A god from a machine
So you're injecting E coli traded with crisper to change your DNA. Yeah. Basically the holy has within it a plasma. Which is what I extract later in injected myself. This has a mile Staten inhibitor in it the omega super muscle. So it's sorta like Spiderman getting bitten by the spider having right superstring. Yeah. This is sound of mind a pud cost about strange journeys. Are you worried at all a little bit? Yeah. What are you worried about having a reaction to afford foreign protein? The odds are very slim. It's probably irrational fear. But I'm just a little nervous. You know? Also at my messing with my jeans and. It's kind of a new experience for me. Richly is a mutant and assignable for the last ten years. He's been putting experimental technology into his body. He and others colored biohacking. Every morning. I wake up and say fuck the FEMA. Or is say fuck the USDA or. The medical system because I got a Bill from some washer that I probably get myself. Riches being in and out of court trying to get more time with his kids in custody arrangement in court. His ex wife said he was mentally unstable and immoral. She took me a court to take the kids away from me forever. So the basically what I was doing was that act of self mutilation. She told the court he'd rejected religious morality reach hit actually grown up Momon, the oldest of seven kids. And as he tells it throughout his childhood. He was a good moment. Zealous even he's religion promised him that after the coming apocalypse he'd have a tunnel life and godlike powers, and he couldn't have been more excited for the world to be set on fire, but something happened in his early twenties. And he lost his faith. He was confronted with a new reality. He wouldn't become a God wouldn't even have an afterlife so facing certain death. He tend to science to fulfill the promises that religion had made immortality. Godlike powers. And for years. It actually went really, well he was making the money. He figured it Nate and rating about breakthroughs and life extension an artificial intelligence until almost overnight. He lost everything. And that's when he realized something science doesn't make promises and he's former religion. Well, it wasn't done with him yet. Cyborgs and mutants used to only exist in science fiction now they here, and it's likely they'll become much more common. They might be the world's newest minority group the way we treat them now could unfil- a chain of events with echoes for decades centuries. Maybe millennia and a case like riches could be a catalyst until me. Nobody had really said modifying yourself is that make you a parent. You not humans get human rights. I don't know court cases discrimination, even hate crimes. These things are already happening now today, we're jumping ahead of ourselves. Let's get back to rich. Most people coming grinder grinding is just where you're playing levels over and over and over this level up your character and doing completely boring. Repetitive things. Characters improved. So I was okay with saying. Okay. I'm a grinder. We are minority. And we have a lot of opposition. I sort of feel like them fighting against something. What does that feel like? Well, it's really a familiar filling to me I'm kind of used to be in that situation to be honest. Having the belief system that I have in my community. I'm already on the outside. And I don't mind being on the outside. When is your earliest memory of thinking, you'd live forever? I guess for the majority of my early life. I felt like I was going to live forever. Mormons are different than normal Christians. They have this belief that when you die you still have a physical body. And if you're good enough than you too can become a God yourself and go on to make worlds without end and be God to mortals ever since. I was a kid. I was taught that within my lifetime. I see the coming of Christ. It could happen any day. And so honestly that had a profound impact on my life because I didn't really have very good long-term planning. Everything was kind of a clips by this apocalypse that was going to happen. I kind of slacked off in school. I didn't really think much about my future. Because why would you? So many other things are just trivial when you think you're going to die before you die of old age. And you think about the afterlife and attorney there. I mean, nothing matters here on this earth. Tends to mean like you were pretty kind of intense kid in a way like other people around you thinking in similar ways. Or did you look at them in think, why aren't you guys planning for this or panicking? Yeah. I did look at them and say, you have the sampling system that I do why aren't you taking this series -ly for me? This was a very relevant. It was going to happen. So things like planning for a future putting money into a savings account. This seems like such a bad idea. How did that make you feel? Did it make you cynical when you thought about it were you hopeless added? How did you feel for most of my life? I felt the Nantucket station for it. I I wanted it to happen. When I was thirteen year old kid thinking while life is really miserable. I just can't wait till it ends. Can't wait to die, basically. Because the rewards in the afterlife, we're going to