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  1.  (10821.41)
  2.  (10821.42)
    Well, y'know, as long as the men are only depicted having sex with female donkeys, it's all above board.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     (10821.43)
    Neural prostheses

    Or to put it another way: holy fucking hell!

    Researchers have taken a key step towards recovering specific brain functions in sufferers of brain disease and injuries by successfully restoring the decision-making processes in monkeys.


    In the next phase of the study, a drug known to disrupt cognitive activity, cocaine, was administered to the animals to simulate brain injury. When the animals repeated the image-selection task, their decision-making ability decreased 13 percent from normal. However, during these "drug sessions," the MIMO prosthesis detected when the animals were likely to choose the wrong image and played back the previously recorded "correct" neural patterns for the task. According to the study findings, the MIMO device was exceedingly effective in restoring the cocaine-impaired decision-making ability to an improved level of 10 percent above normal, even when the drug was still present and active. "The basis for why the MIMO prosthesis was effective in improving performance was because we specifically programmed the model to recognize neural patterns that occurred when the animals correctly performed the behavioral task in real time, which is a unique feature of this particular device," said Robert E. Hampson, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest Baptist, and lead author of the study.
  3.  (10821.44)
    Excellent. Prostheses for coked up ad execs to keep functioning. Can't wait for the resulting commercials.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFoamhead
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     (10821.45)
    Woman Injects Man’s Penis with Silicone, Man Dies
    Justin Street, a father of two, had gone to Kasia Rivera, 35, on May 5 seeking a penile enlargement procedure, which prosecutors say Rivera advertised for in fliers posted at local businesses. Rivera, who performed the procedures in her apartment, allegedly with no medical license or training, administered a silicone shot to Street’s penis, according to prosecutors.
    Street died the next day of a silicone embolism.
    • CommentAuthorKradlum
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     (10821.46)
    ^ I think I might cancel my appointment
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     (10821.47)
    @kosmopolit & @Cat Vincent - that is really interesting! The unsettling thing is, though, that is essentially a machine to record a desired behavior in a brain and play it back mechanically. So, less functional coked up executive and more banks of meat robots getting paid a pittance to have rote manual tasks run through their bodies by a machine which will insure they all do it exactly the same and do not take breaks or slack at all.

    If we are talking about practical applications.

    (I know that this is a proof of concept medical test and by its nature crude. Refinements to come, and ultimately likely many beneficial uses. But if you read what they've done with those monkeys, well... That's what they've done.)
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012 edited
     (10821.48)
    Oddbill, on the other hand, imagine you could cure psychopaths by playing back the neural processes associated with empathy.

    Actually, assuming this works and is applicable in humans, the likely first application is probably in the treatment of senile dementia and assisting in the recovery of stroke victims and other people who've suffered brain damage. The biggest barrier is likely to be that the neural signalling varies signficantly from person to person so you have to actually record an individual performing the correct thought process in order to replicate it.

    There are probably going to be a bunch of ethical arguments over applying an expensive invasive potetnially dangerous treatment to peopel who will likely only have a few more years life in any case.

    Then too, if you can induce, you can probably inhibit - which opens up the possibility of new treatments for a whole range of mental illnesses.

    I repeat: holy fuckign hell.

    On the one hand, this research suggests it may be possible to artificially enhance human cognition, to make peopel smarter in other words.

    On the other hand: A Clockwork Orange and that machine in 1984 that lets Winston actually see three fingers when O'Brien is holding up four.

    @Oddbill: I can't see this becoming cheap any time soon - the need for brain scanning and surgery would seem to preclude that. Sweatshop operators have other, cheaper methods of producing a compliant workforce.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012
     (10821.49)
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeSep 14th 2012 edited
     (10821.50)
    @kosmopolit - oh absolutely. It'll be interesting to see if it is even, barring expense, possible in humans. And I agree, simply being poor and being offered pathetic wages and being arbitrarily fired is plenty of motivation to optimize your behavior to a program dictated by someone else right now without neuromechanical intervention. It will probably never be a cost effective thing.

    I guess if it works along the lines of what was tested in the experiment, you'd see people wealthy or insured enough to afford the procedure, upon being diagnosed with early stage dementia or Alzheimer's, going in for a series of "recording sessions" where their still relatively reliable daily behaviors are neuron-mapped and cataloged so that, as they lose cognitive reliability, they depend more and more on the neuroprosthetic to safely navigate their lives.

    I wonder if a person relying on such a process would even realize they were doing the thing they were doing. I wonder if ultimately they would become a functional zombie. Biologically alive, but controlled largely by programs derived from their earlier life, unable to recognize themselves or actually think. I've seen Alzheimer's sufferers up close, and really think there is almost nothing of an individual left in them in the advanced stages. They are hollowed out biology, anything that formed their personhood is lost. If behavioral programs are allowing such a person to brush their teeth, go to the bathroom, eat and sleep independently, I don't think that would indicate that any more of the person was left.

    It would just mean you might need less 24 hour care nurses, as sufferers could be left alone to follow reliable programmed routines.

    Which I guess goes right along with your observation:

    There are probably going to be a bunch of ethical arguments over applying an expensive invasive potetnially dangerous treatment to peopel who will likely only have a few more years life in any case.


    Strange times.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcurb
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2012
     (10821.51)
    ^Reminds me of what Bruce Sterling was calling Gothic High Tech a few years ago. To broadly paraphrase: You're old, rich, and living in an ivory tower with all your wonderful life-extending tech. But some disease is still slowly eating you from the inside.

    In totally unrelated news: Czech Republic bans sale of spirits of over 20% ABV

    http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19608461
    •  
      CommentAuthorFoamhead
    • CommentTimeSep 15th 2012 edited
     (10821.52)
    Further proof that the worldwide Retardovirus outbreak continues unabated.

    Malaysia warns parents to look out for signs that their kids are gay




    Which follows: Malaysian lawyer says LGBT rights should be excluded from human rights declaration - this being a lawyer allegedly with an MA in human rights from the University of London’s Institute of Commonwealth Studies.
  4.  (10821.53)
    What, no mention of the baby Birkenstocks and teeny flannel shirts?
    •  
      CommentAuthorFoamhead
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2012 edited
     (10821.54)
    Tsk tsk. I'm so disgusted by this news, I'm seriously considering moving away.

    Manchester has been named the piracy capital of the UK

    ETA: And yes, I had to use Google to find out who Ed Sheeran & Frank Ocean are. Oh shut up you pesky, disrespectful bloody kids before I give you the back of my hand. In MY day...grumblemuttergrumble.
    •  
      CommentAuthorEd Jackson
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2012
     (10821.55)
    Why would you want to live in Manchester anyway, it's full of Mancunians ;)
  5.  (10821.56)
    But all the latest music...
    •  
      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2012
     (10821.57)
    It's Okay to Want Sex

    Some really important stuff about what's often going wrong with our conceptions about sexuality. Like real damn important.
    •  
      CommentAuthorphill_sea
    • CommentTimeSep 17th 2012 edited
     (10821.58)
    #OWS is reawakening with a bang again this year #S17 on twitter.

    Those Chaplains from the @warrenellis era will note that his close friend, @MollyCrabApple, has been arrested.
  6.  (10821.59)
    •  
      CommentAuthorFoamhead
    • CommentTimeSep 18th 2012 edited
     (10821.60)
    Made it onto Al Jazeera, too, with a brief flash of the old guvna's webgaffe just for good measure: