Thursday, November 15, 2012

Of Mind Control and Stray Planets

This old world just keeps on spinning and the crazy keeps on flipping the minds of those who won’t open their eyes.

If this were a Current World Events blog I would have grist for the blog post writing mill for thousands of years to come.

But... this is not that kind of blog.

I wonder what's OUT there?

What this blog is, and what it is meant to do is for me, Paul Philip Carter, writer of fantasy and sci-fi and even a couple of books about my own adventures in Writing Land, to discuss topics related to writing and the stories I write.

Today I have discovered three articles about new technology and sciency stuff, two related, one not so much, that allow my imagination to run about as freaking wild as it can possibly run. I would be able to write a lot of stuff just based on these articles if I were allowed to just sit all day and imagine and dream and create new worlds and new people to inhabit those worlds... (sigh)...

Alas... I do have a day job.

Damn it.

The first two articles, which are related to each other, are referring to an exciting new(ish) branch of science dealing with accessing, interpreting, defining, and possibly manipulation OF or manipulation BY the electrical impulses and command structure of the brain.

The first article (here) talks about how researchers in China have devised a way to translate brain waves into music.

This is incredible. As a musician myself, I have often wondered how incredible it would be if I could just TELL the instruments what to do without having to actually physically touch the instrument myself. That’d be a time-saver, right there I tell ‘ya. And, well, perhaps it would eliminate mistakes too... not that I make mistakes... no... not me...

Here’s a little history... I started playing the guitar many years ago when I was just a young pup of a boy at 13 years old. Not long after, in the heydays of the 1980 New Wave movement, I purchased a brand new Roland synthesizer.

Now back in the day as a long haired rocker playing guitar and trying to pick up chicks, I knew absolutely NOTHING, I mean Zero Kelvin about synths or computers and the word MIDI was to me about as alien as the unexplored planet in Jack Chalker ‘s RUN TO CHAOS KEEP.

Back then, as I tried to learn how to connect that synth to other machines (of the drum variety), I would have DIED to have a way to make what was IN MY HEAD transfer easily to the SYNTH. I remember reading in OMNI and other cool mags of the 80’s that some supposedly smart dudes were working on creating MIDI for your MIND. Would have been nice, but obviously it never happened.

Fast forward nearly 25 years and VOILA! Suddenly it not only seems possible to control electronics with your mind, the gosh-darned scientists are actually DOING IT!

As companion to the China article above, the BBC reports here that Canadian scientists have successfully found a way to communicate with a man who has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade!!!

So, not only are they able to access and control external devices with the power of the mind, they are also going the OTHER way... communicating INWARDLY with someone thought to not be able to communicate at all!


Folks, come on... you have to see just how incredible discoveries like these are. IMAGINE... if we can find a way to permanently engage with folks who are in what we typically believe as a “brain dead” or “vegetative” state then we have just virtually SAVED these people’s lives!

This is an INCREDIBLE advancement and should be shouted from the mountain tops!

Now, travel with me here... as I wrote about in a post back in August titled “TRANSHUMANISM”, if scientist are one day able to transfer your brain or your consciousness from your body into some other device, and if we are able to communicate this to someone who is in a vegetative state and they agree to the transfer... then that person would be able to leave their other broken body and awaken in a new body OR device of some sort and once again have a functioning external “body”.

Can you even imagine this?

I know I know... this all seems really far-fetched and at best we are many many years from accomplishing this.

But, if you read me with any regularity you will note how I am CONSTANTLY dumbfounded by advancements that are already being made in fields thought to have been years from fruition.

Folks, this type of “brain” or “consciousness” transfer technology COULD happen within our life time!

But... before you get too excited...

I have a THIRD article that you might want to read.

Astronomers have discovered a rogue planet, an “orphan” from its solar system with no “parent” star just wandering around the galaxy sort of like BEAN in Orson Scott Card’s SHADOW OF THE HEGEMON.

See, the problem with finding an orphan planet like this is that it could easily be a candidate for another fabled PLANET X (read here).

If Planet X comes along, we may have MANY other things to be worried about. Like finding a way OFF this doomed dirt clod.

But for now this clod just keeps on spinning and the crazy just keeps on coming.

Oh well... here’s to dreaming!!



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