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# Declassifying cyborg technology

First a little background. In the 1950's, racist Robert G. Heath surgically implanted behavior-modifying electrodes into the brains of patients. In the 1960's, José Delago made the implants radio controlled. In 1966 the Central Intelligence Agency fielded a remote-controlled cat against the Soviets. Declassified in 2001, the cover story tries to downplay and deflect the power of Acoustic Kitty. In 1988 when I started college at the University of Washington I wanted to study cybernetics—or as I had to explain it to the advisor, remote-controlled-people. They didn't offer any courses in that field, but just a few years ago they used EEG to allow one person's mind to control another's body. In February 1997 the Department of Defense ordered me to stand down when I tried to discuss brain implants while debating cloning legislation to lift the news blackout covering Dolly the sheep. Even The Simpsons joke that they're not allowed to discuss cyborgs. In 2013 President Obama announced funding for the BRAIN Initiative.

Slowly but surely, society is starting to learn about that 3-pound, 20-watt neural network between their ears, and down the road we'll reach a tipping point where folks will ask, "Can't we use this technology to live forever?" And the answer is a resounding Yes, but there's millions of bad guys standing in the way. They might claim that we're playing God, but it seems most people are playing Satan, so someone needs to be the good guy and save humanity.

Here's the problem: how should western governments go about disclosing the full extent of cyborg research? Spy technology is light years ahead of anything published in journals, and there's a panic risk should folks discover it's no longer game over when you die. I'd like to see a military general make the announcement, but some people are overly fond of politicians and would rather hear it from them. Will evil people repent or go on killing sprees? Will religion double down and lay on their con job that much more or will they finally read a science book? Will good people want to go to the afterlife prematurely or will they first dive into the war against evil? Or will everyone just keep bouncing from one fad to the next?

Anyway, back to stopping the bad guys.

Note by Kevin Crosby
6 months, 1 week ago

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