(ETA: Uhhh, that was supposed to be, “stimulation,” not, “situation.” Fixed now.)
Reader John Murphy (thanks, John!) sent me a link to this article in Nature.
Why? Because DARPA is funding research that involves hooking people’s heads to batteries to improve their abilities at certain tasks. Oh, and one of the pioneers of the modern incarnation of this research? A German neurologist who experimented on members of his own family. (And dare I wonder if this implies the research was carried out on his family land?) Meanwhile his colleagues were telling him that the research was unethical, “fucking dangerous”, and that he ought to stop it right away.
I can’t help but get a chuckle out of this… a very worried chuckle.
Seriously—if DARPA is getting in on this, how long will it be before they upgrade from improved performance on simple tests to walking through walls and turning invisible? After all, the stated goal of the project (according to the article, anyway) is to “sharpen soldiers’ minds on the battlefield.” But obviously that’s bureaucratic doublespeak for ZOMG WE’RE MAKING SUPERHEROZ. I know how to read between the lines.
And oh yeah, there’s talk of implanted electrodes. Because of course there would be. Step 1: Permanently implant the electrodes. Step 2: Upgrade to a larger, rechargeable battery. Step 3: World domination.
Some researchers in the field are experimenting with more complex arrangements of multiple electrodes. Because, again, of course they are. It’s just common sense.
Even better? There’s a home hobbiest movement among people who want to experience transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) for themselves. Which gives rise to my favorite quote in the article:
“With wires and batteries and home hobbyists trying to run electricity through their heads, somebody could get hurt.”
Sure, somebody could get hurt… or they could achieve complete mastery of the Willenskräfte. I think a little itching and a mild burning sensation would be a small price to pay for becoming a LIVING GOD. Don’t you?