be so much better. It's really sick though that I'm verbalizing it. So I liked watching shows like the Jetsons and reading comic books about heroes all through my teens and into adulthood, I was reading magazines looking at the science and technology stuff. There's all these features making predictions about being able to go to the moon and having lifespans of going to be indefinite that I got really excited about I thought, this is really awesome. But I don't think that this is actually going to happen because by the time they figure this all out God, we'll have returned. And you know, who cares? I just didn't see it as anything other than a fantasy. Was there anything in culture in cartoons? Comex that you kind of now look back to and say, oh, yeah. I was really influenced by like inspector gadget. All like, the six million dollar, man. I was a big fan of the experts series as a kid. I like will rain a lot. But. Is my favorite now is your favorite now magneto is one of my favorites. And he's a villain, but he's a good villain. He's got reasoning buying what he's doing. He doesn't want to cower they wants to let everyone show themselves off. But with the out of the closet about their meeting. Their identity. Do I think that requires world domination? No. Bit hesitant to draw this parallel. But he's kind of like the Malcolm X of the mutant welding away is getting people to stand up themselves and the fightback. I think that's a great parallel, actually. Still coming charms tend to fight it. Necessary. There's a big time civil rights narrative going on in men where you live now. Do you feel judged? Yeah. Oh, definitely definitely in the black sheep, Mike community. Why don't even know where to start with the culture is so strange. I live in town as to bars and somebody tried to open up a nightclub Roque ground on it. The city basically came back and said, you know, what you can't go through with this is gonna light zoning when they asked why the mayor said, well, dancing leads to promiscuity. Straight out of foot loose the main denomination here. Where I live is Mormon. They had a big debate about running public transportation on Sundays. There is an active role that government takes in being like a morality squad and making sure that nobody has premarital sex drinks too, much or parties or anything religion in the state of Utah is an all politics. It influences state politics like crazy, and it skews all the culture, I think most of them believe with an apocalypse is gonna occur within their lifetime. So much conformity is really bothers me something really sick about it. Why do you continue to live in that community? Might therapist is actually encouraging me just the move. But I have my kids who still appear and I have limited visitation with him. But the amount of visiting that I do with them is very precious to me. So for the time being I'm here. I'm just recently become a dad for me. It's just a very intensely emotional experience. I've never experienced anything. Like it really. What was it like figure? It was definitely a game changer for me the gravity of parenthood. It does change you at something that I loved and when your kids get older, it gets even better, you know, when you can start having conversations with them. And they ask you the most simple and profound questions and you have to explain it. And it just gives even more perspective to your own life. My son is ever since he was a little kid. I come in the room instead of watching cartoons. He's watching documentaries if forms his own very rational opinions on things than I don't know. I just love him for that. I think that's great is not tainted by me, in my opinion. My daughter is really she does is different tech camps. You know for girls soldering things or programming as she's just a natural unit. She sits down within show program robots to a certain course or program characters in a game. But she's also very social will walk through the store Chelsea people immer school and Bill say heidiwear, she remembers everyone's name we like checking out dank names, man. Mets thing. Look to say show me your names, like show me some funny Namespace they love memes in YouTube videos, anyway. About a year after our divorce ahead some shin. Armor implants, I had a doctor's appointment. I asked my to take the kids review hours. I got back and she was supposed to return them at a certain time, and they still weren't home. So I was calling texting. White anything? Then eventually, I'm sorry, rich. They're staying with me either gonna have more night again. Bring it back around the cops. And she said forget about is like I call please. My wife got my kids involved in therapy. The therapist was basically told that I was self mutilating in order to become a more. Perfect beings today is Friday September the first twenty seventeen. We're here in a matter of levers Slee. She took me to court. To take the kids away from me forever. Did your legal counsel rely on any legal precedents regarding by hacking of anything like that? No. Because there is none. I count some case law for him decide, but it involves a transgender person. And then my attorney look at it. And he says, I'm not showing this to the judge. I mean, this is a conservative Mormon judge. My family moved around