Elon Musk has revealed progress on Neuralink, a brain-computer interface device. In so doing, he has revealed a commercial version of a technology that has been researched over the course of decades.
The device involves a small implantable chip, about the size of a coin, which is implanted in the top of the skull. Tiny cables just a few microns across (about 1/20 as wide as a human hair) connect the chip to various parts of the brain. The chip itself charges inductively, presumably overnight while the bearer is sleeping, and the chip can wirelessly interface with electronics, including possibly Tesla vehicles.
When it comes to any brain-reading devices, count me out.
While there are many potential applications for this technology, there are many, many drawbacks that simply shouldn’t be overlooked.
For one thing, there is the issue of privacy. Everyone has a right to their own thoughts, and those thoughts to be private, remaining in that person’s head until they speak them with agency. The existence of psychotronic technology, whether with an embedded chip or not, allows for the potential to invade privacy on a whole other frontier.
Without privacy for one’s thoughts, there is virtually nothing that’s off-limits, and a violation of one’s privacy can occur on the deepest, most intimate levels. Imagine that a person obtains a device that can somehow read and interpret a person’s brainwaves. Using this, a person can…
- Cheat in a game of cards,
- Determine the passwords that a person uses, such as for their bank account,
- Be presented with that person’s sexual fantasies (perhaps even visually),
- Spoil surprises such as parties and anniversary gifts,
- Sabotage that person’s career plans,
- Destroy that person’s interpersonal relationships,
- Know when to burglarize that person’s house,
- Say just the right thing to distress that person,
- Gaslight the person into believing they have a mental illness,
- And there’s more. The list goes on and on.
The way such technology could be abused is disgusting. And such technology does exist!
Another point to worry about when it comes to this technology is that there may come to be a time in which it would be needed to be competitive.
When the internet first emerged, those who had access to it had an enormous advantage. A person with the internet could easily network with other internet users, and they had access to the summation of human knowledge.
Today, the internet is available to almost everyone at nearly all times, from devices that they carry in their pockets. The internet is considered the bare minimum that’s needed to be competitive in the career world, and if anyone does not have it, they stand almost no chance of getting by.
Psychotronic technology such as Neurolink would likely enhance human ability and perception to the point that, if it were allowed to proliferate, only chipped humans could compete. Enhanced vision, immediate interface with devices, radar-like sound, immediate answers to questions through web searches, and instantaneous communication with other chipped humans would be among the benefits that may be available to those chipped. Those who insist on remaining organic may get left behind.
There is another potential problem, and this is a whopper. If the brain interface is a two-way dealie, then brains can receive signals from the chips, which can receive signals wirelessly. This would mean that brains could be hacked.
Chipped humans would therefore have the potential to go Manchurian Candidate and act on rogue code transmitted to that person’s chip. Why dirty your own hands with murder when you can just hack someone else into doing it? Why risk getting caught stealing when someone can be hacked into buying you an expensive gaming rig? Want someone to destroy a business, beat his wife, start a riot, go streaking, or all of the above? There may soon come a day that it would be possible with just the right code.
Obviously, this would be a nightmare for criminal justice and law enforcement.
This may not be Burger King, but we’re serving up a double whopper. Imagine how horrifically this technology would be abused if it would fall into the hands of a dictatorship.
That gasp of horror probably came from you.
China already has a “social credit system” which provides a person with a score based on their behavior. China has already implemented cameras in cities which recognize faces and is linked to their system. With this, they can automatically adjust a person’s score based on their day-to-day behavior. A person with a low enough score is shamed by having their face appear on electronic displays in public!
Considering this (and the recent genocide of Uighurs), it’s hard to put an abuse of psychotronics past the Chinese Communist Party. If such technology were to be implemented on a society-wide basis, the Chinese Communist Party could use it to track thoughts, seeking out unrest, religious tendencies, and just about anything the Chinese Communist Party might take issue with.
Countries governed by religious fundamentalists could abuse psychotronics in their own way, ensuring complete submission to establishment religious practice, swiftly punishing heresy, determining that prayer times are observed, or perhaps even monitoring the contents of prayers!
It might not be fun to be the guy who steps out of line, as such technology could potentially be used to affect someone’s mood, perhaps causing depression, or it could even be used to induce pain, torturing a person directly and in a way that cannot be resisted, at any given moment!
Though it hasn’t been discussed very often until now, there is a certain portion of the American population that has made the claim to being victims of psychotronic harassment. I suspect that many of them actually have a mental illness of some sort. However, it’s interesting that this complaint has exploded in recent years, including with the infamous Navy Yard shooter who made the claim to being influenced by E.L.F. waves. Personally, I suspect that there might actually be something to the complaints that some of these people have.
With the recent reveal of Neuralink, psychotronic technology is going mainstream, and I suspect that more people will come forward with complaints of psychotronic harassment. It’s reasonable to suspect that there would come with this a push to limit the potential for abuse of psychotronic technology.
Such a push is something I might be getting behind in a hurry.