Nov, 2014

Jedi Mind Control

Ten years from now, teenagers may not believe Jedi mind tricks were once fiction – and it may not matter whether or not you are weak minded.  I mentioned in previous transhumanist posts how mind controlled prosthetics are becoming surprisingly sophisticated, how brain waves can be used to determine criminal culpability, and how scientists can now erase your memory, but this technology is becoming surprisingly sophisticated very quickly.  Indeed, it’s so accessible, fashion designers have opened the door to purchasing x-rated latex clothing that disrobes via thought.  Really?  *ahem*  Yes.  I’m afraid it’s true: we live in a hopelessly lazy society (to be fair, some users had to practice thinking before the clothing functioned properly).  One scientist has been able to control another scientist’s body (his finger) when connected via computer and I’m sure you’ve heard that Stephen Hawking can type using nothing more than his brilliant mind.

More interesting … and exciting … is today’s advancement.  Scientists have successfully created an electroencephalogram (EEG) system that allows you to control your own gene expression through cells implanted into your body.  Granted, the technology is rudimentary but users were able to increase protein production in mice just by thinking.  Using the technology on yourself may be a “simple” matter of FDA approval a few years from now.  Scientists hope the technology may be used in the future to allow diabetics to control their insulin levels.  It doesn’t take much to imagine how a host of other biological problems could be treated via mind power.  Perhaps, it could allow you to increase testosterone levels if you’re feeling a little timid about something or to burn more fat instead of storing so much.  If the technology advances, TRT will be amazingly old school and infertility problems may disappear.  Too much stress?  Just release a little oxytocin and you’ll feel fine in no time.  Ugly?  No worries – just increase your pheromone output and you’ll be sure to get that date.  Sad?  We’ve got you covered.

So far, if you want to control someone else’s body, you’ll have to find a way to inject them with some of these high-tech cells but don’t worry – I’m sure scientists will find a way to allow you to “spike” their drink so they’ll be more compliant to your wishes.  Sounds scary?  Well, that depends on whether or not you trust government regulation – I’m sure they’ll be happy to pass a bill concerning the proper way to use this technology … just make sure you don’t travel outside of regulated countries (or into the Bronx) and you’ll be just fine!

What do you think?  Does this take transhumanism to a new level of moral uncertainty or should we not be so concerned about the possibilities?  Is this an awesome medical breakthrough or the crux of a scary sci-fi flick? or both?