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Tag Archives: neural prosthesis

Am I old-fashioned for thinking that one can only appreciate and enjoy using a skill if it came with hard work? If I don’t have to put much effort to learn a skill, does that cheapen the whole thing?

“You heard about the new performance enhancement stuff athletes are using? Its -”

“What, doping? That’s been quietly legal for a while. Ever since global sports started to stagnate – what with no records being broken for a while and what not, people were starting to complain about how boring things were becoming so they quietly stopped checking. It’s not talked about much but if you know where to look you’ll see they aren’t even trying to deny it anymore.”

“Yeah that aint whats I’m talking about.”

“Oh right. Then what are you talking about? Do you mean gene and stem cell therapies? Those are banned officially but again, no one actually pursues offenders.”

“Naw, I don’t means that. Or maybe, kind off. Athletes aint just plain doping no more, now they taking stuff that targets their haplotypes. Some big outfits even gots new stuff developed. Remember that outcry against China when people heard they was using genomics to dope their gymnasts with targeted drugs?”

“Yeah but it quickly quieted down when it turned out to be useful for vertigo and even a bit for Parkinson’s disease. Some of the hormone and gene treatments have been useful for some childhood disabilities too. Hard to pin moral bankruptcy on a company when their research has such positive externalities.”

“Ya recently they been mixing combos o’ that stuff, taking a bunch of targeted drugs, growth hormones and various therapies for quicker healing, speed, strength and stamina build up. Messing with stuff that targets the cholinergic neurons for optimal nerve muscle transmission too. But that aint the rub.”

“Wait what?”

Yeah theres new stuff. Wasn’t even possible 6 months ago. Some shady athletes, past their prime y’ know, are using these caps what records their neural firing patterns when they does a move. They selling them recordings for mega bucks. The upcoming youngsters download ’em. Here’s the crazy bit. The interface don’t try to learn the patterns exactly, it actually tries to form a loose model, right? The user has one what’s tuned to ’em. When they puts it on, it looks for the best match between the twos. Then when they does something wrong it helps that part of the brain what corrects errors. You knows the Anterior Cingular Cortex?”

Yes, go on.”

Yeh okay. Anyways it helps fine tune the signals so they learns quick like from their mistakes, right? If that don’t blows your mind, there’s crazier kids what are getting actual implants in their motor cortex and buying exosuits too. These things actually helping ’em position their limbs right. They learning in a couple tries and a few minutes stuff what used to take hundreds of hours. Crazy huh?”

Yeah. Wow! I’d seen some stuff but I didn’t know people were actually trying that. That stuff could be dangerous! Not to mention the moral arguments, this is really messing up the idea of fair competition. They’re basically cheating.”

Dunno. Some of ’em defends it. They says instead of focusing on useless technicals they works on creativity instead. And you should sees the new stuff coming out. It’s crazy. Anyways, there’s talk underground ’bout an enhanced and pure Olympics. The enhanced version is no holds barred. The boosts what I was telling you right? They almost old hat already. People talking about reinforced skeletons and artificial muscle fibers. Dangerous maybe, thas why not everyone turns out as heroes.”

Huh. That’s all interesting but I don’t know. Some people may call them not heroes but fools. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of all the cases of gruesome deaths, paralysis, dystonia, ataxia, heart failure and even dementia. Not to mention these people won’t be able to appreciate the movements if it all comes so easy.”

Now yous just repeating yourself. You just ain’t seen the fruits is all. Thems who does it understands the risks but they thinks is worth the price. Sooner than laters the process gonna run smooth like and these pioneers what risk themselves will be to thank. What these new generation are doing warps your mind with its fearsome beauty and super human grace. The people what using, they says the resisters are holding back humanity from its full potential. Sticking to those old days when random chance and genetic lotteries was king. Was less fair before you know. Random ability, limited access to top trainers and good training facilities was the real competitors – not athletic ability.

Now at least people are choosing, leveling the playing field. The new base is set so just doping aint cutting it. Techniques for faster and even more learning is the main. Everyone’s gots access to data from top talents. Times a changing. Just like back in them days when gene duplications what allow quicker movement for new neurons and thicker spines were all the rage and the old guys was saying: ‘hey that aint fair at all!’ And the young-ins were like ‘whatevers’. This just more o’ the same when you looks at it right.”