Not long ago, I was presented a rather intriguing ethics question by a very sharp student, Josh Balaban while we were discussing the future possibility of a communication brain chip to allow thought swapping social networking, and even a PhD implant into the human brain. We got to talking about how it might be difficult to tell if it was working properly on a fully formatted adult brain, but it might work better on a “clean slate” or the brain of a child. Of course this is all theory right, sure, but let’s talk about this for a moment.
You see, we can’t go around experimenting on human children, even though we perhaps would get better results in implanting a chip in the brain of a child, which is less than fully-formatted, that is an interesting idea, and to that point Josh’s objection and hesitation and even his warning on the moral aspect, cannot be taken lightly – he’s right of course, undeniably.
Still, hypothetically back to the theory and aside from the moral aspect, even if we are giving an advantage to the child, or experimenting on them, in some ways we might be giving them a gift and the ability to far exceed others in society over time, and enjoy a unique life experience. Maybe we might find an adult who thinks like a child instead, and allow them to “decide” if they wished to partake in the experiment for a possible advantage?
Then there is the whole “placebo” effect. Many experiments have been done where people were told they had an advantage and thus, acted and believed they had the advantage and then excelled because they believed, when all along they had no advantage whatsoever, only had been told and thus, believed.
Will, my predictions of brain chips for communication and knowledge implants come to pass? Well, here is what Josh has to say about that potential eventuality;
“It will be interesting to see how we progress in regards to information. Will we continue to use this new information and technology for medical and practical advantages, or will we stray-away from the constant flow of information in order to find a sense of peace?”
Yes I see that point, Josh is right again, and personally, I like to be in the flow of information, perhaps it is the curiosity effect – Leonardo da Vinci seemed to believe that “curiosita” was the difference between a genius mind, and one which went through life basically “turned-off” and only operating from outside stimulus, but never questioning what is; which brings our dialogue full-circle back to; THE QUESTION, from which we began this discussion with using the proverbial;
Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.