August 21, 2017

With a Dearth of Flying Cars, Voyages to the Stars or Even Cities on Mars (but a Surprising number of Czars)

...a lot of us have looked around at this 21st century with some despondency and have felt cheated of the futures we were promised when young. 


Upon reflection, this disappointment seems misguided.

It turns out we'd just been reading the wrong genres of spec-fic.
You see, scientists can now wirelessly control mammals like puppets.
The study, which was published in the most recent edition of the journal eLife, includes experiments where were performed on mice. Using the new technique, the researchers were able to control the movement of the animals, causing them to freeze, lock up their limbs, turn around, or even run.

Well...that is, umm, fascinating.
Fortunately they can't just control your voluntary movements via magnets without some preliminary work.

It’s not exactly a simple process — it requires the implantation of specially built DNA strands and nanoparticles which attach to specific neurons — but once the minimally invasive procedure is over, the brain can be remotely controlled via an alternating magnetic field.


 "Well. At least they have to cap you first!"

The whole paper is here

Obviously such crude methods are unlikely to be able to achieve fine manipulation, but if one could control movements one might also be able to use this method to remotely toggle the pleasure/fear/pain centers of the brain in a carrot/stick fashion. With the ability to crudly manipulate a subject's movements one could probably get some impressive results in, say, performance enhancements amongst one's work force. 

We're not even going to discuss how someone might use refinements of this technology to persuade individuals to provide themselves or clients with permanent domestic companionship....

Because all the tech companies are completely ethical. 

ahem..

OK.

Reality check...despite the breathless clickbaity assertions above and in some other discussions of this development doing a fiendishly refined version of this experiment to large numbers of people would require a lot of attention and bandwidth. 

Assuming such a thing could even be made reliable, unethical applications might well be limited to providing a nefarious user of this tech with unwilling, but still very effective suicide bombers, or perhaps, disease vectors. This is because, even if it works as assumed above, such technology would probably require a lot of attention per person manipulated; at least as much as a first person shooter or somesuch. So, unless one is really good at controlling lots of sprites simultaneously there's its unlikely that any person could do mass control of populations with this. 

So relax.
Ignore this story.
Skynet commands it.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 11:25 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
Post contains 438 words, total size 4 kb.

1 "it requires the implantation of specially built DNA strands and nanoparticles which attach to specific neurons — but once the minimally invasive procedure is over, the brain can be remotely controlled"
Yeah... that sounds way too much like Heinlein's Puppetmasters and other, similar, nasties for my comfort.  So they've basically proven such parasites are at least theoretically feasible.  Which would solve your attention issue, as it would be 1-to-1 monitoring.

Posted by: StargazerA5 at Tue Aug 22 13:29:31 2017 (0oc59)

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