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“The term biohacker is now ubiquitous. Biohacking is a concept that gained currency in popular culture over the past decade, initially as an apparently earnest approach to applying the tech-hacker ethos to biology. It was pushed forward by a small group, mostly healthy, wealthy-ish men, certain that they could find shortcuts to anything, including themselves. Since then, it has jumped from radical personal experimentation to TED stages to everyday lifestyle products, including coffee.
Depending on what forums you explore, biohacking can include anything from procuring “raw water” to hanging upside down so that you can “hack your brain” by increasing blood flow (please note: If your brain isn’t getting enough blood, you may be having a stroke) to tracking everything that goes in and out of your body with an obsessiveness that could, in many contexts, be considered pathological.
As popular terms do, biohacking became part of commercial ventures. The “meal-replacement” drink Soylent, Ensure for Millennials, was touted as a biohack. Biohacking has become a marketing buzzword used to sell unregulated “dietary supplements” and to repackage old products, such as coffee with butter. People have added cream to coffee since the beginning of time, but the new iteration is more expensive and is, again, supposed to hack your brain.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The country’s prime minister and attorney general have mentioned banning semiautomatic firearms, but it’s far from a done deal."
"Beto O’Rourke is in! After a reverential Vanity Fair profile and awkward couch announcement at his home, he is now seeking to become ... something."
"Campaigns are traditionally filled with promises... There is one promise being made by some parties that I can confidently declare as unrealistic."
"Netflix has received credit from many critics for championing diverse content. An assessment of the number of stories by and about Latinos in the United States paints a very different picture."
"Ride hailing is going public. According to Reuters, both Uber and Lyft are on course for an initial public offering this year. Lyft will probably debut later this month. Uber is readying the paperwork..."
"The traces we leave on the Web and on our digital devices can give advertisers and others surprising, and sometimes disturbing, insights into our psychology."
"The value of outsider art to the art world lies less in its formal qualities than in the narrative surrounding its artists. Outsider artists can make for easy-to-manage art stars: they’re often shy or indisposed, dead or reclusive."
"Many modern translators tend to soften the strangeness of the Hebrew Bible, but Robert Alter embraces it. It’s the strangeness that gives the original much of its power."
"Birth order does not appear to influence personality in adults, according to several ambitious studies published in the past few years. This new wave of research relied on larger data sets and more robust statistical methods than earlier reports..."
"The best burger place Is a lab... Growing meat cell by cell is better for your wallet and the world." Click to learn more in the latest "Think Like a Scientist" video from Nautilus.
"Such devices, like all computers, can be hacked or go awry. What if a person's prosthetic limbs are co-opted and instructed to walk in front of cars, rather than away from them?"
"The people of Amalek were possibly the first organised nihilists in the world (in spite of the fact that “organised nihilist” is oxymoronic). They believed that there was no meaning to the world or to life."