Can you say “super human”? For centuries, people have been trying to figure out ways to be better than they are. We exercise so we can be stronger. We study so we can be smarter. Ultimately, we are trying to improve ourselves in some way. But for the most part, we are limited to what our bodies can and can’t do. For example, if you have an injury even with surgery, sometimes you will still be in pain. You may be able to build other muscles around it, but that muscle might not work the same way it used to. Even with technological advancements, you might have a better shot at building that muscle but nothing is guaranteed.
Technology has come along way in recent years and has been a huge asset to the medical community. Where am I going with this? Well, the United States Military wants to learn how to re-route your cognitive abilities in order to enhance your abilities. The end game – to build super humans. And specifically for the purpose of having super soldiers. This seems a bit shady if you ask me. Now, I’m only saying that because I’m making the leap from the research that they want to do and who wants to do it. If a random university decided that they wanted to look into this technology to improve cognitive function in humans, I don’t think I would have quite the same opinion.
DARPA, or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is behind this research. But like I said, for the purpose of creating what I’m going to call “super soldiers”. They are hoping that the research will lead to the ability to be able to re-route parts of your brain in order to make you learn better. The example they give is to help a soldier learn a language in a few months, rather than a couple of years. Ok, I can understand this argument, but I wonder if that’s where the research will actually stop. I’m not being cynical, but where will this end? And how exactly does it work?
Initially, it sounded like someone would have to go under the knife each time they wanted something to be re-routed, but not quite my friends. Instead, you would have some kind of circuit placed into your brain (or onto, I’m not really sure the specifics here) which would essentially over ride the existing neurological path. Turning a soldier into Frankenstein. How exactly does this work? Well DARPA doesn’t actually know. They just want to study this concept to be able to maybe, someday, deliver the end product. In fact, they are anticipating that something like this could be available for FDA approval in about five years time. How insane is that?
Being a good conspiracy theorist, I must ask the question – what else could this be used for? And I mean specifically in terms of our brains. Could our neurological receptors be hacked? And what kinds of “things” could the Military (or anyone for that matter) encourage people to do? On the other hand, I wonder if this type of technology would help people with neurological disorders in some way? Would the technology be able to help someone recover from a brain injury faster? Again, this is all speculation right now, but it’s an extremely fascinating topic. One with ethical concerns as well. Should we be able to do this to people? Can people actually consent to having one of these “devices”? And ultimately where will this end?
There is also an interesting thought around human nature. There is a theory that humans will evolve in order to fit into their surroundings. As a survival method. And maybe we don’t have quite the same need from an evolution perspective any more. But could the argument be made that this is an evolutionary advancement? Or is that white washing the fence so to speak? Covering up something that we shouldn’t be doing in the first place?