Cory’s short sci-fi piece at Salon is a great read. Cory has a knack for writing geek-centric fantasy fiction. I can tell he’s keenly aware that somewhere in the deepest reaches of every geek’s mind, the thought is there’s no problem that can’t be solved, given the right code. Cancer? AIDS? Starvation? Heart Disease? No problem, if you would just get out of my way and let start hacking up a shell. Geeks seem to be heroes in Cory’s work as well. They solve death, disease, and destruction with just the right combination of assembly code and pocket-sized gadgetry. Liberation of the world’s ills through hacked palms running linux and wireless. Tales from Nerdvana.
It reminds me a lot of my own personal body hacking as of late and struck close to home.
In the past 4-6 weeks I’ve been watching my calorie intake like a tech lead scans every line of underling-contributed code. I’ve been building up a tolerance for the dull pain of hunger, as I keep my daily intake low, and to balance things out and make sure I’m healthier, I started running again. In a way, I’ve been treating my body as a computer system, toying with the APIs available to me, and as a result, I’ve lost about ten pounds (still have 20 more to go, which I’m hoping to do by year’s end).
Of course, once you start hacking your body a bit, you are keenly aware of going overboard. I’ve always figured most hollywood actors, many star athletes, and people with long-term eating disorders had simply raised the act of controlling, extending, and suppressing body function to an art form. At some point, with enough control, your body becomes a machine that can be told what to do, when to do it, and what not to do. It doesn’t seem healthy in the medical or psychological sense, but it seems like a fact of life for those willing to push themselves to that point.