Tuesday, May 03, 2016

BioPunk Intrigues Me

I get inspiration from random things I come across and the it thing for so many years has been SteamPunk.  Now, I'm still exploring all the different nuances and trying to figure out what is what, but here are some images of what mainstream or what popular ideas of steampunk can look like.  Just on a glance, it looks like it's heavily influenced by Victorian era ideas and innovations but on crack.  I absolutely love the fashion!

For full Slideshow, click here!
I find this subculture very interesting as well as CyberPunk, BUT my main reason for bringing this up is to talk about BioPunk.  Now, I'm just starting to scratch the surface of this genre/subgenre but from what I gather, biopunk is using biological knowledge and technology to rebel against an establishment in a good or bad way...or something along those lines.  Like I said, I get the gist of it but I'm still at the entrance of a deep deep cavern that needs to be explored.

Examples of movies that are biopunk are like Gattaca - LOVE this movie - and the Island of Dr. Moreaux and I consider anime like Akira - I think it's actually a mixture of CyberPunk as well - or even Dexter's Laboratory.  The main commonality of all these movies/shows is how science is used mainly to modify life for better or for worst.

Actually, let's talk about Dexter's Laboratory because that's actually an awesome example of biopunk!  In fact, now that I think about it, it's one of my first and lasting impressions of the biopunk genre even before I knew what it was.

Many of you who have lived through the mid 90's - early 2000's know or may have heard about this show.  It was definitely part of my childhood as well as Powerpuff - lite biopunk, 'sugar and spice' - and other stuff on Cartoon Network.  So, you may be asking why I'm talking about a kids show at this point but if you're not familiar with the show, it's about a brilliant - probably autistic - boy named Dexter and his various creations in a secret lab under his house.

"You may be thinking, Why is that Biopunk?"  The fact that he's so discontented with the world around him that he has to escape into a secret lab to invent and create/discover things on his own to make his life better than what is already know in the everyday world seems to fit the bill of biopunk.  Granted, his inventions and intentions are at times dastardly at best, but his actions to rise above what is the 'norm' and create a better world - mainly for himself - via science encapsulates that whole mindset well, in my opinion.

Why am I so taken by Biopunk?

Well, recently I watched an amazing video on TedTalks (yeah, I know...) but the speaker, Antony Evans didn't just talk about his project - which, I REALLY think you should look at on KickStarter because the concept and the packaging is absolutely brilliant! - and innovation, but about the Biopunk community as a whole.

I've heard about how people have hobby labs and are science enthusiast since I was in college but this concept of open source science and innovation has me salivating on so many levels.

1) I love science and though I may not be the most proficient - ask some of my mentors - but I respect and love what we can learn through it.

2) I am not anti-establishment or anti-capitalism but I don't like this elitist attitude that you have to be party of both in order to do "real" science.  I firmly believe that people can conduct their own - responsible - experiments without either and this biopunk movement embodies that.

Check out this site that was recommended by the speaker in the above TedTalk - I actually messaged Antony Evans via KickStarter and is very helpful:

3) Sometimes you don't want to wait for others to do the experiments that you have questions for and I like that aspect of take the initiative and find answers for yourself.

Actually, there are more things that I love about the biopunk movement but it's 1:20am and I'm getting delirious so I'll leave so I'll wrap it up.

Yes, there are many out there that may say, "Well, that's why you have so many quacks making ostentatious claims", but really, what many - outside of the quacks' - are doing is putting forth a hypothesis and testing it out to yield results.  What makes it science is the ability to take that hypothesis and test out the exact same method to yield the same result, over and over again by various people/parties to prove that there may be some basis in the initial finding ....not something that is only tested a handful of times, with no peer review or references as to how they made these claims in the first place.

Anyhoo, I think I may have found a hobby or movement that I can stand by, but I definitely am getting some great ideas from these quote/unquote basement lab rats and found another thing to write about.

Win/Win if you as me.