Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bioethicist Jonathan Moreno Talks Jacked-In Soldiers And Military Neuroscience

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the weapon-of-the-future dept.

The Military 117

pigrabbitbear writes "Who's driving a lot of neuro research? The military. Much of it is health related, like figuring out how to make prosthetics work more seamlessly and helping diagnose brain injuries. But the military's involvement highlights the basic ethical quandary of neurological development: When our brains pretty much define who we are, what happens when you start adding tech in there? And what happens when you take it away? Jonathan Moreno is quite possibly the top bioethicist in the country, and along with Michael Tennison, recently penned a fascinating essay on the role and ethics of using neuroscience for national security. He also recently updated his book Mind Wars, a seminal look into the military's work with the brain. In this interview he discusses brain implants, drones, and what will happen when military tech hits the civilian world."

cancel ×

117 comments

Cyberpsychosis (1)

docwatson223 (986360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099009)

Cyberpsychosis - Cyberpunk, the Game (1989) http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/edgerunners/wikis/cyberpsychosis [obsidianportal.com]

Re:Cyberpsychosis (3, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099425)

Because psychosis is a common side effect with hip replacements these days.

It's a game mechanic, and a pretty bad one at that, to try and prevent players from getting every cybernetic enhancement available. Not a comment on reality.

Re:Cyberpsychosis (4, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099591)

Elizabeth Moon, author of an extensive corpus of Science Fiction, opines for the BBC: "If I were empress of the Universe I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached -- a barcode if you will; an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals. It would be imprinted on everyone at birth. Point the scanner at someone and there it is. ... In war soldiers could easily differentiate legitimate targets in a population from non combatants... Anonymity would be impossible as would mistaken identity making it easier to place responsibility accurately, not only in war but also in non-combat situations far from the war."
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120522-barcode-everyone-at-birth [bbc.com]

Re:Cyberpsychosis (2)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100045)

Weird. You must read the same tech news site that I do!
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/05/23/0156226/sci-fi-writer-elizabeth-moon-believes-everyone-should-be-chipped [slashdot.org]
Also, in case someone hadn't read that story yet, and is outraged at Elizabeth Moon's comment, they were asked for controversial sound bytes. She just happened to give one that was publicized, and criticized.
http://e-moon60.livejournal.com/442811.html [livejournal.com]

Re:Cyberpsychosis (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100955)

Heh,

I submitted this on Mon or Tues, too. :-)

I like her LJ...

Re:Cyberpsychosis (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40100219)

Right, because no one has ever cloned an RFID or similar unique identifier.

And all databases are error free.

Re:Cyberpsychosis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40100455)

And humans have NEVER made a mistake in apportioning responsibility

Re:Cyberpsychosis (2)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100615)

And knowing one's SSN allows you to divine their guilt or innocence, or whether their a combatant or civilian.

Re:Cyberpsychosis (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102507)

She's pretty stupid if she thinks sane people on the battlefield will want to have a "I'm here, shoot me" tag.

If you can ID a person from far away without their cooperation you can usually detect that person from even further away.

Whereas if you have to be next to someone to ID him, either/both of you are dead/neutralized already if he is an enemy.

Re:Cyberpsychosis (1)

docwatson223 (986360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099621)

The idea was that, at some point and after enough mods, you become distanced from your own humanness and humanity itself; at what point do you become a cyborg and no longer human?

Re:Cyberpsychosis (2)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100587)

The idea was that, at some point and after enough mods, you become distanced from your own humanness and humanity itself; at what point do you become a cyborg and no longer human?

A single functional implant makes you a cyborg as long as that implant has some synthetic electrical component.

Re:Cyberpsychosis (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101077)

Your humanity is greater than just he lump of meat that we're residing in. If I was able to make an AI that reacted the same way as I would, wouldn't that have the same humanity as me? I would say yes, and that's got no meaty bits. Let's say my heart fails and I get a stainless steel / titanium impeller implanted. Would that make me a heartless robot? Look for the "your excuse is invalid" kid -- he's got metal legs and a smile that would melt stone.

