Our Transhuman Future: Cyborgs, Lizard Men, and Cat People

William Saletan in Slate:

060605_hn_transhumanisttn2 Heeeeeeere’s Cat Man!

On a projection screen at Stanford Law School, an auditorium full of nerds stared at a picture of a guy who’d done himself up like a cat—not with makeup, but with tattoos and surgery. The guy’s whiskers were implanted. His nose had been converted to a cat nose. His teeth had been filed into the shape of cat teeth. His head has been flattened, and he was looking for a doctor to implant a tail. And that’s just the tip of the freakberg. Behind him, there’s Lizard Man, Amputee Online, the Church of Body Modification, and Suspension.org, the Web site for people who like to be impaled on hooks.

Our guide to the self-mutilators, professor Robert Schwartz of the University of New Mexico, wasn’t trying to gross us out…

More here.