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article imageOp-Ed: Brain implants – Neuroscience taking humans on a walk off a cliff

By Paul Wallis     Aug 30, 2020 in Technology
New York - Exactly who the hell actually NEEDS a brain implant? Everybody, according to some people who are either idealists or totally naïve. The theory of human computer brain interfaces has too many holes in it.
At the moment, the implant idea is all too vague. Now, it comes with a way of “visualizing” what people are seeing or thinking about. As invasion of privacy goes, this is way too far. If your mind isn’t private, what is?
The tech is interesting. It does have a lot of useful applications for people who need connection with faulty neural systems. There are some very strong positives.
However - This tech is also dangerous and potentially a security risk. Given that any such system has to be functional and connect with a network or standalone device, security has to be considered a critical issue.
One of the major issues for any new tech, whether it’s the pathetic Internet of Things or some sort of direct hardwired connection to anything, is the “risk of brilliance” in half-ass concepts. This idea hasn’t had anything like the research required to create basic safeguards.
If you search “implants” on Google News, you get this endearing little search result:
One of the first things you’ll notice is a charming term called “brainjacking”. This is a thing which stems from hacking things like monitored medical implants. It’s dangerous. It’s also a great way of not being able to function mentally. Given that most hackers are also to some extent determined to be “smarter” than everyone else, it’s a high-risk situation.
(Ironically, this rather well-known psychopathic/sociopathic behaviour doesn’t seem to have been scrutinized at all by neuroscience or anyone else. What if the risk for the hackers was getting some sort of behavioural modification chip? Poetic justice, if it works.)
As unimpressive, or perhaps a bit worse, Check out this little gem from Business Insider: Outlook on the Brain Implants Global Market to 2025 - Increased Incidences of Neurological Disorders is Driving Growth
Yep, Big Neuroscience is now also grafted on to the medical sector racket. Your brain could be just another commodity, and very expensive to operate. The typical business environment for anything medical is to gouge first and do nothing about any problems for the patients, financial or otherwise.
The Great Scientific Insularity Syndrome
Most of the criticisms of implants are pretty obvious. The reaction so far to all of them is that the future will solve the problems, in effect. That’s hardly good enough. Future risks may be hard to define with current terminology, but they’re not hard to see.
Science is getting far much too like Creationism in rejecting criticism or anything outside conventional theory. The ideas may be OK, but don’t question the geniuses. “We’re right, therefore everyone else is wrong” is a truly dismal, and remarkably stupid, perspective. We’ll leave out the pig-ignorance of such an unprofessional view for now. Scientific dogma is no more useful than any other type of dogma. It’s a pre-programmed failure to do any actual thinking.
When it comes to anything as drastic as a brain implant, that’s a truly lousy start. Most of the mistakes with brain implants haven’t been invented yet; but the theory is driving the process of ignoring the risks? Because we have this great idea, we will ignore all possible issues? How can that work at all?
The other risk – Pseudoscience and implants
Another area science seems to overlook is the floating scum of pseudoscience in the medical marketplace. What if some nut gets hold of this tech and markets a half-baked form of it? Remember what happened with stem cells, which were suddenly a cure for everything and didn't work at all? Some people simply don't see why they should bother with such things.
The total lack of regulation of tech and the prehistoric laws can’t keep up with this. If there are no built-in safeguards, a lot of people could suffer. One obvious safeguard is a user-controlled Off switch. Unplugging a faulty appliance is a no-brainer. Why not for an implant?
You could have a neurological safeguard built in for connected functions, too, separate from the main operating system. This is hardly high tech, anyone could build in a switch or two.
Point being – Anything which affects the brain needs to be safely manageable by the owner of that brain. Either that or expect some of the biggest lawsuits the world has ever seen, applied to doctors, neurologists, patent owners, and more. Also expect some very angry people.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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