a lot. I went to five different high schools by the time. I hit eleventh grade. I just moved to this new school, you know, as really behind dinner Sam what was going on. We went to a new church, and I wasn't making unique friends. I hated it there. So I moved in with friends and would smoke pot during all the time. I stopped going to church completely. I was just going to continue to Livingston have these desires couldn't as a teenager. You know, control. Racked with guilt because I was just living wicked lifestyle, you know, looking back. It was totally mild totally normal teenager stuff. He was living with friends family in his all town and got a job washing dishes during the graveyard shift. Then he's friends mum, quote, them smoking pot. She basically said that it's time for you to go home. And then I just thought. Wow, I'm I'm gonna get in trouble for all the things that I've done, and then I'm going to be back in that shitty. School. So I just snuck out she was busy yelling at ERC kids. You're getting corron walking. Mocking bring other packed up. All my stuff into the back of my little tiny pickup truck. She didn't notice then I got in the car and took off went to work that night. And then just started sleeping in the back of the truck. He's letting these two hundred dollar truck for a month to one night. Rich finished wack came back. And he's truck was gone along with everything yearned. As devastated I thought somebody stole it. But it turned up. My dad have extra key by that just said, hey. Coming home. I was just convinced that I was gonna go to hell. God's gonna return light the world on fire. The righteous will be taken up, and you know, the wicked Lieber at that point. I didn't want it to happen. Of course. I thought I really hope that he doesn't come tomorrow. When do you feel like you lost faith in religion privy that was a gradual process? I really started to think of a maybe the Mormon religion isn't true. Maybe it was other religions out there that are when I started investigating other religions like Buddhism, witchcraft all kinds of things. After taking a certain drug. I just realize don't this is all Olshan. God was just a chemical in my brain that part of my brain. It mean shut off with certain types of drugs. So I lost religion. And I became a Nathan. When I was in my early twenties. I was gonna live attorney and have an or in hell I'd have turn life as something that I wanted to just live for thirty years or whatever then die. And so I felt really cheated. So naturally, I just fell back into future ISM looking at things. Like the Jetsons. An reading about the latest and greatest in medical Vance's science was my replacement for God at this point. I think science is the answer. Someday, they're gonna make that's going to let you live forever, and people will just take it. And that's it. But what if it's really expensive? Maybe I should devote my life to relate saving a lot of money. So that when it does become available. I'll be able to afford it by now he was married, and he's wife was less enthusiastic. She was just gonna dismissive about it. But whatever chirpy wanna live over grade that she wasn't herself onboard with living over there that was a little bit crazy how much money will you thinking that you might need. I figured I'd need a few million to be on as Michael was five million. Wow. I figured I could live comfortably off the interest rates. Every morning five AM, the stock market's just speculating. I did pretty good. I didn't have any home runs. My father came to me. And he said you wanna go open up a office for this company importing supplements in China? To make a lot of money. I ended up being out there for about two years. Our daughter was born I moved back home to what I learned in went into those state markets. I found properties that we're like in lousy neighborhoods that people have just been collected. Pick these things up for like eight thousand dollars ten thousand dollars. And so I started buying all these properties in rehabbing them. So then I ran across the largest private property owner in the county. Trying to liquidate is for polio of hundred fifty six units in something like ninety different properties to get his big break reach needed money to pay the deposit. So he borrowed against the houses. He already had or rather he barred against what the houses would be worth when he finished renovating them. I my money into we having the properties that I did have. And I applied for a loan using the equity that I had in those properties as a down payment on the bigger project. So that I could get bigger piece of the five that's my big dream. But at this perfect storm of awful things that occurred. I I got a phone call from people that were giving me the loan. We have ever from your attorney and Marwood buzzing. So I'm trying to get a hold of him. Can't do it by. I'm freaking out. I had that was committing to some money. He. Ended up backing out. But the bigger thing is by contractor hadn't done a damn thing. I give them fifty percent down. I hear he went to Puerto Rico this point. I'm completely screwed. And then the real estate market's tanked. So I'm white out. I went one day for being set for life to having nothing all my savings from China. We're just wiped out. Afforded