If you glance to the horizon of tomorrow you’ll see human beings are on the verge of fully merging with our technology. When we finally grow into the cyborgs we’re destined to become- we’ll finally live as our own creations made in our own image. This may or may not be a good thing. But it’s certainly happening.
For now, we have “grinders” to blaze the trail. They’re also known as “body-hackers.” The nicknames refer to their ethos and the blunt methods they use to implant foreign objects in their bodies and perform body-modifications. And they’re some of my favorite people in the world. These grinders can’t wait to live in our presumed future. And my favorite amongst them are the ones who live way out there… enjoying an invisible affair with magnetism. In order to savor this “sixth sense,” an odd sensation that pleases and teases the mind, they shove tiny magnets under their skin.
You may wonder: Why would anyone implant a tiny magnet under their skin?
Well, to say it plain, these folks aren’t satisfied with the limits of their senses and they want to “get off” feeling the magnetic field that pervades our modern world of laptop, televisions, electric cords, outlets, microwaves, cellphones. The good thing is the magnets they implant are tiny.
The human body is an amazing creation. It took billions of years to develop, with lots of starts and stops. But for some of us, evolution just moves too damn slowly. So they jump-start it by shoving magnets in their bodies- and once the nerves grow accustomed to the magnets, the mind begins to “feel” electro-magnetism as easily and clearly as you can sense light, heat and pressure.
The neomydium magnets they use are usually encased in something like silicone. Or if you’re a little more punk rock, one can use a hot glue gun, cover the magnet with hot glue, then let the glue cool and shove the mass into an incision in your finger. Since these folks live on the fringe, to them this isn’t as brutal as it sounds.
Now, if you’re steadfastly against performing surgery on yourself… as many responsible grinders are… one can, with a little effort and research, find a tattoo artist or body modifier willing to attempt this unsanctioned and possibly illegal procedure that exists somewhere in the gray area of liability. The legality question depends on how they define “surgery” in your home area.
As far as the “legal liability” that’s up to the body modifier/tattoo artist and how much they’re willing to risk it. In case, you want to sue him/her after your arm develops a life-threatening infection and doctors have to saw your hand off at the wrist to save you. So the people you approach may be a bit leery to do this surgery for you. This is understandable. So let’s return to the notion of doing-it-yourself.
You’ll want to disinfect the area and numb the point of incision. Most grinders inject legal anesthetic, while others use maybe something they didn’t get over the counter. The point is to make sure your finger is really and truly numb, because once it’s numb you’re gonna take a surgical grade razor, or perhaps all you have is an artist’s exacto knife, but I understand this is not recommended since infection is always a major concern and exacto knives are ironically not very exact when used for DIY surgery. But you need something that won’t require you to keep cutting and digging and gouging in your finger. You want a sharp precise blade.
Once you disinfect and numb the area, you’ll make a deep incision into the skin and muscle of your finger. Next, you’ll use wooden tweezers and a sterilized chopstick to position the magnet. Otherwise, it will stick to your metallic tweezers. And why make your surgery anymore difficult?
Using your wooden tools, you’ll shove the tiny magnet inside the incision, situate it somewhere inside your finger. Once it’s set, you’ll quickly sew up the incision with at least one, preferably two or three stitches. Tie off your knots. Disinfect the area again and bandage it. You’ll want to change your bandage daily- careful to monitor for infection. Or you can lose your finger or hand.
After a few weeks, once you take off your bandage and you’ll begin to feel the magnetic world around you. Apparently, the perception grows stronger and stronger for roughly the first 6 months; that is, if your body doesn’t reject the implant, or develop infection. If this happens, you’ll have to go through the whole surgery again.
Also, there’s no certain medical opinion on how long you should leave the magnet inside your finger. It really depends on what it’s covered in and how slowly that material degrades to the point the magnet is exposed and your body begins to react badly to its presence. The human body tends not to like foreign objects shoved under the skin and this triggers a rejection response. Some grinders write in forums about how their bodies pushed the magnets right out of their skin. Which just sounds horribly painful. But there are general risks for any at-home DIY surgery.
Body-hacking requires passion and commitment. But the real question is: What would you be willing to go through for such a “superpower?”
Here’s a video of an implant being performed. If you don’t like blood, don’t watch.
Until modern medicine catches up with the imagination of body-hackers, the forefront of our cyborg revolution is happening in kitchens and basements all over the world. Whether or not you wanna join the revolution, body-hackers are bringing the future to us now… and in a grinder we can glimpse our shared future.