Re: Brain Implant Allows Thought Control

Doug Bailey (
Fri, 16 Oct 1998 8:56:06 -0400

Ian wrote:

> It's actually bionic "telekinesis." Now if it
> works this way, it must surely be able to work
> the other way, that is, signals sent to a brain
> could control that brain from a distant location.
> The central planner's wet dream come true! Armies
> of ideal citizens, jumping to the central commands.

Obviously, any technology can be abused. No doubt, as this particular technology progresses, people will oppose its further development by painting "worst case" scenarios. This has happened recently with cloning (e.g., armies of throw away soldiers, armies of Hitlers, etc.)

However, these "arguments" are effectively countered by the point that all technologies are vulnerable to abuse. That brain implants and human cloning could be abused in ways we might not find palatable makes them no different from artillery, the Internet, or mastery of fire. The key is anticipating the capabilities of technology and objectively considering the ways such technology can be used positively and ways it can be abused. Developing policy from that vantage point is key.

Doug Bailey