If this story didn't come from a government source it would make me less nervous.
False memories, anyone? Would you like a Spotless Mind? Are you a secret agent from Mars or a toilet salesman? Well, it looks like these futuristic visions are ready to come to pass. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Here's what some clever researchers at Boston University have actually done: they tampered with the primal stuff of the universe. They induced a neural firing pattern in the visual cortex of their subjects' brains, and lo and behold, they were subsequently better at a specified visual task.
What me worry? So what if instead of a visual task (chosen because it's easy to test) they triggered some other neural firing pattern, or a series of related patterns, maybe ones associated with shooting a distant target with a long range rifle? How about inducing depression by replicating depressive neural firing patterns? Or false memories by inducing patterns experienced by other people?
Don't go there.
"We have to be careful so that this method is not used in an unethical way," says the scientist running the experiment. Right, let me write that down. The network boss Arthur Jensen said in the movie Network, "YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU... WILL... ATONE!"
Am I really worried? Nah. Criminal masterminds aren't as common as all that. Until I see Lex Luthor somewhere other than the funny pages, I think we've got a good chance to survive this, too.