I highly recommend this editorial by Cory Doctorow about the dangers of allowing a small number of people — such as big companies — to control how everyone’s computer, smart phone, etc., operates. I especially like his conclusion, modeled on Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics:
But we’ll only arrive at those solutions once we stop reflexively demanding limits on the general functionality of a PC and a network â€“ and the sooner we do, the sooner we’ll legitimize a technology world whose first rule is “Obey your owner” and whose second rule is “Protect your owner’s interests”.
In case it isn’t obvious, self-experimentation and personal science increase your control of your body, just as Doctorow wants each person to control the technology they own. Without self-experimentation and personal science — and their ability to solve health problems in a way best for you — you give control over your body to doctors, drug companies, medical school professors, nutritionists, alternative-medicine advocates, and many others whose interests differ from yours. Often the difference is large — drug companies prefer expensive dangerous solutions to cheap safe ones.