Order the print edition of Issue 2: BETTER BODIES here.
Issue 2 of MONTAG deals with a future where we're increasingly intertwined with our machines - and we all become cyborgs. After all, we're already close to a world where machines are essentially parts of our bodies: if you wear your smartwatch or fitness tracker day and night, then it's just a matter of making that clasp permanent.
With that small leap in mind, the features and short fiction in this issue look into technology that is both comfortably close and more than a little unnerving.
If you could take drugs to make you smarter, would you? What if your brain-implant got hacked? Would you grow new body parts that are better than the ones you have now?
At what point do we stop being "human"?
TODAY'S DYSTOPIA: A Scanner Darkly
How close have we really come to this version of Orange County in 1994? More than twenty years later, here's how the drugs, tech, and politics stack up.
The power of music and soft brain hacking:
Our brains are hard-wired to respond to music in certain predictable ways – and we can hack our brains with sound.
MONTAG FICTION: Lovely Weather We're Having
The year is 2200.
You check your phone before getting out of bed to prepare yourself for the day. Choose your own adventure.
TODAY'S DYSTOPIA: Blade Runner
In MONTAG's fifth look into yesterday’s tomorrow’s dystopias today we grapple with the sci-fi classic Blade Runner: a movie whose stature continues to grow as the years pass.
Consume young blood, live longer: It's time to embrace your inner vampire
Joe Sparrow finds out that in the search for youthfulness, researchers may have found a magic potion: young people's blood...
You Can't Take It With You: Future Funereal Practices
Our traditional "burn or bury" options seem a little dated when you could be freeze dried and turned into plant food, compressed into a diamond, or shot into space
Miracle cures not needed: can smart thinking change more lives than smart technology?
The big leaps don’t have to be miracle cures. Joe Sparrow finds out how there are plenty of lives being changed – right now – using tech that’s not particularly revolutionary in itself, except in the ways it is being used...
I Want A New Drug
Kathryn Lawrence takes a look at how old drugs are being used in new ways, and how future drugs may be used less as a way to get out of it, and more as a route to get something more out of life...
This didn't write itself: Automation is coming for your creative job too
Joe Sparrow argues we should be grateful, not fearful, for the advent of automation, which is already replacing the most repetitive of human jobs – and is coming for the ones you might not think can be automated...
Skin Deep Wearable Technology
What if your wearable technology was not something you wore on your skin, but under it? Kathryn Lawrence looks into a world of skin-deep wearables.
MONTAG FICTION #008: Rijnkileak
In the fictional future of Rijnkileak, information can be stored directly onto chips implanted in the brain – but what happens if that information gets corrupted?
Organ donor to organ cloner: Grow your own body parts
Joe Sparrow looks at the astonishing technology to grow organs that exists right now – and adds a few new parts
to his shopping list...
Sell yourself, part 2: your body
It isn't only organs being traded on the open or the black market; there are many, many parts of your body you can sell, several of which you can part with painlessly (and live!) ...and did you ever wonder who’s buying?
Biohacking, Part 2: You are what you eat
Rooting around the world of biohacking will inevitably lead you to the question of ethics. In Part One,
Sean Fleming discovered how many of us are already unwittingly biohacking our bodies. But beyond data, the next level of biohacking is intensely risky, but can bear life-changing results.
TODAY'S DYSTOPIA: Johnny Mnemonic
In MONTAG's fourth look at yesterday’s tomorrow’s dystopias today, we dip into a cyberpunk classic.
Ray Against The Machine: Transhumanism’s savant-prince has called time on humanity
Disclaimer: this is going to get very weird, very fast. By 2040, we’ll most probably be spending most of our time in "full-immersion virtual reality". Or at least, that's what Transhumanists think.
Sell yourself! Part 1: your data In Part One
of her look into the market value of our personal data, Kathryn Lawrence asks whether in the future we'll be able to profit off our own invisible data stream. And in Part Two, she'll look at other, more tangible, human byproducts...
The Quantified Self: biohacking, guerrilla data, and our self-health future
In the first of a two-part look at the biohacking community, Sean Fleming starts at the very beginning – and it turns out he's already a biohacker, and so, probably, are you.
The Wild World Of Human Augmentation
Who has already added things to their body?
What do they do? Why did they do it? MONTAG's Kathryn Lawrence peers under the skin to find out what it takes to become a cyborg.
The bleeding edge: lab-grown burgers will change how you eat forever
Even when nutritionally-perfect food replacements are readily available, most people's idea of a slap-up meal involves singeing some flesh on a hot piece of metal. So if we're not going to give up meat, should we be using technology to give up the cruelty and death that comes with it?
MONTAG FICTION #006: Ransomwear
When our laptops are hacked, we feel violated. In "Ransomwear," we find out that when our wearables are hacked, we might feel something closer to terror..