Is Darth Vader the New iPhone?

Hands down the best Star Wars movie is “The Empire Strikes Back.”  I still get chills thinking of Luke Skywalker decapitating himself as Darth Vader.  By the end of the movie, we see the premonition coming closer to reality with Luke’s new robotic arm.  Today, we are not that far off from re-engineering humans into our army of Vaders. 

Pagan Kennedy writes this past Sunday in the New York Times Magazine, “The Cyborg in Us All“, about electrocorticographic (ECoG) implants.  ECoG technology ranges from using nanotechnology to repair damaged tissue cells in the handicapped to surgically placing chips into one’s cerebral cortex to control their iPhone or Television.  Raising the question – how far do you want your Wii to go?  The Internet is littered with alarming examples of this implementation from monkeys to the paraplegic.  Pagan tells of how “thousands of people have become cyborgs…for medical reasons: cochlear implants augment hearing and deep-brain stimulators treat Parkinson’s. But within the next decade, we are likely to see a new kind of implant, designed for healthy people who want to merge with machines. ”

This sounds like science-fiction but human trials of drilling a small whole into the skull are only a few years away.  Gerwin Schalk of Albany Medical Center tells Pagan of his observations in 2003 with epileptic patients who “had portions of their skulls removed so they could be implanted with ECoG devices.”  In addition to studying the brain patterns of seizures, Schalk was able to get patients to move a cursor on the computer just by thinking it (no hands!).  In above video, we see further  implementation of this technology by the Department of Defense who aims to build an army of human drones (I mean soldiers).  In addition to medical and defense application, cosmetic surgical mind enhancements are not that far off.  In fact, iPhone 10 may be just a ECoG chip implant.  Reminding us all to be very careful with our thoughts…

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