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Breaker, Breaker big buddy, we can now get into your head
It’s mind boggling how time flies, and how quickly things change.
When I was a junior at college, way back in 1987, one of my friends, Sandy (a senior) had a boyfriend who attended a school in New York. Their separation across the country was heartbreaking, until they discovered a wonderful way to communicate without the cost of long distance telephone calls. Sandy told me she and Peter could “talk” to each other through these things called computers.
It wasn’t easy or convenient. They could only communicate if she and Peter were in their respective college computer rooms and logged into the Local Area Networks (LANs) at the same time.
Of course, they had to type in a lot of computer code in these big boxes with a flashing cursor in the early 1980s. It was kind of like how Citizen Band Radios changed all of our lives. For you youngins, a CB radio was this fantastic new thing in the 1970s and 80s where you could have short-distance radio communications between individuals on a select 40 channels within a certain distance. It started with truckers, but quickly made its way into the American car. It was so cool to be able to talk to “Sidewinder”, “Daisy Duke” “Chopper Rick” or “Blackbeard” in your car! Those were the days, talking to complete strangers on a device under your dashboard. From what I understand, some truckers continue to use these in their rigs.
Flash forward to today. I just read an article how a University of Washington researcher has hacked into the human brain through a computer. Rajesh Rao made it possible to allow him to play a computer game with his mind, and then send a signal to the brain of another researcher across campus, making him move his right hand.
Apparently these two researchers performed this amazing feat through everyone’s unseen friend, the internet.
According to the press release, the first person was playing a simple video game with his mind. When he was supposed to fire a cannon, he imagined moving his hand (but made sure he didn’t) causing the cursor to hit the “fire” button.
Almost instantaneously, the other researcher in another location and not looking at the computer screen, involuntarily moved his finger to push the “fire” button. He compared the feeling of his hand moving to that of a nervous tic.
Ladies and gentlemen, the infancy of brain-to-brain communication is here, and I am scared. Instead of using words to transfer information from one brain to another, we can do it through the invisible internet.
I’m alreadying thinking of the possibilities: Thinking my way to having my kids clean their rooms, do the dishes, do their homework, stop fighting, study, write neater, ... etc. It will be every parents’ dream.
I just wish this technology had been around when I was suffering through algebra class in high school. I could have used some assistance.