Giovanni Francesco Camocio, Humani Victus Instrumenta: Ars Coquinaria (1569)

Making Senses

How biohackers are using artificial perceptions to enhance reality.

Episode 219: Making Senses: How Biohackers Are Using Artificial Perceptions to Enhance Reality by Distillations Podcast

Most of us are content to use our existing five senses to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch our way through the world. But an increasing number of people called biohackers are not satisfied with watching the everyday brilliance of a sunset or petting a silky kitten. They want infrared vision and electromagnetic fingertips.

“Why wouldn't I want to add one more sense to the ones I already have and enjoy so much? The ability to feel just a little bit more?” Nic Fox asked reporter Catherine Girardeau. Fox has a device embedded in his chest that vibrates when he faces magnetic north.

To understand more about these would-be cyborgs we turned to Kara Platoni, author of We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time. Platoni is a science reporter and a lecturer at University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She describes how many biohackers feel the future hasn’t gotten here fast enough. They’re ready to be cyborgs now.

Show Clock

00:02 Intro
03:10 The North Sense
13:12 Interview with author Kara Platoni


Hosts: Michal Meyer and Bob Kenworthy
Guest: Kara Platoni
Reporter: Catherine Girardeau
Producer:  Mariel Carr
Associate Producer: Rigoberto Hernandez


Music courtesy of the Audio Network.