Have we been keeping an eye on Elon Musk?

Because he’s at the “implanting computer chips in pigs” stage.

Neuralink has a medical focus to start, like helping people deal with brain and spinal cord injuries or congenital defects. The technology could, for example, help paraplegics who’ve lost the ability to move or sense because of spinal cord injury, and the first human uses will aim to improve conditions like paraplegia or tetraplegia.

But there are obvious future (and futuristic) implications as well.

But Musk’s vision is far more radical, including ideas like “conceptual telepathy,” where two people can communicate electronically by thinking at each other instead of writing or speaking. The long-term goal is to head off a future where artificial intelligence vastly smarter than humans exterminates us.

Musk envisions people using Neuralink to connect to their own digital AI incarnations so “the future is controlled by the combined will of the people of Earth,” Musk said. “It’s going to be important from an existential threat perspective to achieve a good AI symbiosis.”

And they’re also building robot doctors to do the implantation process itself.

Neuralink is building a robotic installer that ultimately is designed to handle the full surgical installation process. That includes opening up the scalp, removing a portion of the skull, inserting the hundreds of “thread” electrodes along with an accompanying computer chip, then closing the incision. The installer is designed to dodge blood vessels to avoid bleeding, Musk said.

I’m in favor of advanced technology, but let’s focus on getting a significant fraction of the population starborne before we try messing with AI, shall we?

Review – The Valley of Creation – Edmund Hamilton

You who shall come after us, take warning!

563-1So…it’s rare that you find a work that aligns exactly to your tastes, interests, current obsessions, and feelings. This novella, for me, ranks closely with the Leigh Brackett-written movie, Hatari, starring John Wayne and Elsa Martinelli. That had animals, comradeship, outdoor work, truck driving, shooting, a smattering of romance, humor, adventure, and baby elephants. It’s one of the movies I watch all the way through with complete attention whenever I happen to start it up.

This one? This one has tigers, wolves, horses, eagles–wolves with the intelligence of men and the ferocious loyalty of warriors, tigers with the cunning and strength of, well, intelligent talking tigers, and horses who get two of the most badass and most emotionally-resonant scenes in the story. (Lets just say–remember the Charge of the Talking Horses in The Last Battle? In this one, they actually win.)

And, slowest to speak their piece and holding the final say in many decisions, there are the wise, far-sighted, clear-thinking Eagles. There are secret valleys, forbidden caverns, ancient treasure, lost technology and stolen artifacts.

It’s also set in China, which is *cough* relevant to my current obsessions, at least.
It’s written with effortless, vivid, swift-moving prose, a bravura style and epic tone. The plot is straight out of the Talbot Mundy school of pulp adventure, but the writing is not. It’s hard to pin down the exact genre of this story, but I finally did: it’s a planetary romance…set on Earth.

– Plot: ….It would kind of ruin things if I described the plot, and it’s not very important anyway.

– Characters: in proper sf style, the best-developed characters aren’t the humans. I will say though: pulp adventure heroes tend not to get a lot of character development, though this one does–starting out as a jaded mercenary, and learning the error of his ways, until he is accepted into the Brotherhood–and worthily so.

In short: I loved this one and it kind of rocked.

This confirms my views of Instagram

and social media in general, really….

Instagram, by the way, is absolute loathsome trash.