Let's imagine that through the application of advanced biotechnology and cybernetics, humans in the 23rd century have created a sort of machine mitochondria that lives inside a person's cells and codes for the natural growth of artificial structures in the body. People are born with these machines already living inside them (again, much like mitochondria) and because of them, radical body-modding has become possible, creating a wide variety of morphological subcultures and clades of humans living in orbital habitats around Earth and Mars (for a deeper explanation and exploration of these theoretical concepts, watch Isaac Arthur's video on Bioforming & Gene-Tailoring on Youtube).

These 23rd century men and women may be born with or develop naturally as they grow such amazing abilities and adaptations like biometal claws and fangs, bones laced with graphene, eyes that can see wavelengths never meant for human eyes, extra ATP or denser (maybe even synthetic) muscle tissue, and even complex telepathic neural implants that communicate via radio waves and are grown from a person's own tissue. Some may choose to become even stranger, further modifying their bodies and their genes to incorporate features like fur and scales, and various natural weapons like venom glands or a secreted poison. But for some reason, a lot of people just want to be taller.

Why is this? What reasons would someone have to want to be eight or ten feet tall (assuming our mastery over the new flesh has allowed us to circumvent the limitations placed on people who are born today with conditions that cause abnormal height)? Are any of them practical? Or is wanting to be a giant strictly a confidence booster or intimidation tactic?

  • $\begingroup$ May I ask how tall you are? $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Feb 22 '17 at 5:50
  • $\begingroup$ 6' to 6'1'' depending on the day, it seems like. $\endgroup$ – Z.Schroeder Feb 22 '17 at 5:53
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    $\begingroup$ thus you belong to the taller half of the crowd. Being, like me, around 170cm (only 12cm shorter in height) can sometimes be infuriating when you're simply overlooked or a girl dismisses you on the basis that she'd be taller than you. $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Feb 22 '17 at 5:58
  • $\begingroup$ It's already highly impractical to be only 20% larger (or shorter) than the average population. An eight feet human would weight ~500pounds at the same proportions, need at least twice the amount of food, special housing, etc. OK if everybody is so high, but you don't want to be among the first five percent. Will never happen. $\endgroup$ – Karl Feb 22 '17 at 7:11

Eight feet is still vaguely within the range of human heights before one gets into serious giant territory.

Tall people look imposing. There's actually a fairly significant prejudice towards tall people (esp. men) and against short people.

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    $\begingroup$ Dating choices are not prejudice, you can only mount a single ATM at one height, and a porch roof that does not endanger seven feet high men's hairdo makes everybody else stand in the rain. Please don't use the word "prejudice" carelessly. $\endgroup$ – Karl Feb 22 '17 at 7:01

We sometimes tend to forget that our body is a carefully balanced system. Changing it by adding features which were not comprised in the original release may significantly hamper the long term performance (see for reference long term effects of doping, where i.e. using synthetic thestosterone leads in shrinking of testicles).

You want to grow scales or fur? Good luck regulating your temperature by sweating.

Anyway, possible reasons for hacking the body? Plenty of them, just look at why would one use doping. There are jobs for which a taller/faster/stronger body is definitely an advantage. Are you in masonry? Well, if you can work 8 hours at twice the pace of a non hacked man, you are worth more because you can build a double lenght of wall in the same time. Are you in cooking? Engineering your body to handle higher temperatures may help you in doing better.

Long story short: greed sounds like a good reason for vast scale body hacking.

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  • $\begingroup$ See McCarthy's Queendom of Sol novels. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Feb 22 '17 at 9:04

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