DailyDirt: Who Needs A Neural Interface?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Discussions about technology's impact on the brain are all too often couched in fear-mongering and sensationalism, but the truth remains that, like all human habits and activities, our use of devices does affect the way we think. It's difficult to say much more than that with any level of certainty, but as with all great mysteries, scientists continue to gradually chip away at it one question at a time — and sometimes figuring out how to put what they learn to work. We might not be plugging our brains directly into computers yet, but here are a few ways the two have become connected anyway:

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  • icon
    vancedecker (profile), 29 May 2014 @ 12:48am

    Who Needs Condiments For Food?

    Nobody. But they are a nice to have, and unless you are a dumb boob like the idiots over at ARS Technica, who cannot get enough of their Soylent nutritional goop: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/08/nothing-but-the-soylent-were-trying-1-full-week-of-the-meal-s ubstitute/

    you most like use condiments on your food.

    Same thing with Neural interfaces. Furthermore, if there is any hope for humanity to survive past the singularity, then we must begin the process of slowly joining ourselves with machine interfaces.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 29 May 2014 @ 9:34am

      Re: Who Needs Condiments For Food?

      The title was just supposed to be jokey... i.e. "who needs 'em" as a way of introducing the topic of indirect interactions between technology and the brain. It wasn't intended to make any kind of serious statement on the necessity/inevitability/anything else of direct brain-computer communication one way or the other.

      That said, your analogy baffles me. Neural interfaces are just like condiments? Because, er, they will get us past the singularity? That makes no sense. In fact, if we ever do reach a point where humanity is constantly and intimately connected to technology, something like Soylent would likely be more popular as people turned their attentions away from material stimulation and towards direct sensory stimulation through the brain.

      Either way though, at the end of the day, I'm all for continued research on neural interfacing, and have been following it since the first time scientists connected a single brain cell from a slug to a computer chip ages ago.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        vancedecker (profile), 29 May 2014 @ 2:00pm

        Re: Re: Who Needs Condiments For Food?

        Don't be so baffled. I will water your tree of knowledge so that you can learn.

        The first paragraph is an apt analogy. In many ways we don't need neural interfaces, but it's a nice to have. For instance, we don't need hundreds of slaves to pick a field of cotton for free, but it sure is a nice to have.

        Furthermore, your idea that we can eat goop while brilliant Monsanto brain surgeons stimulate the key parts of the brain responsible for taste flies against all previous reality. More likely is that after the corporate takeover of government, you wage slaves will only be able to afford goop. If you behave, you will be given 'taste credits' which may or may not work as advertised. More often than not, 'taste credits' advertised as a juicy steak, will taste more like a rice patty. There will be no refunds.

        NOW...the second paragraph, was an entirely different thing...

        If the singularity occurs, we can expect that the new machine intelligence will quickly realize that the vast majority of humanity are mentally retarded vile wastes of precious Oxygen....unless by that point humans have uplifted themselves to where they are indistinguishable from the new machine overlords. The brain implants could the first step in this direction.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ChrisB (profile), 29 May 2014 @ 6:33am


    Jet lag was already solved, by the hormone melatonin.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      vancedecker (profile), 29 May 2014 @ 2:04pm

      Re: Melatonin

      Please discontinue commenting on subjects you know nothing about. Please try to learn the difference between the supplement industries viral marketing and reality.

      Jetlag does not occur travelling from your parent's basement to the local seven eleven.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Olivia James (profile), 29 May 2014 @ 8:56am


    I think it is crazy how much it affects my sleep. I could be tired and when i flick onto something interesting i'am wide awake again.

    Probably does not help that i sleep with my mac book next to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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