Upgraded to Obsolescence: Age Intervention in the Era of Biohacking

Kirsten L. Ellison

Abstract


Popularized by DIY scientists and quantified-selfers, the language of “biohacking” has become increasingly prevalent in anti-aging discourse. Presented with speculative futures of superhuman health and longevity, consumers and patients are invited to “hack” the aging process, reducing age to one of the many programs, or rather “bugs” that can be re-written, removed, and rendered obsolete. Drawing on recent examples from popular media and anti-aging promotional materials, I explore how the language of biohacking signals an orientation to the body that denies the acceptability of a body that is anything but optimal. In the endless strive towards the latest and greatest, the language of biohacking renders the old body obsolete, standing as nothing more than a relic of an outdated operating system.


Keywords


biohacking; anti-aging; language; the body

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17351/ests2020.361



Copyright (c) 2020 Kirsten L. Ellison

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