"The Augmented Human"

September 16, 2005

An article on the future of bioengineering is both fascinating and just a little creepy. It features some of the more-than-human abilities our cyborg grandchildren will enjoy.
Among the highlights:

  • An implanted microchip in the brain will allow a person to send brain signals and control machines.
  • Contact lenses that will monitor blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • A wireless transmitter implanted in a tooth that will act as both speaker and microphone for a cellphone by sending soundwaves to the eardrum.
  • A prescription dispenser—implanted in the chest—that monitors body chemistry and releases drugs into your body when you need them.
  • Implants that will rejuvenate paralyzed muscles, damaged brain tissue and hearing nerves in the ear.

Now, this all sounds promising, but anyone who’s ever read a science-fiction novel has to be a little uneasy.


Brave New World

September 14, 2005

Reproductive science is growing at a breathtaking pace. It appears that both men and women are now obsolete.

"You’re Being Watched."

August 19, 2005

Now here’s one even Orwell didn’t think of. A pest control company in Florida is being trained by police to spy on their customers and report anything suspicious to police. A worker for the company says that “Our point is not to invade people’s houses or make them feel like their privacy is being invaded. It’s just to try to have an extra set of eyes and ears out there.” Also, if you see one of the company’s yellow VW bugs, “you’re being watched.”
This brings to mind a quote from 1984, the most important book ever written:

A few agents of the Thought Police moved always among them, spreading false rumours and marking down and eliminating the few individuals who were judged capable of becoming dangerous.

When the shower cam is introduced to keep us safe from bathroom intruders, I suppose I could volunteer for camera duty . . .

Do What You’re Told

July 28, 2005

A woman in North Carolina has been cited for misdemeanor obstructing and delaying after calling 911 to verify the identity of a police officer who came to her door.
Just remember, keep your head down, your mouth shut and say “baa-baa” like a good citizen would.

Everyone Breathe Easy. We’re Safe Now.

July 27, 2005

A 62-year-old woman has been convicted of assaulting an airport security screener, and by “assault” we mean grabbing the screener’s breasts after the screener had checked under granny’s breasts to make sure she wasn’t smuggling something dangerous under her boobs. Now that this extremely dangerous potential terrorist (and retired schoolteacher) won’t be on a plane for a while, I just might leave the house and talk a walk in the sunshine.

Of course, granny’s most serious crime was in refusing to behave like a meek sheep and allow herself to be felt up under the silly notion that anyone may be a probable terrorist. Anyone who steps out of line and disrupts our illusion of safety will be dealt with swiftly and harshly.

Is anyone else getting tired of this?