by extension therapies things like that. But it will just pass me up. Now. With no money and a wife that doesn't want me to take any risk whatsoever. Well, what what do I do? I don't see any way out. I thought my future was done for. I felt horrible. And I just went and got a job and just started the daily grind. It was around that time that my grandmother died. She was a really tough woman. She'd been through a lot. She wasn't the type to let you cry too much or let you wallow in misery. She she kinda get mad at you and say come on. There's no use in crying about it. Get over it. And let's get back to work. She was head of a hoarder. She had all these tubs plastic tubs full of magazines that she'd saved and these things span the nineteen forties through the nineteen ninety s I open these up, and I start flipping through into laughing hysterically at all this funny articles, then just out of instinct, I'm flipping into the science sections. And seeing them talk about artificial heart. You know, and all these different medical advances. That were being made there's an article saying we'll have two hundred year lifespan by the year nineteen ninety nine Bielby taking gently vacations on the moon the year two thousand the more. I read these things the more. I realize I've been putting a lot of faith in science, and that's something that nobody should ever. Do scientists require faith and people should be putting faith in science. It was kind of frightening because basically everything that they're saying in those articles, then they're saying the same thing in the articles now, and they've just adjusted the dates. Which is I guess what religions does while isn't it with the right, right? Getting. So basically, I looked at it. And I said, you know, what I'm no better off. Despacito waiting for the future to happen. Then waiting for the second coming of Christ and the apocalypse. I'm putting faith in something that I have zero control over. And so I panicked because I thought while these people who read this magazine back in nineteen fifty two and thought if they could just hold out till nineteen ninety nine they would have two hundred year lifespan all this before dead. If there was some medical intervention the became available. What are the chances? Hey that I could afford it or be that it would even be approved within my lifetime with all the red tape and cybernetic enhancements. There's no companies out there that were making these iber Natick enhancements for people who wanted elective surgery to become cyborgs the legal ability involving these things is just astronomical. If I wanted any of these dreams come true as going to have to do it myself. Every year. There's a film festival in the middle of nowhere Utah. The year that I went out that the was like Tokyo monster. They have these small celebrities be list or just strange people. So one of these people her name was poppy, a foreigner. She's come to the US to go to college. And she gets tonsillitis shit is an operation, but you can't afford it. She doesn't know what to do. So she goes starts researching everything that she's gotta do to remove tonsils. She's got a mirror a scalpel. I'm assuming some kind of light. Okay. In a bottle, whiskey or something? And she does it. She removes her own consuls. She seals up the wounds. Cauterize is them. Does everything yourself? Everyone was. Wow, this lady's. Crazy me, I'm just thinking. Wow. Here's somebody who's not a doctor who went out research all these things and did it and not only that but many doctors examined her and complimented her on what an exquisite job she had done. I remember meeting poppy and just thinking. Wow. This is one of the coolest people I've ever met rich found out about grinding online in the biohacking community grinders. The do it yourself punks that don't white for anything to be approved. Thank. Experiment by implanting things right into their bodies since I found out about the your magnet thing. I looked in the point -ment and drove eight hours to go get women stalled I couldn't help. But notice the kind of parallel between like your favorite character in x men being magneto. And then your first peration being a magnet in your own hand. All right. Yeah. That was related possibly. I thought that was an amazing power. I mean, I can bottlecaps up and paper clips things like that. That's that's about the extent of it. He also had an NFC chip in his hand which can be used like a K to wirelessly unlock doors stotka or be used instead of a password for phones computers or other devices a buyer themm Japanese forum keeps track of his temperature and stores information like a sort of wireless. Thumb drive. He's also working on a vibrating paints cold the love Tra nine thousand but riches signature implants, the ones he's most famous for the wireless headphones in his ease. Actually imperceptibly implanted in the pot of his ES cold the tracks the pointy bits in front of the halls. Head bone implants in two different audio devices music phone calls during from a distance here through walls. Listen to my wife's heartbeat guy. Your tender and listen to Asian to metal detectors. I'd hooked up some contact microphones down by ankle out walking. And I just heard of moving light really heavy. Footsteps, and