February 18, 2013
First they map your brain. And by you, I mean everybody.
President Obama has just greenlighted a 10-year Manhattan Project for the human brain. I warned it was coming years ago.
The new billion-dollar enterprise is called BAM, the Brain Activity Map project. The fact that DARPA is one of the agencies involved tells you a great deal. DARPA is the cutting-edge military outfit in charge of new technologies for the Armed Forces. They want to create The Enhanced Soldier and all that that implies. Think “android.”
Behind the front of claims that BAM will create new therapies for mental disorders (for which no defining diagnostic tests even exist), the plan is to forward artificial intelligence (AI), which means creating a computer that works at least as well as the one inside your skull.
This is the technocrats’ wet dream: “We can now power up an artificial brain of such power and intelligence that it can make all crucial decisions for the human race from Central Planning.”
In the wake of Sandy Hook, other implications are also clear. BAM will be used to devise a Minority Report society, in which purported markers of future violence will be utilized to forcibly treat (with toxic drugs), contain, and prevent “predicted criminals” from carrying out fantasies percolating in their subconscious. Would those fantasies, if left alone, ever rise to the level of action? Irrelevant. Cast a wide net, in the name of Prevention.
Welcome to “expanded mental-health services.” You’re on a list? Oops. You must be treated. Here is your mandatory appointment slip. Yes, the drugs are highly toxic. Yes, they can and do cause you to commit horrendous acts of violence. But we don’t talk about that.
Of course, what I’m sketching out here is not happening by next week. But BAM is a giant step on the road toward this future. It’s far from trivial. The stated goal is the mapping of all neuronal activity in humans. This is science fiction coming alive now.
The American Psychiatric Association and Big Pharma are drooling with anticipation. This is precisely what they’ve been aiming for. Vastly expanded treatment options. More diagnoses. More drugs. More control.
BAM has been on the drawing boards for years. But after Aurora and Sandy Hook, the timing is right. The sub-text of BAM is: “People, we will protect you. We will gain access to the brain and re-channel it away from violence. You will be safe.”
BAM is the step before reconfiguring the brain, which is the long-term and underlying goal. These neuroscientists have no interest in the concept of freedom. They left that in the dust decades ago.
For them, the brain is merely a machine that needs a great deal of tweaking, because people are naturally mis-programmed, and corrections must be built into a new and better system.
Of course, “new and better” will pivot on non-scientific value judgments, masked behind masses of techno-speak. And you will have no input into the choice of values. You’re the experimental device; the neuroscientists are the operators.
Everyone who is anyone is on board for this one. The National Institutes of Health, private foundations, universities, drug companies. They’ll all wrangle a piece of the pie.
The White House is touting BAM as job-creation as well. Of course they are. Huxley left that out of Brave New World. “This is a wonderful way to bring up employment numbers. If we take the engineering of humans far enough, everybody can work.”
If you’re wondering what the hell the federal government is doing mapping the human brain, you’re back in the Stone Age. You’re probably interested in, what did they used to call it, oh yes, the Constitution.
Excessive interest in that moldy document probably has a correlation with certain brain activity, which can be mapped and charted. And then you’re on a list: “The subject shows typical neuronal dysfunction in sub-sector 254-A. This is the James Madison Disorder. Recommend immediate detention and treatment.”
“A new study from the BAM-plus group at Harvard has found a significant relationship between home schooling and an excess velocity in synaptic transmission. Such velocity surpasses recommended limits.”
Yes, it’s a joke. Right now. But we’re not just on the slippery slope. We’ve gone down the hill a few new miles, as of today.
Back when professionally praised scientific lunatics like Dr. Ewen Cameron and Yale’s Jose Delgado declared that the human being had no right to his own intrinsic personality, people thought such a notion was absurd. But now, the language is far more clever and densely obscure.
It’s quite possible, move by move, to propagandize inhuman research, with government press releases, right into the era of the “brain-adapted” population.
Just as the public has bought into the idea that all mental disorders spring from “chemical imbalances,” despite the fact that no normal level of balance has ever been established, so it will be easy to convince the population that the abnormal brain activity of 100 billion neurons can be measured, categorized, specified, and treated.
It’s science. It must be true. Science marches on. Science is the hand-servant of humanity. Greatest good for the greatest number.
The worshipers at the altar of big government who believe its function is that of a giving god will go along, gladly.
For those of that faith, BAM sounds right, and therefore it must be right. No thinking required.
What about the rest of us? A succinct “don’t touch my brain, mother****er” is a good start. It has a nice ring to it. I’m sure it correlates with quite healthy levels of neuronal activity.
Here’s a prediction. You can take it to the bank. On that day when BAM completes its vaunted mission, our esteemed leaders will manage to exempt themselves from brain scans that might reveal their own dark visions and objectives.
It might even be called The Obama Exception.
If you’re sitting in a pew on the Left and you don’t like that one, try The Bush Exception. Under his brilliant reign, we had the Teen Screen program, a maniacal project to test all children for mental disorders at a young age. It failed, and went out of business.
But BAM has a lot more juice. It aims to go the distance. It has the imprimatur of “hard science.” That’s the venue in which they cook up the biggest lies. The ones with real money behind them. And real Auschwitz experimenters.