the Quantified Non-Self or: Please soil your hand

A speculative future scenario considering micobiome editing and its application potential to the antiobiotic crisis. It predicts a solution of the antibiotic crisis by widespread use of genetically modified microbes. With powerful and ubiquitously available sequencing and synthesis of DNA, the microbiome can be edited in a way that renders today classical hygiene and medical products like soap and antibiotics useless. The scenario questions the perception of our microbial environment and hygiene behaviour and proposes the concept of the “Quantified non-self” as an extension of the idea of the quantified self. Taking up evolving microbioal ecosystems and the widespread existance of horizontal gene transfer into cultural practises requires a change of thinking and habits. Those changes are playfully compared to paradigm changes like the emergence of a new religious belief system or the Copernican revolution.