Quinn Norton has her sixth sense removed

Reporter Quinn Norton, who had a magnet implanted into her finger to allow her to ‘feel’ magnetic fields has finally had it removed – returning her to the normal world of the ‘five senses’.

We reported on the operation last year, and Norton wrote up her experiences in an extended Wired article that also looked at the role of body modification in extending the human sense range.

Norton notes that even though she glad she’s had the magnet removed (it wasn’t without problems – it broke up in her body and got infected) she still misses the extra sense:

In the background of all this are the questions the magnet led me to, the ones that make the magnet look pedestrian. Human augmentation and even advanced treatment really begin to erode at what we think humans are, in society, in the justice system, in medicine itself. What are we going to become inevitably is also the question of who we are now, and beginning to ask the former brings home how little we know about the later.

I’m excited and scared to be trying to find out. I miss my magnet, but I knew it wasn’t well understood when I started. I’m glad I know what a spinning drive and a ringing telephone wire feel like. I’m sad I can’t feel them anymore.

Link to Quinn Norton on losing her sixth sense.
Link to Wired article on magnet implant.

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