Sunday, December 6, 2015

Our Cyberpunk World: 3D-Printing the Perfect Blonde (and Your Own Clones)

The article: 3-D printing of human body parts (Business Insider) Technology is overtaking cyberpunk science fiction yet again — and this time biopunk too. In this case, it's a process called bioprinting which uses 3D-printing techology to print living organs, whether to repair or transplant. As the speed 3D printing is advancing today, eventually we'll be able to print entire human bodies. I can see four uses for this:
  1. Cloning your replacement body: As a matter of fact, this is how the replacement clones used in the clone-resurrection process are generated. Not vat-grown anymore as in classic cyberpunk, but 3D-printed like the anti-plasma bomb being printed in the background of Shira's opening videoblog post.
  2. Organ replacement: what bioprinting is used for today, but naturally more advanced. Eventually the technology will get good and cheap enough that people will be able to replace organs at will, like replacement parts for machines.
  3. Designer deformations: What if you're bored with your baseline human appearance? What if you want the latest fashionable deformations? There's pretty much no limit to how much the idle rich can pervert bioprinting technology. Some of them, of course, will make themselves superhuman or outright transhuman. The likes of Neuromancer's Lo-Teks won't be quite so low-tech anymore.
  4. Printing the perfect blonde: Forget eugenics. Why wait on genetic engineering, gene doping, and old-fashioned breeding when you can design your human physical ideal in a CAD program and then print it? You can design in pretty much anything you want, including amazing superpowers, without having to rely on the hereditary luck of the draw. You can create bodies more beautiful than anything Nature can design, as living artworks.
Naturally, since in the cyberpunk universe (i.e. Spanner) technology requires the money that the rich are stealing from the poor and hoarding for themselves, like all medical technologies bioprinting will of course be a luxury for the rich, intended to turn them into a transhuman master race eventually able to overthrow even the American Empire's superhuman oligarchs known as the Liberators. For the natural-born newtype superhumans of Team Spanner, this means they have to race against yet another ticking clock and try to convince humanity to save themselves before the Tech Lords make their species obsolete.