Now, I'm already part titanium so this may be the metal bits talking, but what your body does and is capable of does not reflect on what your mind and persona are and are capable of.

"Humans: Self-forged, picking up where the Gods left off."

We alter our brains all the time (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099019)

Caffeine affects our brain in a non-trivial way. If we're hungry, we behave differently. So food affects our brain in a non-trivial way. How is ingesting caffeine and food different than adding hardware to our brain?

Re:We alter our brains all the time (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099033)

It's quite a bit harder to hack into food and control you. It's also a lot easier to revert to your previous state...just change diet.

Re:We alter our brains all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099065)

"When our brains pretty much define who we are, what happens when you start adding tech in there?"

You're addressing a point I never tried to make. Feeling full isn't necessary for life. Consuming caffeine isn't necessary for life. But most of us like to feel full and a lot of us like to consume caffeine. These are ways to alter how you behave or perform. Just like adding hardware to the brain.

Re:We alter our brains all the time (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099141)

"Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!" Joking aside I think the food industry in the US has done a good deal of work of hacking our food in concert with hacking regulation and planting ideas through advertisements to control us. Granted it isn't further than buy our products, but it still isn't as far as it first seems.

Re:We alter our brains all the time (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099333)

It's quite a bit harder to hack into food and control you. It's also a lot easier to revert to your previous state...just change diet.

We're talking caffeine here - there is no 'just change' anything.

Without caffeine, life would not be possible.

Re:We alter our brains all the time (2, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099265)

How is ingesting caffeine and food different than adding hardware to our brain?

It isn't.
And that's why most countries have institutes where doctors determine what's safe and what's not and also what's legal and what's not. Some drugs alter your mind so much that we think we'd better make them illegal. And some things are innocent enough, or even considered a stimulant, so we allow them.

I would hope that "hardware for our brain" would be treated with the same medical methods as any medicine, food product or beverage.

Re:We alter our brains all the time (3, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099451)

Some drugs are fun, that's why we make them illegal.

Re:We alter our brains all the time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099943)

Some drugs alter your mind so much that we think we'd better make them illegal.

Why ? I still don't understand why it's illegal to manipulate my own body/mind! Under what authority does the goverment grant itself that right ? Music is a mind alterning stimulus [ http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/09/news/la-heb-music-dopamine-20110109 [latimes.com] ] , but yet we do not ban certain type of music! My point is I will add whatever harware to my brain and I will consume whatever drugs I want...

Re:We alter our brains all the time (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100343)

We ban what some faction of the gov't or interest group can convince the public should be banned. There was a push in the 50s to ban rock and roll, but the lack of public support killed that idea.

Re:We alter our brains all the time (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100071)

It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed. The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion

Dune! (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101691)

"It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion." - Mentat mantra, something added by David Lynch to his Dune film

Re:We alter our brains all the time (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100477)

It's also funny that we spend the first 2-3 decades of life being trained and educated in a deliberate attempt to modify our brains...to the point that any parent who wants their child to exist in a "natural" human state would be sent to prison for child abuse. We pride ourselves on being "civilized", and redefine "human" to mean denying our biological nature. Society is founded on that principle, and while as a people we try to modify ourselves to become more intelligent and compassionate, education-turned-indoctrination can also make us into monsters, and even the most liberal societies train us to accept certain injustices.

So when they say technology can change who we are, I suggest that we have been excelling at changing who we are for thousands of years. Whether a particular technique is "good" or "bad" in a moral sense depends on whether it stirs or stunts our capacity for empathy, and whether it encourages us to grow and diversify or enforces a rigid set of behavior.

Re:We alter our brains all the time (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101805)

I agree with everything up to

Whether a particular technique is "good" or "bad" in a moral sense depends on whether it stirs or stunts our capacity for empathy, and whether it encourages us to grow and diversify or enforces a rigid set of behavior.

