(3WD? = What Would Willard Do?)
At first this seemed like a piece of science fiction; but apparently it’s really science.
Neuroscientists at Duke University have proven that telepathic communication—between rats—is not only possible, but can be done across continents. Similar experiments are already being tested on monkeys.
The discovery, published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, is the first confirmed brain-to-brain communication between animals….
“Nobody had ever done this, so the challenge was significant. We didn’t know if it would work,” says study lead researcher Miguel Nicolelis. “It took us years to get this to work.”
Apparently the initial successes were using implanted and hard-wired implanted electrodes, but researchers have moved past that into wireless links….Yes–including over the internet:
To prove the same experiment could be done with what Nicolelis calls “interference,” he placed one rat in his lab in Durham, N.C., and one in a lab in Brazil. Using an Internet connection, he found the rats were still able to work together. “We wanted to show that even when the line was noisy, we were able to get this to work,” he says. “We used to do this with wires but now we’re doing everything wirelessly and experimenting with swarms of rats.”
This is strange enough that IMHO it deserves some attention to the ramifications of what has been, and what may be done with this: Imagine swarms of trained rats…attacking designated infrastructural targets…say, for example, things like wiring systems, fiber-optic lines, plastic water and drainage pipes, food supplies, etc….the possibilities for this de-facto militarization of rat swarms are virtually endless! But wait! There’s more:
Since his first successful experiment, Nicolelis has been able to create wireless connections between rats’ brains and has begun experimenting with monkeys. Though that research is yet to be published, Nicolelis says early results are promising.
“Once we got it to work in rats, we were able to unlock the secret to this technology. We’re already doing very much more sophisticated experiments with monkeys,” he says. “They’re learning to play games, controlling avatars of themselves on a screen.”
MONKEYS!!!! If rats could be effective…imagine flocks of linked, trained, and guided monkeys! WOW! (Remember the winged monkeys in the Wizard of Oz???) Of course a U.S. Monkey Corps wouldn’t have wings…but why not make them truly airborne by meshing this with the drone-helicopter technology? Another possible application could lead to the first instance of REAL guerilla-gorilla fighters!
There’s STILL MORE:
As for the swarms of rats, the researcher says that getting dozens of rats to communicate with each other is more difficult, but possible. Someday, he imagines neural computing networks that could be more powerful than current technology.
“We may have a way to come up with new architectures of computing,” he says. “How will it work? We don’t know, but that’s why we’re going to test.”
Sort of reminds one of Einstein’s observation that “If we really knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?”
Where could this end? Where else:
Nicolelis says it’s far too early to think about experimenting with the technology on humans, but that his breakthrough “opens a completely new line of research.”
“I’m not implying we should test now in humans, but when people made the first telephone transmission 100 years ago, people said it was too simplistic, it’d never work,” he says. “I think this is an important first step.”
First step to where? Truly synchronized swimming at the Olympics? Or REALLY synchronized Waffen SS-style goose-steppers in Iran, North Korea, and/or other similarly inclined societies. Where is George Orwell now that we really need him?