Samuel Arbesman writes in The Atlantic about “ The Hubris of Biohacking:
this hacking ethos relies on the idea that if people can just collect more data to better understand themselves, perhaps they can engineer themselves to perfection. We can hack our technologies, and even our societies, so why not ourselves?
Alas, things are not so straightforward.
the existence of the dieting industry might offer a warning that even simply-stated biological goals aren’t always easily reached. Indeed, Arbesman notes, the problems with bio hacking are illustrative of a broader problem Silicon Valley has with complexity:
When it comes to hacker types parachuting into biology, especially for the purpose of improving the human body, failing to account for the inherent complexity of biology can mean failing to recognize that a messy system might not be easily modified in the way they want or expect
It seems to me that this particular blind spot, where you’re surprised that reality doesn’t give way in the face of your efforts at optimization or maximization, is one we’ve been seeing a lot of around here….