In April of last year, Obama announced a $100 million brain-mapping project, which is being promoted as essential to unlocking the secrets behind degenerative brain conditions and kick starting job growth.
Despite a U.S. economy that is sliding ever faster toward complete implosion, Obama is doubling down on the initiative with another $100 million dollar commitment even as very little of the assertions about job growth have been proven.
In light of where the funding is coming from, it is worth re-examining the darker payoff potential.
According to the latest from LiveScience:
Under the proposed budget, released Tuesday (March 4), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will contribute an estimated $100 million to the effort; the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will invest $80 million; and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will provide another $20 million. (Source)
The NIH plans to develop a “toolbox” of technologies to map the brain’s circuitry, measure activity in brain circuits and probe how these circuits lead to unique human cognition and behavior.
DARPA will continue to develop memory prostheses as part of an effort called Restoring Active Memory, to create medical devices that measure and stimulate neurons to ease the symptoms of diseases such as PTSD and depression, a project called Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies (SUBNETS); and to develop prosthetic limbs that would restore control and sensation to amputees, known as Prosthetic Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX).
The NSF will focus on three main areas: interdisciplinary research; new theories, models and tools to guide research; and technologies to handle huge amounts of new data. The NSF has already provided $25 million in funding to an MIT research center for “Brains, Minds and Machines,” as well as funding to support scientific collaborations.
Since this all sounds so positive, and we are apparently to believe that DARPA just wants to curePost Traumatic Stress Disorder, we might want to re-visit some of what has been discussed previously in order to put this into proper context.
As The New American has rightly highlighted, whenever DARPA is involved, we can expect that there will be creepy military applications . . . like mind control. This mission has actually been around for some time within the halls of elite think-tanks, and now appears to be coming to full fruition. We’ve even seen the recent exposure by a whistleblower at the University of Arizona who came forward to reveal a connection to DARPA’s desire to recreate through narrative the results from Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. In short, affecting thought patterns and, in particular, changing religious views in order to thwart the fanaticism that supposedly underpins the War on Terror.
A closer look at the area being invested in by the National Science Foundation reveals what Big Data and the merger of human and machine intelligence is really about. Please read Medical Nanobots Will Connect Brain to Cloud Computing to get a better understanding of where this part of the initiative is headed, as well as the article Big Government Seeks New Ways to Manage “Big Data” to see how heavily invested our largest federal agencies are in collecting and analyzing datain order to find ways to predict human behavior – something that is already taking shape in“predictive policing” as we see it being rolled out in Chicago. Departments such as the National Institutes of Health,Department of Defense
, National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological survey, and DARPA are all right there.
As government data collection ramps up, the Obama administration through the Office of Science and Technology Policy has announced a $200 million investment in taking this information “from data to decisions.” So that’s now a total of $400 million in this overall data-brain initiative. All to make our lives more prosperous and healthy? Let’s look at other possibilities….
The UK think-tank, The Royal Society (which has openly admitted to studying how to play God with the climate) kicked off a program in 2010 that revealed its multifaceted investigation into the identification of organic brain function and potential control over human behavior.
The Brain Waves project is divided into four modules, each tasked with studying the impact of developments in the field of neuroscience and neurotechnology.
The titles of the modules reflect the areas of examination:
Module 1: Society and policy
Module 2: Implications for education and lifelong learning
Module 3: Conflict and security
Module 4: Responsibility and the law
The results from these modules have been published, and clearly illustrate how this panel views the lower public masses in light of their status as the elite arbiters of human destiny. The dual approach to this investigation must be kept in mind as the U.S. government is now rolling out the BRAIN initiative as the next great thing since the human genome project. The ramifications are potentially even more momentous.
We often hear from critics that these think-tanks are an essential part of scientific discovery, and that drawing conclusions of a nefarious nature about their intent is paranoid conspiracy theory — they are only thinking, after all. I would submit that objective scientific inquiry is absolutely necessary and that the proper role of science is to disseminate results to the public for open debate, prior to their implementation. However, think-tanks such as the Royal Society betray, by their own language, subjective biases (and corporate connections) that have no place in true science.
The Royal Society funds over 700 private ventures, which undoubtedly are directed by findings from studies such as Brain Waves. While their studies might be couched in scientific terminology, there is always a philosophical overlay that indicates a desire to study the sciences specifically for use toward a purpose that a relatively small group sees fit. Furthermore, given that many developments in neuroscience are already being forced upon the public in a negative manner, the claims of open debate and “welcoming comments from the public” seem disingenuous. Rather, what we have is a another think-tank blueprint that is merely stating the current course planned long ago, as well as what is to be rolled out in the near future under projects like BRAIN.
Just as we have seen from other think tanks such as the Project For a New American Century, Council on Foreign Relations, Brookings Institution, and a host of others; their thoughts translate to reality on a less-than-coincidental frequency, so we would do well to listen to what they have been saying.
The Project (an elite view of the brain)
As an initial aside, perhaps lending insight into their philosophical perspective: the image they have chosen to represent Module 1 of the project is “a drawing of Purkinje cells (A) and granule cells (B) from pigeon cerebellum.” Slightly odd given that their results are directed toward humans, but this would be consistent with much of elitist statements and writings from Bertrand Russell to Aldoux Huxley, Henry Kissinger, and others who literally refer to the masses as a lower form of animal. (Are we to assume we’re viewed here as bird brains?)
