PLAYING DARPA IN THE BRAVE NEW (TRANSHUMANIST CYBORG) WORLD
Before you rush out and get that brain chip implant you've been so craving, or upgrade your Pentium Cerebellum Enhanced Scanning and Memory Aide, ponder this one, and some the the implications:
Scientist with RFID chip Gets Computer Virus
This bit of news has to have the modern Peter Lorre's, Vincent Price's, Boris Karloff's, and Bela Lugosi's who work for DARPA rubbing their hands together in mad scientist cackling glee as they contemplate yet more possible transhumanist cyborg futures.
Already, as readers here are aware, some transhumanists envision a future where one's entire life memory can be downloaded to a computer chip or other storage device, and then uploaded into a nice shiny brand new body full of nanobots and wondrous genetic modifications designed to ensure health and longevity, and, voila, a kind of instant, virtual immortality and reincarnation all at once: ancient myth made modern reality by the means of science and technology. As we wrote in the preface to Dr. de Hart's and my The Grid of the Gods:
Modern science is but a technique of the imagination to bring into reality the operations of the magical intellect and the mythologies of the ancients, with consistent and predictable regularity. (The Grid of the Gods, p. iii.)
With the implicit mention of the power of the gods, one can imagine the endless vistas of powerlust opened to the twisted minds who envision the "dark side" of the cyborg future: one could literally infect vast population groups with computer viruses to delete or rearrange those downloaded and uploaded memory files at will, or, for that matter, shift such memory files from one person to another, write in new or false memories of things that never happened, turn on or turn off various reasoning or emotive faculties of the "host brain"... the possibilities are endless.
A whole new industry - cyborg security - would be spawned, dwarfing the current industry of security software designed to make the Microsh*t operating systems "secure" (we all know the real answer: buy a Mac). A whole new branch of identify theft protection would be spun out of the current business; insurance companies would have a field day of a whole new area of premiums to collect...
... not to mention the possibilities for espionage - with or without the knowledge of the implantee (sort of makes you wonder about all those abductees with their implants, and what the implants are really monitoring)...
The bottom line is this: this world is coming, like it or not. And like all technologies, it has its goods, and evils. And with all due respect to those transhumanists who believe in the heaven or hell versions of the singularity scenario, it's beginning to look very much like we have yet another via media on our hands, and that we will simply have to muddle through...
See you on the flip side.
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“…one could literally infect vast population groups with computer viruses to delete or rearrange those downloaded and uploaded memory files at will, or, for that matter, shift such memory files from one person to another, write in new or false memories of things that never happened, turn on or turn off various reasoning or emotive faculties of the “host brain”…”
“History” becomes an instantaneous and material process.
Quite a significant notion, no?
Even so, is it possible to create and manipulate information so brazenly within the context of Print Culture—in which the printed word is tacitly ascribed supreme authority on truth, “reality”, etc.)? How might this shift affect the current cultural modes of communication?
If such a shift effectively allows the creation of “reality” through an interface involving computer code and the human brain, via the creation and implantation of synthetic experience, then will written and literal language convey less (perceived) inherent authority or perhaps even become obsolete?
To put it succinctly: If the purpose of language is to communicate personal experience, what happens to language itself once “personal experience” is objectified and synthesized, and no longer subjective and variable?
Via media, or via Medea… this world IS coming.
good one John Q, except there are those that are extremly allergic to lies….in effect they look for them in the stories…..its a divine thing….and that will be the liars undoing….by the lower beings when they are awoken…… irony supreme.
Your other comment is well thought out, or perhaps (in all due respect) repeated, nano technology is a near perfected very ancient science.
Chips are old hat, bio engineered metallic fungi are the way to go. Easily infected, impossible to eradicate (permeates whole body), heavy metals tend to migrate to the brain and perect transducers of informational waves. Perfect human antennas.
but the question remains: will these implants be compatible with my shiny darpa developed focus ribbon?
The hackers will bring these shifty skin-walkers down. Already I’ve heard talk of a laser pen development of some sort, for public defense against those sky-prowler peeping-tom drones, might have been on RT, something to poke out the electronic eye of the perv-peepers.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen to all those individuals currently tethered to Smart-Phones, if the satellite feeds to those gadgets were to suddenly go dead? Would the absence of the programing feed cause the collective crowed to wander about aimlessly, bouncing off telephone poles, falling out of windows, running into walls etc., etc…….causing a major public nuisance?
Now that would really be a Night of the Living Dead!
Is it possible we have already been microchipped but have been programmed to think we have not? Possibly something like Tourette Syndrome is just a symptom of a faulty chip or computer virus?
Funny you should bring up Peter Lorre. Whenever I hear mention of the German’s wanting their gold back he is the image that comes to mind with hat in hand. This might be faulty and a menacing Arnold Schwarzenegger might be closer to the truth of this precipitous situation.