Re: Mind control 1965

Ian Goddard (
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 13:59:58 -0400

At 08:21 AM 10/19/98 -0700, Max More wrote:
>One of my favorite SF writers, Greg Egan, has dealt with this brilliantly,
>especially in Quarantine, and some of the stories in Axiomatic (inc. the
>title story). For instance, in the novel, the neurotechnologically
>augmented private eye is given a "loyalty mod" by a mysterious group. He
>*knows* that he has an implant that makes him want to serve the group, yet
>he really *does* want to serve it. Egan does a good job examining how his
>character deals with this dissonance.

IAN: Such may evidence that there is no spiritual entity. If there were, and if it was aware of the "alien control" of its brain (tool), then one would assume that there should be a conflict, as in the case where someone steals your property. But if there is no ghost in the box, then if you simply just flip the "I want to do x" switch, voila "I want to do x." So, it seems that there's no spiritual overseer, simply a set of interacting systems that evolved into a large system (brain) wherein systems follow commands sent from other subsystems, and the implant is automatically accepted as a system member, and therefore, what it wants to do, "I want to do."

Since the incidence of brain implantation intended to seize control of a brain is virtually unheard of in the natural world, brains never had to evolve strategies to detect and repel such invasion, and as a result, it can occur with impunity.

>Marc Steigler's wonderfully extropian story, "The Gentle Seduction"
>(reprinted in Nanodreams) does something like you mention. His character
>receives an implant bestowing mathematical abilities. The new calculative
>abilities seem to the person to come not from an external device, but from
>her own mind. That's the way a good interface should be! Perhaps that is
>one mark of an enhancement/augmentation vs. the addition of a separate

IAN: And with the implants that they have now, into which neurones actually grow and attach themselves directly to the electrodes(!), the concept of "self" and "other" really dissolves.

If we also say, the "self" of X is that which X has produced according to its genetic code, such that the bones in my foot are "Ian" since they were constructed by me as per my DNA code. In the same way, the implants were constructed by humans as per their DNA code that allows for the development of advanced technologies. So in effect, the collective human entity has evolved a more dynamic evolution strategy, one that is expressed by the invention of new technologies and application of them to current survival. In this way, all of our gadgets are natural, and bionic implants are natural evolutions.

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