Module 1 (108-page PDF) An overview for subsequent modules in “neuroimaging, neuropsychopharmacology, and neural interfaces – and discuss(es) the translation of this knowledge into useful applications . . . as well as the ethical questions and governance issues.”
Their statement of intent reads as follows:
Increasing understanding of the brain . . . will increase our insights into normal human behaviour and mental well-being, as well as enabling other enhancement, manipulation, and even degradation of brain function and cognition…The array of ‘neuro’ disciplines lend themselves to applications in diverse areas of public policy such as health, education, law, and security. More broadly, progress in neuroscience is going to raise questions about personality, identity, responsibility, and liberty, as well as associated social and ethical issues. The aim of the Royal Society’s Brain Waves project is to explore what neuroscience can offer, what are its limitations, and what are the potential benefits and the risks posted by particular applications. (page 1)
Similar to their discussion of weather control, this study seeks an all-inclusive approach that spans the full spectrum of society, begging the same question they asked previously regarding the implementation of scientific discovery, “Who decides?”
Module 2 (36-page PDF) “The report authors, including neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists and education specialists, agree that if applied properly, the impacts of neuroscience could be highly beneficial in schools and beyond.”
From the summary:
The emerging field of educational neuroscience presents opportunities as well as challenges for education. It provides means to develop a common language and bridge the gulf between educators, psychologists, and neuroscientists.One group is conspicuously absent from this particular part of the summary: parents. Rather, we are given a small glimpse into the mindset of technocrats and scientific dictators everywhere who have a worldview of central management and social engineering as the solutions for society at large. In this new world, it is the state and its scientists who are to hold the key for humanity’s next stage of evolution, not the individual or family unit.
Module 3 (75-page PDF) “This report considers some of the potential military and law enforcement applications arising from key advances in neuroscience.”
From the summary:
This new knowledge suggests a number of potential military and law enforcement applications. These can be divided into two main goals: performance enhancement, i.e. improving the efficiency of one’s own forces, and performance degradation, i.e. diminishing the performance of one’s enemy. In this report we consider some of the key advances in neuroscience, such as neuropharmacology, functional neuroimaging, and neural interface systems, which could impact upon these developments and the policy implications for the international community.This is nothing less than a justification for the military to become the guinea pig testing ground for what will eventually trickle down to the rest of us. Everything from drugs to erase traumatic memories, to transcranial ultrasonic helmets, to complete computer-brain interfacing. But, remember from the press release: it’s just to cure PTSD. Sure it is.
Here is a video of the Chair of the Royal Society’s new project, Professor Rod Flower, who has some interesting things to say about how the military applications are “very, very exciting and potentially very useful for us,” as indicated by their study of neuroscience applications. For me, Brave New World comes to mind. This video is specifically related to Module 3, but provides a good overview of the general areas of study.
Module 4 (46-page PDF) “Neuroscientists seek to determine how brain function affects behaviour, and the law is concerned with regulating behaviour. It is therefore likely that developments in neuroscience will increasingly be brought to bear on the law. This report sets out some of the areas where neuroscience might be of relevance, along with some of the limits to its application. Specific issues discussed include risk assessment in probation and parole decisions; detecting deception; assessing memory; understanding pain; and Non-Accidental Head Injury NAHI).” From the summary:
Many questions have been asked about what neuroscience might offer for the law. For instance, might neuroscience fundamentally change concepts of legal responsibility? Or could aspects of a convicted person’s brain help to determine whether they are at an increased risk of reoffending? Will it ever be possible to use brain scans to ‘read minds’, for instance with the aim of determining whether they are telling the truth, or whether their memories are false? It has been suggested that “for the law, neuroscience changes nothing and everything”(1). This report takes a different position: that discoveries in neuroscience (or in genetics or psychology) will not completely revolutionise the theory of practice of the law in the near future; but there are already some important practical implications of recent neuroscientific discoveries, which should impact on the law, and there will certainly be many more over the next few years.
Here we see an indication of the endgame, which we already see being played out in the latest high-tech phase of the War on Terror. Technologies like FAST are being touted as mobile lie detectors that all people will be scanned by for “malintent” regardless of any presumption of innocence. Scientists will decide the markers, the computer will provide the reading, and a bureau of State agents will make the final threat analysis. The only function that “law” has under this type of scenario is which prison or rehabilitation center to assign to those marked as trouble by the scientific dictatorship.
The area of brain study being conducted by the world’s most elite think-tanks poses a central problem for self-determination. We already have seen how the establishment think-tanks dictate their policies regarding “normal behavior.” For example, the list of new “disorders” coming from mainline medical sources are actually normal human behavior for people of sound mind and, yet, the global Orwellian initiative to declare everyone mentally ill is already well underway, as shown by the skyrocketing prescriptions given across the board to both adults and children. The conclusions drawn by think-tanks can very easily transform the rest of society, as they are disseminated down through the institutions and private ventures that they fund, permeating outward to the general society at large. Add to this the military and legal implications, and even a bird brain can envision where we might be heading next.