Brain-Net

… and suddenly, the age of the networked brain has arrived:

Miguel Nicolelis, the Duke University scientist behind the work, has previously pioneered the development of brain-machine interfaces that could allow amputees and paralysed people to directly control prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons. His latest advance may have clinical benefits in brain rehabilitation, he predicts, but could also pave the way for “organic computers” – collectives of animal brains linked together to solve problems. […] “Essentially we created a super-brain,” he said. “A collective brain created from three monkey brains. Nobody has ever done that before.” […] He dismissed comparisons with science fiction plots, however, saying: “We’re conditioned by movies and Hollywood to think that everything related to science is dangerous and scary. These scary scenarios never crossed my mind and I’m the one doing the experiments.”

Neural interface technology has been hurtling forwards recently. The step from lunatic science fiction speculation to established technoscientific procedure is increasingly taken in advance of any engaged discussion, without an interval for serious social reflection. That’s acceleration as it concretely happens. It’s not a new topic for prolonged thought, it’s the fact that the time for prolonged thought — and its associated space for collective ethico-political consideration — is no longer ever going to be available.

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