Re: Neurohacking

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Sat, 07 Aug 1999 21:16:21 -0500 wrote:
> Forgive me for joining the party late....
> This neurohacking... are you talking about neural-interface hardware, or about optimising the productivity of the existing nervous system?

Mostly about reallocating neurons from one ability to another - robbing Peter to pay Paul - by placing the "Paul" abilities under constant stimulation, by hijacking the (hopefully localizable) interface between emotions and intelligence, by modifying off-the-shelf brain-stimulation devices originally developed for stuff like epilepsy.

I'm talking about neurosurgery.


> If the latter, do you contend that we humans don't do just that every time we interact, or think for that matter? (Okay, not "every" time, but that the potential doesn't exist in both interaction and thought?)

There's a difference between software and hardware optimization. There are things you can do with hardware that you just can't do with software.

> And if the former, do you feel we're sufficiently evolved to accept physical/mental enhancers without posing tremendous risk to both ourselves and our world?

(1) Of course not; we aren't evolved enough to not grow tobacco plants. I believe the phrase is "necessary risk".

(2) You'd better hope I'm evolved enough...

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way