I kept looking behind me to see who was sneaking up on me. Eventually quite a ways down the road. I see this woman should just jogging and get your footsteps like thunder. Basically, nobody could sneak up humming. You. So you guys head kids. What do they think about biohacking? They used to think it was the coolest thing in the world. I'd go to school and if bring their friends, hey, come out, my cyborg dad, a little party tricks were just say, I'm gonna put my finger in your ear. Don't freak out. And they'll be able to hear the audio to who ritual. Ready had magnet vinca only needed turn that magnet into a speaker was a coil a wound up, but while that looks kind of like a spring, so he planted a coil behind the magnet and his finger was a speaker it picked up the radio waves coming out of his e phone implants. And it's freezing league clear is such a weird thing. This one of the things you can have just experience. In twenty fifteen rich and his wife got divorced. We have been together. Seventeen years. Basically got. Together with her high school friend. Like left me for him. Your whole world changes in when you have kids involved too. It's not. It's not just two people. Splitting up. He's got a whole family Inco. How am I going to break them news? Those horrible time my life. After the divorce rich, and his ex wife shed custody of the kids a rotating schedule of one week with H parent about a year after divorce. I had this implant procedure on my shins. My ex wife saw this video online that I had. As became triggered. Basically. Why do you think she so the shin procedures different to your other procedures the thing? I think that trigger was seeing them out of pain that I went through which was considerable those pretty guiding. But the. It's something I really wanna done. So I got tough. And I just for it. I think she was going to shock by that the other procedures. She didn't see my kids. Never saw the video. They've never seen any kind of procedure or anything like that. They saw the stitches that were on my legs and bandages gross. And then douse it. My wife, basically went into third business. This is whether that's doing putting metal my body in trying to transform myself into some divine being or something. The kids perspective of their dad was just radically changed. It went from the being a guy who had cool weird powers that you would introduce your friends to to. That's got this problem. We don't really like to talk about. But it's essentially traumatizing. My not somebody who self mutilates. I don't sell farm. I'm not biohacking to cope or Gill with any kind of emotional situation. I'm also not a masochist. I don't Dr joy from inflicting pain on myself. Let's just something that is part of the process is go with it. Because that's what has to be done in the end. It's worth it's like a tattoo for the first twenty years of his life reach being preparing for judgment as a moment. Now, he found himself standing trial as a cyborg and it wasn't looking good for him. Will you worried about potentially setting a precedent regarding by hacking? Well, something I actually wanted to do. I don't want somebody might position again reach felt that if he didn't set a precedent in this case, it could divert by hackers to second class citizens, but with no legal president in very little money. He was struggling he set up a fundraising page online and managed rise about eight thousand dollars mostly from the buyer hacking community, he used the. Money to fly in two experts on by hacking to testify things that I was doing. We're not crazy in other people are getting similar things. And if these pursuits of science and discovery the majority of my legal was based around biohacking, the judge pull this on her second day of court biohacking. I don't find troubling biohacking middle. Find troubling let skip all this talk about bio. Hi, I'm sick of hearing about. Two screws in my ankle and leg because of a motorcycle accident cornea transplants. Both is frankly that really wasn't an issue to me is I don't think it's that bad. Do you think that that might have set a legal principle almost because then he went on to say like the responded does or doesn't do with his body's not an issue in this case, unless it affects the children negatively in on a whole, I find it hasn't been doesn't. In fact, they were kind of proud of that their dad had some things made him kinda cool. The judges final words on it were kinda unrewarding to just said biohacking. It wasn't a part of my consideration might decision. It seems to me. It was a good thing for bio hackers in the future because he's saying it's not a threat to the children. Yeah. In a way to you feel. Good about that. I think what he said was attorneys inadequate job of showing that it was a harm or that. It was safe to the children. I feel kind of cheated in this too because I don't think that it was said in such a way that it's going to help people out. But I mean, I could be on. I guess it didn't said damaging president right where you are at about that at any point. Oh, absolutely. I am a hundred percent positive that. If I didn't have my expert witnesses there, it would have any disaster for transmit is by whacking. So we did a good job of defending the 'cause I've also found evidence