Beaming information onto the brain: Learning like Kung Fu Keanu in The Matrix

Researchers found a way to imprint information on the brain via its visual processors


No. Viruses, bad programming, misconfigured data-projection machines and all the other things that could possibly go wrong with silicon-based data and instructions can go far wronger with meat-based data and instructions.

And that's just assuming there's no problem with the receiving platform itself. Getting one computer to accurately run a set of instructions designed to run on one with different components, a different version of the operating system, different drivers, diagnostics and programmatic interfaces is almost impossible.

Usually it requires throwing out the new machine and replacing it with one almost identical to the old one. Or recoding every bit of instruction by hand so it will run on the new machine.

Or building an emulation layer so the program will think it's running on the old machine and the new machine will think the program is written for it.

Emulation works, but slows everything down and is almost always inaccurate enough to create exciting new bugs in the new system that may not be found for years.

Human brains are a lot less standardized than computer hardware. The OSes are all wildly dissimilar; the wetware comes in such a variety of configurations most can't be considered to be the same "platform" from a programming perspective.

How hard would your brain resist the implant of knowledge?

Even assuming instructions simplified enough that they won't be warped in transmission (or warp the mind trying to perceive them), there's a good chance any instructions would be rejected like a bad liver or the wrong side of a political hot-button.

Human brains obviously have an as-yet-unidentified physical characteristic that allows them to reject even obvious and well-proven ideas that conflict with more dearly held beliefs. How else can you explain all those fools who disagree with you on abortion, defense, taxes, immigration, drugs, education and whether Starbucks and Hipsters should be allowed to live peacefully in neighborhoods that are otherwise not terribly annoying.

Trying to squeeze anything into a human head is tremendously difficult, dangerous to both squeezee and squeezer and frustrating due to its short half life. Ask any teacher two days after the end of a semester, or even yourself half an hour after the end of a final exam.

Human knowledge is fleeting and ephemeral; human error lasts forever.

Photo Credit: 

National Science Foundation/Kazuhisa Shibata

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