Variations on a theme:
Wed, 6 Aug 1997 10:48:58 -0400 (EDT)

First an apology...I'm having trouble (again) with software.. and I'm not
online....consequently I won't be able to cite sources....this has happend a
lot and I'm afraid it will continue...hazard of the profession I guess.

In an earlier post a prediction of being able to make micro-robots in the
near future was referenced. I had some fun with that relative to the "Bug
Wars" concept. But there are other ideas which occur to me.

Surgery for example.

Now my understanding of neurosurgery is limited at best...(I missed that day
in Truck Driving School)...but from what I understand the nerve impluse is
electro-chemical. That is it travels by ionic transfer thru the
nerve(dendrite) and then by chemical transfer from axion to (?) ...across the
gap. This obviously is speed limited. Several tens to several hundreds of
feet per second. Pitiful.

In an earlier reference it was mentioned that the ability had been aquired to
fuse a chip to a nerve. A direct nueral interface on a single nerve level.
Or perhaps I read it somewhere else....but I'm quiet sure that I DID read

At anyrate. Imagine this: Using a micro-robot "surgeon" attach a fiber (as
in "fiber optic") to a nerve near the top of the spinal column....then
parallel that nerve along the spinal cord (thru the arms, legs...whatever)
until it reaches it's destination...then tie in again. In effect cutting out
several feet (possibly) of slow electro-chemical nerve impulse transference
and replaceing it with light-speed. Does this suggest anything about
increasing reflex time? Or more prosaicly,,,repairing spinal cord injury?

But why stop there. Many of my favorite SF stories and novels use the
device of a direct neural interface (David Weber-"Imperial Implants", Daniel
Keys Moran-"Inskin", name but two) to directly control mechanisms or
communications. Is this not possible now? At least in theory?

It might be kinda of tacky to have a socket in the base of your skull, or
wrist or ankel....but the rewards might justify such a lapse in fashion.

St. Louis