Recently I got into an interesting conversation with my friend Joseph about what unique mods could be done in his ear — that’s it on the left in the photo — since it has a slightly atypical shape, almost like a pointed ear. But what really blew my mind was when he showed me a picture of his brother’s ear (that’s it on the right), which has a similar but more pronounced atypical shape. Their younger brother apparently has a similar ear as well. The even stranger part of the story is that it only affects their left ears! So what do you think? Is there a gene that we could select for that would let people be born with pointed ears? Or do you agree with my sneaking suspicion that Joseph’s parents are mad scientists that have been doing experiments on their boys? It would explain their 400 IQ and ability to bench press a car. Either way, it’s pretty cool being born with naturally “modified” ears — how funny is it that they could probably show up at a tattoo convention and get people coming up and saying, “I love your ears? Who did the work?”
But seriously, I often think that genetic engineering is the future of human modification, once we get over our ethical hangups. It’ll never replace body modification of course because it completely removes the individual expression from the equation (since your genes are dictated by those who create you), but when it comes to really transforming ourselves, there’s not much that compares to genetic manipulation. Hell, it turned us from ape-like primates — from some sort of fish — from single-celled nothings — into the pinnacle of planetary dominance and destruction we are now. Don’t believe me? Ask Khan Noonien Singh! Bring on the Eugenics Wars! Create the Augments!