that he's a good dad. He loves his kids. He wants historians ever write books, documenting the cyborg civil rights with riches case might be remembered as the best to go to court, but it wouldn't be the last recently Austrailia meow Luda disco gamma meow meow successfully appealed the. Fiction. Brought by the state government of New South Wales for implanting chip extracted from public transport boss back in twenty twelve. Steve men might have been the first victim of cyber crime. When he was assaulted by employees at McDonalds wearing an old mental reality headset implant sort of precursor to Google glass after rich had two days. He felt he was the victim of a more traditional brand of discrimination. These arguments oppositions that Richardson atheist therefore he doesn't have a moral compass. I thought maybe rich was exaggerating here. But it's true. The exact quote was Richard has openly rejected not only the idea of personal morality, but the very religious tradition upon which western morality is based he insisted that the children be raised in an atheist environment. He has openly stated his contempt for religion. The factors that court needs to look at is the past conduct and demonstrated moral standards of the parties. Everybody knows people positions of power. Here are Mormon for the most part much was made about the respondents alleged easiest lifestyle. In somehow that would not be beneficial to the children, they're closing statements that I was an atheist and therefore had no moral compass is so insulting. But the courts totally Belfort. I don't know that either party can take a high moral ground. At least the petitioner stated that she would like to give her kids the chance to accept or reject religion wouldn't allow the kids or your wife to go to church during the marriage while this cord can't take any position on religion. At least petitioner would flight to give the kids chance choice. A not sure that respondent would be willing to do that. Mike it's been raised atheist. And so, of course, I'm objecting to that simply because put on a roll when I sit higher than you that doesn't make me. Infallible. These decisions for custody are. Hard. I believe and find that it is in the kids. Best interest to have Mambi the primary custodial parent. After the weekend. I want to new arrangement to start. All right. We're reasons. And listen religion wasn't the only factor in the judge's decision. But it did richest guys like she named plant rejected by subcutaneous tissue. He'd been cost out again, and it left him with even less trust in the institutions around him. What drives you now? What are your goals at the moment in your life? Right now is the time because I've lost my kids. I'm still in court battles trying to negotiate what I'm allowed to do that. My kids are in therapy. I don't get to see him that much. Now, I've got roommates. I'm single I'm still it'd they job. I'm just barely making ends knee. I've got this child support burden which I'm happy to pay me wrong is just more than I was spending. When I actually had the kids in custody. So life is really kinda lousy. I have all these projects. Wanna do? I want implants that detect other devices around me, I want gene modifications for solar power skin. I want infrared vision I want older by vision. I want to be able to fix my damn color. Blindness muscles deteriorate I wanna longer lifespan. But you know, it's hard to get investors for these. I still want to be aside. We're gonna mutant. So what drives me now is kind of revenge. Every morning I wake up, and I say fuck the or I say what the USDA or. The medical system because I got a Bill from them for some bullshit. I probably get myself or. For the orthodontist. Honestly, I'm grooving by revenge and revenge, but like I want to. All the things that I wanted first place. I want improved might oh Kandari of I want a digestive system. That's more efficient neck in just a wider range of materials and calories implants for hearing things that distance. I want implants for you know, my love I want all kinds of things. I've got a ton. Just got all these barriers constant set of hurdles government regulation, financial restraints. I'm just this off honestly, but I get up, and I think how am I gonna figure out a way around. For him. I. Just going do end up in jail. I don't know. Rich says the Jane modification injection from the start of this episode didn't change Jane's, but his body compensated for the changes now, he's working on projects involving stem cells a huge, thanks to rich for speaking. With me for this episode. Thanks also to Sydney's to office putting series and thanks Jason lacunae Maria cost the and Rebecca Clave for their constructive feedback. If you want to get in, touch, you can Email sound of mind podcast at J, mail dot com. Also, thanks to all of you who recommended this podcast to your social media, followers, and your friends. It's made huge difference. Really noticed. The numbers bump up the podcast is still starting out. So at this point, even just telling one person who goes on to tell someone else, etc. Can make a huge difference down the track. So please casually this podcast into a conversation over the coming week. My name is Lawrence bull. And you've been listening to sound of mind.