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Biohacker Implants Cigarette Pack-Sized Chip: Why?

biohackerchipPittsburgh software designer Tim Cannon has taken the odd and scary step of implanting a chip called a Circadia  in his arm. The device, which is about the size of a pack of cigarettes, can record his body temperature and report it to his phone. Not exactly something that will register on Edward Snowden’s radar but enough to raise some questions. First of all, Cannon did this without anesthetic. He used ice and the cutting expertise of a friendly tatoo artist. Seems like a lot of pain to get your temperature. What is he actually thinking?

His comments in a Fox New article provide some clues. Cannon has a broader vision for this type of technology-linking our bodily workings to the environment. In his scheme of things the future might hold this scenario:  “I think that our environment should listen more accurately and more intuitively to what’s happening in our body..so if, for example, I’ve had a stressful day, the Circadia will communicate that to my house and will prepare a nice relaxing atmosphere for when I get home: dim the lights, [draw] a hot bath.”

Cannon’s idyllic notion of hot baths and dim lights certainly seems to skid right around the more likely use of chip implants-for social control.  We already have bionic livers connected up to people which can deliver medication. But what about criminal justice applications? Just last week we presented the case in this blog of ankle bracelets on San Francisco children who missed a few days of school.  With chip implants a range of tracking and punishment functions are possible-from messages to the authorities upon ingestion of drugs to delivery of pacifying chemical substances to “criminals” whose blood levels may be indicating anxiety.  While part of Tim Cannon’s actual dream includes wanting one day to become a “robot”, for many of us the battle is more to maintain our humanity and sense of self-determination in the face of technological control and eavesdropping rather than trying to become more like a machine. As for me, I’d rather rely on my own labor to draw that hot bath and dim the lights than an implant.

To read about Tim Cannon go to: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/11/04/biohacker-implants-chip-in-arm/

About the author

James Kilgore

James Kilgore is an activist , writer and educator based in Urbana, Illinois. He is a Soros Justice Fellow for 2017-18. His project, Challenging E-Carceration, focuses on electronic monitoring in the criminal legal system.

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