RoboGroid

Cheetah Meets Pinhead

by Edgar J. Steele

October 20 , 2003

This little news squib just slithered through the Internet without seeming to draw much attention:  Wired Monkey's Brain Controls Robot ( http://wcco.com/health/health_story_286183053.html )

Seems that some researchers at Duke University have inserted needles into the brains of monkeys, connected the needles to computers with wires, thence to robot arms, which the monkeys have learned to manipulate with thoughts alone.  Already, human trials have begun.  

With thoughts.  Imagine.  I didn't realize we had gotten there yet.  The rest is just engineering, of course.  I'm sure the whole shebang could be reduced simply to the size of a human arm with just today's technology.

I think this is momentous, akin to whenever the first really killer virtual reality application finally arrives:  first-person sex with gorgeous women (sorry, dear, the lawn will have to wait, because the new Claudia Schiffer DVD just arrived).

How long before we wire someone directly into a jet plane, with the pilot's thoughts monitoring all systems and thinking his missiles to their targets?  How long before we rescue a quadriplegic from a wheelchair and create the first true cyborg?  Or, have these things already been done, do you suppose?

Picture Stephen Hawking as the Terminator.

Imagine the impact an elite squadron of cyborg soldiers would have as a strike force.  Imagine an entire army.  In fact, already there have been several forgettable movies, like Universal Soldier, produced along these lines, starring the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kurt Russell.

How long before we are able to transplant just a human brain into a titanium alloy robot shell?  What will be the expected lifespan, do you suppose?

What will it be like, finally, to be released from the tyranny of the chemicals produced within the human body?  No testosterone, no estrogen, no pheromones, no adrenaline.  Will Seratonin, the manipulation of which is the whole point of drugs like Prozac,  still play a role in brain chemistry?

How long before it becomes a two-way street, with the computer capable of feeding data and images directly to the brain?  That is, after all, the basic premise of The Matrix movie series.

Imagine Alan Greenspan wired up to the financial markets.   Or George W. hooked directly to the American nuclear missile grid.  Or Rupert Murdoch and Michael Eisner connected directly to your children's brains.

Of course, all this conjecture might just be the mirror image of progress, you know.  Maybe technological progress is an illusion and actually indicative of a civilization in decline.

In their landmark book, "Forbidden Archeology," Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson make a compelling case for the human race being much, much older than conventional wisdom allows, with there having been several advanced civilizations before this, each torn asunder by, presumably, global catastrophes like mile-wide meteors, pole shifts or the eruption of supervolcanoes.  That would explain a great many things, the unduplicatable Great Pyramid among them, or that spark-plug-like-device found hundreds of feet below ground, encased in undisturbed coal which had formed around it and carbon dated to well before the Stone Age.  Or flash-frozen wooly mammoths found in the Siberian ice, standing upright and with seemingly fresh buttercups still frozen in their mouths.

Now Cremo has just come out with a new book, entitled "Human Devolution," in which he posits that humanity is not evolving.  In fact, says Cremo, we are devolving from something akin to angels.  As I look around myself in America today, I confess that Cremo's thesis certainly has merit.  Watch MTV for just an hour if you don't believe me.

And John Aschroft's Patriot Act certainly is no step forward.

I swear that people are getting stupider...and dumber...and far less aware, even, than just twenty years ago.  The blossoming of multiculturalism is proof positive.  We actually are importing African Bantus by the thousands into our midst, while denying visas to white South Africans trying to flee their wholesale slaughter at the hands of marauding blacks.  Yet, we grant amnesty to the flood of Mexicans already here illegally - and give them better medical care and education than most American citizens can afford for their own families.  Then we deport a model citizen like Ernst Zundel for offending the Chosen.

On every front, it seems the quality of life is declining, and at an accelerating pace - similar to how the vortex quickens just as the toilet bowl empties.  (For extra credit, identify the ethnic group that pushed the flush handle.)

Is it just me, or has there been a serious uptick in meteors, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes and the like just lately?  Feels like we are racing to a date with Destiny in the near future.  If it isn't an inbound Planet X, with the leading edge of its orbiting asteroids and assorted space clutter now impinging upon the solar system, according to some, then perhaps it is an overdue eruption from the Yellowstone supervolcano.  

I remember thinking of the far distant future when I was a very young child, perhaps age 3 or 4, looking toward the turn of the century, some 50 years hence at the time.  I recall thinking how hard it would be to live that long, yet feeling it was dreadfully important that I make it past the end of the century, that something monumental was then to happen.  These are not normal thoughts for a young child.  A degree of prescience seems to have run in my mother's family, by the way, including both my mother and myself.  I know what you're thinking.  No, I am not particularly given to all that woo-woo stuff.

In recent years, I yielded to an overwhelming compulsion to move my family away from the city and into the mountains of Northern Idaho.  Yet, even that isn't remote enough to suit me.

I wonder if Nature is about to press planet Earth's Reset button.  Actually, it's about time.  Nothing else seems likely to stop the neocons and America's slide into the abyss.

New America.  An idea whose time has come.

-ed

"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus

Copyright 2003, Edgar J. Steele

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