vaguely on topic!) cochlear implants for deaf children are considered controversial as a result.
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 5:44 AM on March 9, 2011


CIs are controversial in the same sense that blood transfusions are considered controversial: Only by a tiny subset of people that have quite dubious motives behind their opinions.
posted by ymgve at 7:11 AM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


CIs are controversial in the same sense that blood transfusions are considered controversial: Only by a tiny subset of people that have quite dubious motives behind their opinions.

I have a CI (which I got as an adult). If I had a deaf kid, I'd probably want them to grow up with a CI (and ASL, of course). I still think that there's a lot of valid reasons to decline to get one for yourself or for your child. The issue is not nearly as clearcut as you seem to think.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 7:47 AM on March 9, 2011


I'd like to know what those reasons are. Most of the reasons I've seen are related to trying to preserve Deafness as an isolated culture, which I find counterproductive and has a very "us vs them" mentality.
posted by ymgve at 8:04 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


While I may be trivializing the CI controversies, I'm somewhat morbidly jealous of my friend's ability to just remove it, and either have a quiet working environment, effectively end a conversation and live in a VERY LOUD APARTMENT. Also, when she plugs a stereo in line to the jack on the cochlear earpiece, I get cyberpunk idolizations. And yes, I'm sure the downsides far outweigh what I've just mentioned, but it's still cool.

Personally, I'm closely monitoring advances in Artifical Retinas, as I'm quickly losing my vision due to a tentative diagnosis of some form of relentless white dot syndrome disease. (Current working diagnosis is either APMPPE or Relentless Placoid Chorioretinopathy). Gogo, bionic eyes!

To tie this in with to point of the main post: Bring on the body modification trend of subdermal implants... in Braille!
posted by waxlight at 3:16 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


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