Replace "in a moral sense" with "in my moral sense" and it works well enough. The real good/bad discussion is extremely complicated, with too many contradictory criteria for me to name and with very unclear relative weights. You may prize empathy while another person might prize blind hatred (the Westboro Baptist Church comes to mind here), and fundamentally what is to say who is right in some absolute moral sense? Practically speaking I of course ignore questions of foundations and agree with you while disagreeing with Westboro, though I don't know why I do so in a completely rigorous sense. I suppose humans are just born with the capacity to oversimplify since it's an absolutely necessary skill for dealing with the unknown and I'm applying that here.

So, morality = a quagmire, empathy = good, blind hatred = bad, me = oversimplified.

WAKEUP the drug is in the water (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103101)

if you are smart enough and think for yourself you can figure out what you need to be healthy in western societies where we have more than enough money to provide for our needs.

but if you dont think for yourself you will end up being utilised by those that can. is this really so bad ? ;P

for example. Fluoride combines with Uracil to form 5-Fluro-uracil, it is thermodynamically stable.

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/1982/c3/c39820000476

This then mucks up the major DNA repair mechanism involving Thymidine.

http://www.scienceinschool.org/2011/issue18/uracil

The 5-FU forms fluoro-dUTP which inhibits ThymidineSynthase which mucks up the carefully controlled ratio of dUTP / dTTP which leads to a impairement in DNA repair and cell reproduction.

BUT it also changes the ratios of other triphosphates .. increasing ATP which is a cellular energy buffer .. so in this sense it allows people to work harder and be pushed more, but they sucumb to disease more easily and die earlier.

The mutation involving deamination of thymidine to uracil is utilised intentionally in the recently evolved adaptive immune system. white blood cells actually mutate specific regions of dna as a way to randomise antibodies, inducing this error prone error correction system to run. but 5-FU also messes with this too. particularly if you are more susceptible due to a lack of DPP enzyme, occuring in 8% of the population.

Look at the side-effects of people treated with 5-FU for cancer. People deficient in DPP often develop severe life threatening illnesses. (Ok the cancer was life threatening also, but its an oportunity to better understand the full effects of 5-FU)

5-FU also mucks up RNA synthesis which uses uracil. So it reduces your ability to express survival factors, and suppresses the production of tryptophan-hydroxylase particularly in the hindbrain where fluoride concentrates. the reduction in serotonin impaires the ability to oppose tyranny, reversal learning etc. fluoride concentrates even more in the pineal, reducing melatonin, decreasing time to maturity reducing iq, and reducing life span.

5-halo-uracils are also radiosensitisers. iodo and bromo are too. when UV hits a Thymidine in double stranded dna it kinks, but halo-uracil is shaped the same and when it becomes incorporated it can prevent the enzyme that repairs this UV damage from doing its job. increase in melanoma rates may not be due to damage of the ozone layer entirely. consider these implications of halogen polution. people are still putting bromine in bread as a preservative. sigh.

Breast milk of mammals has such low amounts of fluorine that even in a high fluoride environment the baby is excreting (expelling deposits in bones etc accumulated during time in the womb) faster then accumulating, until breast feeding ends.

Do you still want to brush your teeth with sodium fluoride to reduce ... what does the real evidence actually show ? 1 to 2 fillings on average, over your lifetime ? if that ! many countries that use no fluoridation have the same decline in tooth decay observed throughout the western world. of course tooth decay has more to do with the acidity of your saliva and body, sugar and too much meat makes your body particularly acidic, including the brain, which becomes inflamed reducing intelligence.

I happen to know many people in their 30's who have avoided fluoride toothpaste, and to a practical extent, minimize avoidable intake of fluorine, and have perfect teeth. I also know entire families that have terrible teeth, use copious amounts of fluoride yet are unable to eat anything that needs to be chewed from lack of sufficient number of remaining functional teeth, and they're within the same ago range. The one clear risk factor is terrible diet compounded by sugar.

if you choose to eat an antinutrient like refined sugar, you might also believe that fluorine, the most reactive halogen, that is lethal before you can smell it, is impossible to store in metal or glass, and will eat or melt through virtually any container, is in fact healthy and that it does nothing harmful at all to the rest of your body, and is "beneficial" for the teeth, although you drink it all day.

