A bout two weeks ago I did a little series of video blogs that I called "Playing DARPA," an exercise of the imagination of what it would be like to be a part of an organizational culture dedicated to thinking outside the box, and to brainstorming new technologies and thinking carefully about how they would transform culture, society, economics, and political and other institutional structures. With that in mind, here is one from the Washington Post to ponder carefully:
Rather than focus on business and advertizing applications of the emerging capabilities of neuroscience, imagine its potential for an agency like DARPA, as it could easily lend a solid scientific foundation to some principles and techniques of neuro-linguistic programming, enhance the capabilities of electronic and electromagnetic stimulation of the brain to induce emotional states, influence behavior, modify habits of thought. The potentials in military applications alone would make such advances a subject of worthy of careful study by an agency like DARPA, and indeed, my co-author Dr Scott D. de Hart and I spend some time exploring precisely this aspect of things in our forthcoming book Transhumanism: A Grimoire of Alchemical Agendas for the Transformation of Man.
DARPA is indeed already involved in such research, and it takes little imagination to see why. With precise neuroscience and the development of appropriate technologies and techniques based upon it, one could modify the emotion - the morale - not only of one's own soldiers, but of any potential enemy's. Utilizing the "combinational" approach, .e., combining it with other technologies - genetic modification of physiology and physiological requirements for sleep, food, and so on, the performance characteristics of soldiers could be enhanced or inhibited.
And of course, as the Washington Post article implies, a vast expansion of propaganda capabilities would result. One can go further. By compiling statistical databases of aggregate behavior under such combinational techniques and technologies, models of aggregate behavior that would be incredibly accurate could be built up, and predictions of aggregate response to particular circumstances could then be made and refined utilizing principles of mathematical modeling being developed by physicists working in social sciences such as econophysics.
The advantages of such an approach are self-evident, for aggregate behavior to carefully defined circumstances - as would obtain in military actions - would be of incalculable value in operational and strategic military planning, and invaluable too in the prediction of the tactical and operational responses of potential enemies.
But, as I said, this research is already under way, and if one accepts the adage that what is known and talked about publicly lags far behind what is being done in covert research projects, one can only imagine that some of these combinational technologies and techniques, and the databases and predictive models, have already been fashioned.
Think I'm kidding? Well, then consider this, courtesy of phys.org:
See you on the flip side....