Would You Hack Your Body For a Superpower?

Illustration for article titled Would You Hack Your Body For a Superpower?

Today, we rediscovered that people are willing to go to extreme lengths to gain mutant-like abilities. Are you one of them?


I’m going to guess that most of us wouldn’t turn down strange powers, no matter how many cautionary X-Men comics we’ve read. And while we’re a long way from getting our hands on the alien Asgardian tech that features promiently in The Avengers, science continues to bristle with real possibility for enhancement. Human lab rats are testing out nootropics in an attempt to pump up their brainpower. Our Editor-in-Chief Annalee Newitz has a short-range RFID chip in her arm that renders her at least 5% cyborg. And Dann Berg wrote about his experience having a rare earth magnet implanted in his finger.

But these hacks, though badass, are only the beginning of a no doubt glorious future of superhumans. I like to imagine where we’d go if Really Weird Movie Science was in play.

So today, we ask you to ponder two questions: 1.) would you volunteer to undergo a new, untested, possibly disastrous procedure, if the outcome meant you might emerge superhumanly enhanced? And 2.) which superpower would be worth the risk?

Image via Wikimedia Commons; Cosplayer Lonstermash



Sadly the only superpower I want, superhuman intelligence, is still centuries away. At 51, I really doubt I’ll live to see it.

But to daydream about it, I think it would be achievable just by replacing the greasy, deeply flawed meatloaf of my current brain with something artificial, much faster and far more efficient.