Medium chain triglycerides break down into ketones and fuel neurons without the intense demands required to burn glucose, coconut oil is preventative for alzheimer's. fats are not only not bad for you but are actually really really healthy. they also dont cause insulin resistance and will assist weight loss.

paracetamol depletes glutathione, and its probably pushed intentionally to increase disease and mental illness. Glutathione also is consumed by the body to detox hypochlorous acid, present due to chlorination of water. Chloramines are used these days because previously chlorine alone was forming halomethanes which were causing most bladder cancers etc, so now they add ammonia after the chlorine, therefore activated charcoal is needed to catalyse the conversion of chloramines to chlorine gas which will out gas. But fluorine ions cannot be filtered out or boiled off or separated with osmosis, because it is virtually the same size as a water molecule.

If people dont wakeup governments will end up using genetic engineering to make tyranny undefeatable. That will not be pleasant. This has been demonstrated on mice already;

bib:

Effect of interferon on 5-fluorouracil-induced perturbations in pools of deoxynucleotide triphosphates and DNA strand breaks, Wadler, S S; Horowitz, R R; Mao, X X; Schwartz, E L EL., Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology 38. 6 (1996): 529-535.

Uracil in DNA—General mutagen, but normal
intermediate in acquired immunity, Bodil Kavli , Marit Otterlei, Geir Slupphaug, Hans E. Krokan, Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology,
N-7006 Trondheim, Norway

DNA repair mechanisms in plants:
crucial sensors and effectors for
the maintenance of genome integrity, Clifford M. Bray
1
and Christopher E. West, New Phytologist

http://thorax.highwire.org/content/55/4/266.full

What will happen??? (2)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099031)

Oh, I don't know... watch:

Soldiers
Surrogates
Star Trek: First Contact (imo best modern ST film)
Ghost in the Shell

and any other sci-fi flick

Re:What will happen??? (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099135)

Timothy Zahn's Cobra books as well (original short story, ``When Johnny Comes Marching Home'') --- though I prefer his _Blackcollar_ books and find them more likely.

William

Re:What will happen??? (2)

oldsailor432 (2640853) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099257)

or Joe Haldeman - Forever Peace

Book: Old Man's War (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099389)

"Old Man's War" series, especially the second book "The Ghost Brigades". See BrainPal in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Man's_War [wikipedia.org] .

"Old Man's War" was a great book for me. IMHO right up there with Starship Trooper, Forever War and Armor.

Re:What will happen??? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099239)

"Surrogates"

Better yet, don't. The sheer stupidity of that film and the massive cop-out at the ending can send me into a twenty minute fit of nerd-rage. The writers took a good premise, but rather than go into any real consideration of the complicated field of bioethics they just chickened out with something cliche but utterly unfounded.

Re:What will happen??? (4, Interesting)

GrpA (691294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099311)

Anthropomorphic Vehicle Control (AVC) -

When the driver *becomes* the vehicle... See's through the vehicles cameras and feels and controls the vehicle like it's their own body.

Currently under development, but you can get an idea what it's like from this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Turing-Evolved-ebook/dp/B007GTWLDW/ref=zg_tr_158595011_4 [amazon.com]

It talks about other vehicles ( aircraft, ground, water etc ) but mostly about DEMONs - Direct Engagement Military Offensive Neurosuit.

That's pretty much where I think it's headed - the book is free at the moment, BTW. Other formats: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/34627 [smashwords.com]

GrpA

Re:What will happen??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40100231)

Thanks for mentioning it's free! I'll check it out.

Re:What will happen??? (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100681)

I'd add Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. Once you get past the "vehicle for pretty actors" element it's a very insightful, well thought out and reasonably comprehensive look at what can happen if we're able to store and reprogram brains, from leisure applications to espionage, medical and military uses.

Re:What will happen??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40100903)

For about 3 episodes, then it's all entertaining bullshit.

Re:What will happen??? (2)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100939)

How about "read"?

