Episode 28: Tim Cannon

Episode 28: Tim Cannon

Tim Cannon is a co-founder of Grindhouse Wetware, a group of open-source biohackers in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. What does that sentence mean, you ask? Biohacking is the process of augmenting the human body to do new things, whether with technology or biology. Max More introduced the theme of transhumanism back in Episode 2, but Tim is going to take the idea and run with it—the Grindhouse crew are actively developing and implanting technologies in themselves now.

Tim and I don’t dwell on current augmentation technologies for long. Instead, we plunge into a conversation about the nature of humanity and why he wants to leave biology behind. As always, questions of value crop up and we oscillate between nihilism and iterative, socially constructed moralities. Determinism, inevitability, and collective versus individual rights are also major themes.

You’ll hear lots of connections with other conversations. Tim directly responds to the neoprimitivism of John Zerzan, but he also offers an indirect critique of Max More by discussing the political (and classist) implications of human augmentation.

If all that makes you feel like your head is about to explode, may we suggest Grindhouse’s Thinking Cap to over-clock your brain?

Also, we learned about Grindhouse through Ben Popper’s fascinating article in The Verge (Eleanor even used Tim’s picture as her illustration template). If you’d like to learn more about what Grindhouse is up to now, we highly suggest giving it a read.