The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has put up $65 million to see if they can find a way to hook up people’s brains to computers (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/darpa-computer-plug-in-brains-lost-vision-hearing-speech-restore-us-military-r-n-d-research-neural-a7835131.html). Five grants will be handed out to five assorted research bodies.
Now, I do hate conspiracy theories. But what we have here is a lot of talk about “developing an implantable system to provide precision communication between the brain and the digital world” and it’s going to have all these wonderful peachy-keen medical applications. We also get some muttering about using new technology to produce “super soldiers.” I’m sure The Outer Limits did an episode about that in the 1960s.
So here we go again, this time actually putting up money for it–the Smart Science dream of half-human, half-computer supermen.
And again, the thing is, we already know this is a very bad idea! “Colonel, I demand to know why my soldiers are marching backwards!” “Well, gee, General, we just plugged ’em into Lee’s computer.” “Confound it, Colonel! Yesterday you plugged them into Susan’s computer and they all forgot how to put their shoes on!” You can see the potential.
And it always comes wrapped up in a lovely promise of great strides in medicine, nobody gonna be sick no more, doo-dah…
The only silver lining on this cloud is that $65 million, in the scheme of things these days, won’t go very far. They’ll burn their way through that in a week.
And we know it’s a terrible idea. Every instinct cries against it.
Maybe, just for once, we ought to listen. God gave us those instincts for a reason.