"Dogfight" by Swanwick and Gibson. [wikipedia.org] You think the VA's problems are bad now, wait until they have to deal with the ruined shells of combat-enhanced-and-then-demilitarized neurologically damaged veterans. As bad as PTSD and TBI are now, just think of how much worse it will be when most combat veterans have their nervous systems and mental health irretrievably ruined with battle drugs and combat-oriented conditioning and (maybe) implants.

Re:What will happen??? (1)

phriedom (561200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101721)

Pfft, everyone knows what is really going to happen if, because of [FICTION] End of discussion.

"top bioethicist "? (5, Insightful)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099035)

What sort of selection process is used to determine who is the 'top' bioethicist? Anyone at all can consider the ethical implications of brain implants.

Re:"top bioethicist "? (3, Funny)

beowulfcluster (603942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099113)

He's the guy with the highest karma on the bioethicist equivalent of Slashdot.

Re:"top bioethicist "? (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099175)

We put all candidates in a sealed arena, each one with a fully equipped lab. Labs are only connected by the air they breathe.

The last one standing becomes the new top bioethicist.

It's not very fair, but nobody wants to argue with the top bioethicist.

Re:"top bioethicist "? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100499)

Fair, Schmair... I'd so watch that show. Thunderdome for biochemists. Then again, I am a biochemist...

Re:"top bioethicist "? (3, Funny)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101629)

They tried that with physicists, but they could only get it to work for spherical physicists in a vacuum.

Re:"top bioethicist "? (2)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099255)

He got top honours when graduating from Bob's School of Bioethics and Croissant Making.

Re:"top bioethicist "? (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099269)

Operating Thetan level? Hmm, does a bioethicist use arcane or divine spellcasting levels?

Not a serious question, of course: if your self appointed job title is "bioethicist", then your self appointed job is to tell people what's right and what's wrong, and that's obviously a priest class.

Do we have any kings left that we can strangle with his entrails?

Re:"top bioethicist "? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40100173)

No, but I think I hear Arthas asking for his priest back.

Re:"top bioethicist "? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099759)

I believe the process is to first identify the "bottom bioethecist". Then the other one of the pair would have to be the "top".

--

Posted anonymously as post may express more about the author's opinion of bioethics than he prefers to reveal.

Re:"top bioethicist "? (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099877)

I believe the process is to first identify the "bottom bioethecist". Then the other one of the pair would have to be the "top".

--

Posted anonymously as post may express more about the author's opinion of bioethics than he prefers to reveal.

You are mistaken. The top and bottom bioethicist are one and the same. Except after taking LSD. For research.

Re:"top bioethicist "? (1)

jenik (1030872) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099831)

It is actually a pretty terrible paper. It barely discusses any ethics at all and the little it does is about third grade level.

Re:"top bioethicist "? (1)

phriedom (561200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101711)

You probably think "Paranormal Expert" is an oxymoron.

Re:"top bioethicist "? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102271)

Bioethicists are the self-proclaimed philosophers of the digital age. We should pay attention to what they have to say, to a degree commensurate with the volume of their digital voices, and the breadth of the digital footprint- for if they speak loudly and often, surely they must be important.

This guy, he's like Socrates or some shit.

DS9 (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099037)

This reminds me of Life Support [wikipedia.org] , especiallt about your brain defining who you are. That episode was a perfect illustration of this topic. (The linked synopsis isn't very good, I'm afraid).

Re:DS9 (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101477)

Try Memory Alpha [memory-alpha.org] .

Wikia (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101783)

that's the right specialty wiki for Trek, though sometimes it's interesting to compare the regular wiki article and the specialty wiki article

Re:DS9 (1)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101789)

Why not reference the synopsis on Memory Alpha [memory-alpha.org] ?

Wireless thought (3, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099045)

While telekinesis doesn't exist in the real world, I wonder if an implant or headband could transmit core emotional responses to the rest of your platoon via wireless link. That is to say, you wouldn't be able to transmit exact words but rather basic core primitive thoughts and emotions. If one of your members are in danger or senses a major problem, everyone could be aware of the situation simultaneously without a single word spoken on the battlefield.

