How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy (t3knomanser) wrote,
How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

The Future is Last Week

Headlines on this topic have been cropping up for awhile, each one promising more. What am I talking about? Mind/Machine Interfaces.

Right now, the research is shockingly advanced. We can wire monkies to joysticks and have them control videogames. We can have people move a cursor around a screen with 64 electrodes. And now, the paralyzed can take control of their environment with a small chip in their brain. How fucking fantastic is that? Really.

Now, these people are doctors, so they approach this from a very specific perspective, namely, fixing someone who's broken. My thoughts, however, go a slightly different direction- improving people who aren't. I know, shocking that I go that way. Who would have guessed.

This isn't the only dose of future, because the future isn't all rosy. Sometimes, it's a disturbing rehash of the past. In a dose of distopia, Michigan says hopsitals can refuse treatment based on sexual orientation.

To say that a hospital can refuse treatment- for _any reason_ is a dangerous and immoral statement. I'm not saying everyone is entitled to medical care for free- I'm still a capitalist, but to say a decision someone makes excludes them from treatment- be it sexual orientation, a criminal past, political affiliation, or whatever- is inasnity.

I don't think, and certainly hope, that this gets struck down right quick. The constitutionality of it is pretty clearly off. But at the same time, it echos a different sort of sci-fi future- the bad kind.

Last but not least with life extension technologies, we're hitting a different kind of future bump- the definition of life. The Schaivo debacle is an example of a trend that crops up occasionally, including past events like the multiple trials of Doctor Kevorkian. It's a thorny philosophical problem that we're going to have to tangle with again and again until we get this shit straightened out once and for all.

But, my feelings on the matter are echoed by this living will.

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