Donnerstag, 16. Oktober 2008

human engineering

The body has always been at the centre of technology; our inventions are just extensions, adaptors and converters. Supermen exist, it's just that they're hybrids at the moment.

Monkeys have taken another step towards taking over of the world. With the help of scientists, they are now able to regain movement in paralysed limbs using mind control. A computer chip monitors the monkey's brain activity, and then teaches the monkey to reroute signals to the proximity of a single neuron, basically scanning particular patterns to stimulate movement. For some reason the story makes me think of evil doctors capturing and reprogramming monkeys into superbeings, before letting them run amok.

I could even imagine the superbeing bit come true, surely you could somehow intensify the pattern to give monkeys, and in retaliation humans, super strength. Given the level of detail and flexibility the chip can operate at, and how its application can be used to open new parts of the brain, eventually mind control will be able break the limitations of normal physical ability. One comment left on the website reads:
Flexibility of the neurons opens a lot of new doors, potentially this is a step toward the kind of mind-object control seen in Matrix, Avalon and so on. Imagination will truly become the only limitation to what you can accomplish, if not in the material world, it shouldn't take too long to make it possible in the virtual world. Helmet with electrodes, any one?
It's the opposite extreme to a geoengineering salvation, anthropoengineering! Either as a new form of direct response to our environment, or by using a virtual filter, a second life, we will be abe to survive on neuronal stimulation, living out action packed lives in a world tailor made. Eventually our limbs will become boring and useless, and we will evolve in to floating heads. Sex will take place in the brain, a short circuit of seratonin, and parents will imagine their ideal child into being. When the earth is a bald rock, covered from pole to pole in floating heads, invisible to each other but inside everything, we will collectively decide the cosmic route might have been better than peering in to the infinitely larger vastness of our minds, go back to 2020, and make a self sustainable space station. Which means we havn't got long to go.

But first we have to stop those monkeys.
N Processing makes another strong statement for being learned by enabling this. Web, net or full on rug? Freyed at the edges.
N Media facades festival in Berlin until 3. November.

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