Re:Wireless thought (2)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099089)

Tele = remote
Kinesis = movement

You probably mean telepathy.

Re:Wireless thought (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099217)

Tele = remote
Kinesis = movement

You probably mean telepathy.

Tele = remote
Pathos = experience

You probably mean teletubby.

Re:Wireless thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102611)

Tele = remote
Tubby = obese ... Remove obesity? Doesn't America already have that...

Re:Wireless thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099297)

While telekinesis doesn't exist in the real world, I wonder if an implant or headband could transmit core emotional responses to the rest of your platoon via wireless link. That is to say, you wouldn't be able to transmit exact words but rather basic core primitive thoughts and emotions. If one of your members are in danger or senses a major problem, everyone could be aware of the situation simultaneously without a single word spoken on the battlefield.

And if one of your team members is suffering from PTSD or just freaks out?

Or sees a really hot chick or guy - if he goes that way - and the whole platoon is marching around with hard-ons?

Re:Wireless thought (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099707)

And if one of your team members is suffering from PTSD or just freaks out?

Actually a live connection to your team members may help. You can be reassured when the stress is just beginning, talking it out is a known way reduce stress, the team is aware - no suffering is silence making it worse, the team is aware - the soldier can be removed from the battlefield pre-freakout, etc.

Re:Wireless thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099783)

While telekinesis doesn't exist in the real world, I wonder if an implant or headband could transmit core emotional responses to the rest of your platoon via wireless link. That is to say, you wouldn't be able to transmit exact words but rather basic core primitive thoughts and emotions. If one of your members are in danger or senses a major problem, everyone could be aware of the situation simultaneously without a single word spoken on the battlefield.

Anything you could do with telepathy, you could probably do by talking on a cell phone or other radio. It is basically the same thing.

And if one of your team members is suffering from PTSD or just freaks out?

So you set your TP implant to blacklist him. No big deal (unless he's your boss, in which case, the TP spam is the least of your problems).

Or sees a really hot chick or guy - if he goes that way - and the whole platoon is marching around with hard-ons?

So what? I've marched in formation with a boner before. No one notices. It doesn't affect anything.

Re:Wireless thought (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100643)

Anything you could do with telepathy, you could probably do by talking on a cell phone or other radio. It is basically the same thing.

And to those who would say "What about special forces people and the like who have to be quiet and can't talk?" my response is that problem has already been solved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throat_microphone [wikipedia.org]

quantum entanglement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099331)

quantum entanglement might actually make for some really wacky ways to transmit data.....and distance is NOT an issue nor is speed.

Re:Wireless thought (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099553)

I can barely keep my mouth shut as it is, and you want to make it worse by being able to hear the thoughts that don't make it out of my mouth?

Re:Wireless thought (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101619)

Emotions. Not ideas, actions, people, or places. The ability to pick up happiness, fear, surprise, or caution would be an invaluable form of communication. So yes, while it be an invasion of privacy, it would put all members on the same level of enhanced awareness.

They way I see it, if you're already trusting each other with your lives, an extra layer of emotional intimacy (non-sexual) being shared among the platoon is worth it if that means staying alive.

Re:Wireless thought (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102521)

I say it would just be noise that would distract from any military operation, especially considering how fast ones emotions change in high-stress situations. The information that would be useful is specific information, knowing your buddies general mood is useless chatter. Knowing your buddy is dead or wounded though is vital information.

Being bi-polar I may be rather biased since even knowing my own moods doesn't help me worth a damn.

Also, some of the ex-military I know may have some rather paradoxical reaction to certain situations. When his emotion turns to glee, prepare to hear gunfire, lots of it.

Re:Wireless thought (1)

Brewster Jennings (2642639) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101319)

You do NOT want to transmit emotions through a wireless link in a combat device. The results would likely look similar on an encephalogram to the neuropsychological mechanism that triggers panic attacks. The civilian version would be pretty awesome for sweet lovemaking, though. :) I think a "telepathic" link would be better served forming a virtual "hive mind" that reacted in concert (kind of like clustering a server for availability only with human brains). I wouldn't use actual live soldiers on the field, though: I'd use anthropomorphic drones.

