Grindfest 3: The Nature of Man

4/28/17 – 4/30/17


Main location: 19445 Adalante Court, Tehachapi CA, 93561

Off-site: 4/29/17 overnight trip by paintball participants to Ballarat, CA.

Grindfest 3 will be an exploration of violence and the nature of man. The intent is neither glorification or condemnation of violence but rather to open up discussion as to how augmentations will alter the form violence takes and how violence will alter the forms we create or adopt.

One might question what correlation is being made between grinding and violence. As Grinders, it’s vital to account for our hereditary inheritance. Pan troglodytes chimps demonstrate a surprising level of tactical cooperation in the wars they wage. Domesticated and wild felines alike are known to torture even after their hunger is sated and they have no intention of feeding. Nietzsche created a vision of man as a transitional species; a rope stretched between animal and superman. Admittedly, the variety of superman most grinders aspire to is probably more DC comics then misogynist German aristocrat; however, on a superficial level the drive is the same. Mankind needs an upgrade. We need to be better and we won’t get there by denying the existence of our base animal inclinations.

Grindfest 3 is meant to be as apolitical as possible. There is no agenda beyond the promotion of dialogue and collaboration in the biohack community. Misanthropists and pacifists alike are welcome. Violence is a heavy theme and were it any other group of people I wouldn’t choose it. This hesitance is because I understand suffering and that trivializing it can lead to an increased tolerance for it.

For our purposes this is to discuss the instinctual drive to survive, to experience first hand how we channel our innate aggressions into games, and to create…Lets share our skills and ideas in order to make some really cool shit happen. Our treatment of this subject is intended to be serious discussion and innovation mixed with having some fun. We as grinders are trying to create the future. A better future potentially free of the ills that lead to violence. We are so serious about this that we’re willing to risk our health and our lives in self experimentation. It’s uncharacteristic for me to quote the Bible, but I think 1 Corinthians 6:12 explains it best. “Everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial.” So come out and have fun. Blow some things up in the desert. Laugh at people hurting each other and debate why physical humor is found in most societies. Channel your instinctual drive to survive the paintball war. More importantly though use this as an opportunity to create. Yes, violence has always been a part of life, moreover a part of what it means to be human. But Grinding empowers us to redefine what it means to be human. Let’s talk about that too.

Day One 4/28: Grindfest starts at the Auglim Lab. Along with the normal trove of collaborative projects and modification, we’ll be examining the more insidious expressions of violence — it doesn’t always take the form of physical force causing bodily injury. Volunteers will be undergo psychological, physical and/or pharmacological methods of interrogation. We’ll be competing for prizes to see who can last the longest and trying to find ways to circumvent or overcome the associated discomfort via biohacks.

Day Two 4/29:  Everyone  will be heading to Ballarat, California. This is a ghost town in a valley of the Panamint Mountains. Once the caravan arrives and camp is set we’ll spend the day firing both conventional and unconventional weapons at ballistic gelatin people and trialing armors against these munitions. As night falls, we’ll be dividing into two teams for a Grinder paintball war. This war is more than mere faux violence; it’s an opportunity to pit each teams augments and innovations against the others. One team will be focused on defense while the other will be on the offense. This war will end when either the offensive team takes the flag back to camp or the sun rises while the flag remains in the possession of the defensive team.

Day Three 4/30: The morning of the 30th the Ballarat caravan will return to the Auglim lab for some much earned rest and relaxation interspersed with brainstorming sessions and lectures. Take a dip in the sensory deprivation tank while waiting to have the latest Grinder tech implanted. To contrast the preceding violent days, volunteers will be trialing intranasal oxytocin, a hormone known to increase sympathy and facilitate emotional bonding. We’ll end our ‘fest with a feast designed around the use of Miraculin, a glycoprotein known for its ability to make acidic foods taste sweet. With miraculin, even the sourest of citrus fruits are a delicious dessert. We may not be able to escape from the violence in our genome, but perhaps through grinding and augmentation we’ll find a way to overcome or modify them…turning our inherited behavioral lemons into lemonade.

Things to do and see:

Talk or Teach sessions – you should sign up for a timeslot and tell/show us something

Experiment stations – different things to try out on yourself or others

Working on projects (bring your supplies!)

Implants and Piercings – if you want an implant let @Cassox know now and get on the schedule

Paintball war – Make sure to bring any weapons and supplies you intend to use and sign up early so you can collab with your team

Getting there:

If arriving by plane, LAX or Bakersfield are your best bets. You’ll still need a car/ride after that. For everyone needing a ride (which is everyone) carpooling is active, check out the forum thread or the spreadsheet.

Drivers – It’s out in the middle of nowhere and Google maps doesn’t play nice.

Cyberlass’ Cheat:
Set the GPS to get you to the Save Mart grocery store: 841 Tucker Rd, Tehachapi, CA 93561
Once there, set the GPS for the Lab 19445 Adalante Court, Tehachapi CA 93561 and it will get you there the sane way.

Where to Stay:

At the Lab – There is a big living room with plenty of floor space available, so bring a sleeping bag and you’re set. Just make sure you like cats — they will sleep on you. It’s also nice and warm at night if anyone wants to bring a tent. There is a big kitchen, BBQ grill, five acres to roll around in like a puppy, and of course the work space.

In Town – The other option is one of the three hotels in town about 10 min away. You can probably find some people to go in on a room with.

Last time a lot of people crashed here, saved their hotel monies and chipped in on resources (like food and toilet paper or whatever) and had a great time. One way or another we’ll make it work.

Important Info:

This is in a small rural community. Go 10mph – no tearing up the ol’ dirt roads and keep your shit chill. The neighbors will remember and they have guns. Keep your eyes out for dogs, cats, coyotes, deer, and tourists. People who consume EtOH will have their keys taken.

If you smoke, we will have cans with dirt and you need to keep it segregated. Open flames outside of the smoking area will be met with a splash of whatever I have in my hand, regardless if the fire is in your face or not.

There is absolutely no smoking or eating in or around the lab area. No open toed shoes in the lab area.

We have 4 cats and a special door system so that they don’t get outside and get eaten by owls or coyotes. We may lock them up. If you release a cat, @cassox will remove your head from your body.

Things to Bring:

Bring all your hardware. There is one anemic RadioShack and a Home Depot. If you run out of something, you may be out of luck. Donations for BBQ and supplies will be met with positive feedback.

When it’s all over be sure to share photos, videos and great stories. Also please let me know what you liked, what you hated, what you want, what you really really want…