(Nathaniel Makau) Technology consultants to DARPA may claim the secretive Department of Defense only has innovation for the betterment of humanity in mind, but some of their most outlandish projects tell a different story.
How do DARPA’s projects interact with each other and what does this truly mean for us as a civilization?
DARPA has hacked into a squid’s nervous system in order to force the animal to change its colors. What does this mean for you and me? DARPA is essentially seeing just how far they can take their mind control techniques so that even those of us who have not been overtaken with nano-bots would still be physically submissive. This same experiment is being carried out on human spies, wherein DARPA’s scientists hack into the peripheral nervous system to override autonomic functioning. Using its Targeted Neuroplasticity Training program, DARPA is attempting to take over the brain’s synaptic plasticity, so that it can tap into nerves reaching out to our extremities. While this may sound ‘cool’ at first blush, imagine the implications if someone were remotely controlling how your limbs function against your will. Ray Kurzweil has already predicted that humans will by hybrid robots by the year 2030. If DARPA has their way, he is probably late in his estimation.
DARPA is studying the human fight or flight response. The Neuroscience of threat response could be used to help bolster soldiers’ bravery who face horrifying conditions in perpetual wars, but DARPA could also be studying how we respond to stress and appropriately flee from it, in order to make us compliant in situations where normally we’d be running as fast as we could in the other direction. A $300,000 grant over two years was awarded to a researcher from the University of Colorado at Boulder, to use neuroeconomic models to study how the way we move changes when faced with threats. The lead researcher says that people seem to be ‘irrational’ in their movement choices when faced with risky situations, and while some of us have an over-stimulated fight-or-flight response from both real and imagined threats we’ve experienced in our lives, a government agency determining when we should flee and when to shut down our bodily systems to force us to stay in a dicey situation seems a bit peevish, minimally.
Former DARPA employee, Regina Dugan once said, “We got to do a lot of epic shit when I was at DARPA.” She’s been at Motorola, Google, and most recently Facebook. At Facebook she is charged with making ‘new technologies,’ but while at DARPA she helped to develop electronic tattoos (human branding with barcodes and Mark of the Beast) as well as passwords to computer systems you can swallow. In the 1993 British movie, Naked, directed by Mike Leigh and starring David Thewlis, the following conversation takes place:
“What is the mark? Well the mark Brian, is the barcode.The ubiquitous barcode that you’ll find on every bog roll, and every packet of johnny’s and every poxie-pot pie. And every [expletive-removed] barcode is divided into two parts by three markers and those three markers are always represented by the number six. Six-six-six. Now what does it say? No one shall be able to buy or sell without that mark. And now what they’re planning to do in order to eradicate all credit card fraud and in order to precipitate a totally cashless society. What they’re planning to do; what they’ve already tested on the American troops; they’re going to subcutaneously laser tattoo that mark onto your right hand or onto your forehead.” (Naked, British movie, 1993, directed by Mike Leigh and starring David Thewlis)
There are dozens more unseemly DARPA projects, from real life Avatars to every conceivable manner of robots, and war toys that would make Machiavelli jealous. Some say DARPA is simply pushing technological boundaries to their very edge, but by piecing together the implications of their projects both singularly, and used cooperatively, another possibility becomes startlingly apparent.