Re:Wireless thought (1)

Tyndmyr (811713) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101497)

Telekinesis exists. It merely requires a few electrodes and a wifi-linked manipulator. Google Mind Flex for an example.

Re:Wireless thought (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103057)

Why would you want to do that (transmit emotions)?

1) There are already brain computer interfaces.
2) There's already wireless communication
3) Wearable computers, displays, sensors are possible

So sending messages to your team using thoughts is not a big step. Why would sending emotions be better in a battle than sending messages?

Once you have that controlling devices remotely would just be a matter of sending the right messages to the right stuff. Then you have your telekinesis too.

See also:
http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2848877&cid=39996993 [slashdot.org]
http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1291427&cid=28577835 [slashdot.org]
http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=101132&cid=8626482 [slashdot.org]

stating the obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099049)

Supersoldiers /tinfoil hat

I'm not surprised (4, Interesting)

Zandamesh (1689334) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099069)

As it is now, the greatest tool(weapon) we have lies between our ears, more powerful than the fastest jets and the biggest bombs, and anything that improves it to perform certain tasks better is an option. So genetic manipulation, chips in brains, anything. Because if you don't, then someone else will and then you lose.

I'm guessing most of this is done in secrecy to prevent public outcries.

Killing people for money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099083)

It is amazing how much money can be found when it comes to ways of killing people - even indirectly e.g hey soldier, boy go 'n kill all those colored folks, and hey if you get your brain shredded by an IED on the wa, we can (sort of) put you back together again.

Re:Killing people for money (2)

Troyusrex (2446430) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099303)

It's not so much "ways of killing people" as it is "ways of making sure no one else can wantonly kill or subjugate you".

Re:Killing people for money (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100761)

It's not so much "ways of killing people" as it is "ways of making sure no one else can wantonly kill or subjugate you".

And maybe grabbing all the oil and installing a puppet government while you are at it. Face it, it's "ways of killing people" to justify military spending the can't be paid for while more important things get no funding whatsoever.

Re:Killing people for money (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099461)

It is amazing how much money can be found when it comes to ways of killing people - even indirectly e.g hey soldier, boy go 'n kill all those colored folks, and hey if you get your brain shredded by an IED on the wa, we can (sort of) put you back together again.

History proves that pacifism fails. Unless there are non-pacifists around to protect the pacifists.

Re:Killing people for money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099685)

Really? Seems to be working pretty well for Switzerland.

Switzerland is not pacifist, they are prepared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40100049)

Really? Seems to be working pretty well for Switzerland.

Seriously! You are claiming a country where there is universal conscription and a fully automatic assault rifle in most homes to be pacifist?

Switzerland is not pacifist, they are prepared. And preparedness for war is a factor in maintaining peace.

Re:Killing people for money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40100139)

Neutrality != Pacifism.

Switzerland has mandatory military service for all male citizens. They avoid sending troops anywhere but the Vatican, but half the adult population is trained to defend their land if anyone tries to invade over the mountains.

Re:Killing people for money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099797)

History proves that people who over simplify complex problems are often fools.

Re:Killing people for money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40100195)

History proves that people who over simplify complex problems are often fools.

History proves that some people have a hard time with the truth and lash out in frustration.

This reminds me of (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099093)

Neuromancer, I remember playing this game back in the early 80's on my Commodore 64.

Re:This reminds me of (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099399)

first thing i think about is skill wires from SR

Novel Idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099295)

How about just ending all wars? Then we won't need prosthesis for soldiers. Plus you can give me back some of my tax money spent on war welfare.

Re:Novel Idea (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099351)

How about just ending all wars? Then we won't need prosthesis for soldiers. Plus you can give me back some of my tax money spent on war welfare.

Now you're talking real changes in human brain development and activity. Like at lobotomy levels. Unfortunately, conflict seems to be pretty hard wired into the human brain.

That doesn't sound true at all (1)

F69631 (2421974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102963)

Steven Pinker on the Myth of Violence [ted.com]

Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem illogical and even obscene, given Iraq and Darfur, we are living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence.

