A "data cable" made from stretched nerve cells could someday help connect computers to the human nervous system. The modified cells should form better connections with human tissue than the metal electrodes currently used for purposes such as remotely controlling prosthetics.Pick your technology; click in a cable or two and you're away! Instant access! Artificial augmentation! Battery-powered perfection!
"The nervous system doesn't like nasty hard metal or plastic"...
...Christopher James, who works on brain-computer interfaces at Southampton University, UK, gives the work a cautious welcome. "This approach does sound like a good idea," he says. "Although directly attaching electrodes to the brain has been shown to work, the long term effects are not known." - link
Human beings are the first creatures on this planet to live in symbiosis with their technologies, so why not break through the digital-barrier; push beyond the techno-horizon - moulding digital daydreams into a neural love-matrix between you and your favourite pocket calculator.
According to some, the day of our coalescence is already upon us, but where will it end? Can a data cable deliver more than a shock to the cerebellum? How about hate, joy, pain? How about love?
When sensations, emotions, and ideas become digital, it’s as easy to share them with a dozen friends, or a thousand strangers, as it is to send them to one person.... We’ll be able to broadcast the inner states of our minds.Are you ready for my inner-state?
~ Ramez Naam, More than Human
01010111011010000110000101110The problem here, as I see it, is in our idea of the brain. Sure enough, whilst a lot of our pre-programmed subroutines work in reflection of a million years of evolution, much of what we take for 'human thought' is uniquely sculpted into each of us. We may both see an image of Charlie Chaplin, but since my life and your life have had divergent inputs since before we were born, the likelihood of us perceiving the same Chaplin, whether logically or emotionally, has to be minuscule.
(Convert my binary expurgence into homosapien speak here)
Sure, there are connections between the substance of our thoughts - cultural biases and archetypes which determine how we were both built - but who's to say that love for me and love for you are the same thing? To mediate our emotions via neurally extended data management would be like strapping a Super Nintendo to a Lunar Module and expecting the next moon mission to pass by unhampered.
I see what you see but not how you see. Do you see?
So here's today's Mu Haiku mission, plunging a 5 - 7 - 5 data stream into the heart of the techno-lovesphere:
Love looks not with eyes, but with the mind
(and a couple of brain-implants)
How about this little ditty for starters:
Send the heart reeling,Write your own Mu Haiku here and help a weblog reach its first ever online-orgasm...
with a googleplex of love:
melt my motherboard.
What happens if the form of your brain took such a different path that you got a label as a consequence? Would you still find time to love in between psychological assessments? Sometimes it's the physical rather than the mental which makes all the difference:
[The patient] happened to be a schizophrenic homosexual who wanted to change his sexual preference. As an experiment, Heath gave the man stag films to watch while he pushed his pleasure-center hotline, and the result was a new interest in female companionship. After clearing things with the state attorney general, the enterprising Tulane doctors went out and hired a “lady of the evening,” as Heath delicately puts it, for their ardent patient.Mu to that!
“We paid her fifty dollars,” Heath recalls. “I told her it might be a little weird, but the room would be completely blacked out with curtains. In the next room we had the instruments for recording his brain waves, and he had enough lead wire running into the electrodes in his brain so he could move around freely. We stimulated him a few times, the young lady was cooperative, and it was a very successful experience.” This conversion was only temporary, however.
~ Judith Hooper and Dick Teresi, The Three-Pound Universe
Labels: Mu Haiku