No two (relatively) liberal democracies have ever waged a war against each other.

Re:Novel Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099683)

How about just ending all wars? Then we won't need prosthesis for soldiers. Plus you can give me back some of my tax money spent on war welfare.

History proves that pacifism fails. Unless there are non-pacifists around to protect the pacifists. Perhaps we can compromise and settle on the US not being the world police service so much.

Don't know what people are complaining about (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40099429)

I got this brain implant from the government and I feel fine. In fact, I feel better than fine. When I watch sitcoms, sports, and reality shows--it's bliss.

Re:Don't know what people are complaining about (0)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101369)

Your brain implant obviously needs to be upgraded to the newest version of the NewSpeak dictionary.

"I got this brain implant from Big Brother and I feel good. In fact, I feel plus-good. When I watch sitcoms, sports, and reality shows--it's double-plus-good."

when military tech hits the civilian world. (0, Troll)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099673)

what will happen when military tech hits the civilian world?

It does already, and as long as it keeps doing it in Muslim countries I'm all for it.

Re: when military tech hits the civilian world. (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100845)

what will happen when military tech hits the civilian world?

It does already, and as long as it keeps doing it in Muslim countries I'm all for it.

And if you run out of resources before you kill everyone else? US military spending is unsustainable and pushing the national debt to insane levels. High tech comes at a high cost and brain implants are not going to change that.

Novel concepts (3, Funny)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#40099915)

From now on, if you want to start a war on a developed country, you should do it on a Tuesday. That's the day the soldiers are down for their Windows Updates.

Re:Novel concepts (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100857)

From now on, if you want to start a war on a developed country, you should do it on a Tuesday. That's the day the soldiers are down for their Windows Updates.

Imagine what something like stuxnet could do to soldiers with brain implants.

GITS (1)

DnaK (1306859) | more than 2 years ago | (#40100661)

Ghost in the shell tackles this issue nicely in a sci fi way.

What's a bioethicist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40100823)

For those who are wondering: These people used to be called Eugenicists.

They got some deserved bad press last century so rebranded themselves. It's still the same bullshit though.

Re:What's a bioethicist? (1)

moeinvt (851793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101963)

It's a supreme tragedy for the human race that eugenics has been so powerfully (perhaps inextricably) linked with the policies of Nazi Germany. We're fools for not being able to dissociate the two and take an objective look at the idea.

Why is it 'bullshit' to think that we just MIGHT be able to apply our knowledge of genetics to improve the condition of the human species across multiple future generations? Think about cystic fibrosis for example, a hereditary disease resulting from genetic contributions of both parents. From the perspective of overall human well being, is eliminating this disease in perpetuity not worth the inconvenience of a few people in each generation finding someone else to procreate with?

I don't presume to know the answers, but I think these sorts of questions are obviously relevant and our fear of the Nazis shouldn't preclude this type of discussion.

Medical Torture Program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40101661)

Ethics....please.

These guys are experimenting on humans, torturing in their own home by radio.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution anyone? (1)

Zrako (1306145) | more than 2 years ago | (#40101871)

Sounds an awful lot like the precursor to the new Deus Ex game. I wonder if we'll see this as a result http://www.sarifindustries.com/ [sarifindustries.com]

load of crap (2)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102239)

Building an EMP rifle is trivial technology. Hardening against EMP is not as easy - if you build a shield, you just use a bigger pulse that over comes the shield. A friend of mine who was in the army for many years said "Look, between a Map and a GPS? I'll take the map. Shoot a map with a bullet - whaddya got? A map with a hole in it. Shoot a GPS and waddya got? Useless Junk." It all scales from there. The "high / robotic / tech" battlefield is just some circle jerk fantasy by beltway bandits looking for a way to strip mine more money out of the Treasury Dept.

Re:load of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102605)

FWIW if I'm a soldier and someone shoots at me, the odds are better for me if the bullet turns my GPS into junk than the bullet makes a hole in the map I'm carrying.

But other than that, yeah the map is good.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...