October 01, 2003

Only a Matter of Time

"There is no theoretical difference between a dental implant and a mental implant except that we know how a tooth works and can manufacture a functional replacement. Currently, the same cannot be said for the neural network of the brain. But from a bioengineering standpoint, that is only a matter of time."

There's this mandate that, when I was young and green, politically, was attributed to the Army Corps of Engineers (pertaining chiefly, I think, to stream channelization in the south at the time). The saying that was said to be the motto for the Corps was:


Seems to me that we are at a great technological divide in these days. We have unimaginable technical abilities to control nature, matter and information. Does possessing the ability confer an imperative to use those technologies? Who is in charge of the 'shoulds' and the 'oughts' that are the drivers of technologies applications? How is the common person involved in this decision making? These are things I'm thinking a lot about these days.

And, although Fragments readers may be no more interested in this topic than they are in my raving rhapsodies about caterpillars and the like, I'm likely to voice some of my questions, concerns and opinions on these important matters in coming weeks and months. Along side of a steady stream of Tsuga pictures, of course.

(You have to watch a brief ad about stopping smoking to view this Salon full article. Pretty painless, really).

Posted by fred1st at October 1, 2003 12:05 PM | TrackBack

Alas, we live in an age where common man is alloted little viewpoint or input when it comes to technology; results are celebrated, spin-doctored, or booted under the rug after the fact.

When society largely allows "whatever doesn't impact on me personally", government decides to toss its Constitution out the window along with its accountability, and God is legislated.... we pretty much get what we deserve.

It's plainly obvious we're sitting in a handbasket and its destination is no big secret. it's a puzzle to me, though, why more folks aren't asking the important questions and demanding answers.

Posted by: Anne at October 1, 2003 04:18 PM

I once believed in the "greening of America".. back in my idealistic early twentys. It seemed to be so right. It never happened. We never 'got it' as a nation.

My idealism is long gone. But I still hope the democratizing and information-transfer potential of this medium of weblogging might play some small role in bringing up the questions and making us 'common folk' a part of the end result of science and technology's productions.


Let's just keep blogging while Rome burns, y'all.

Posted by: fredf at October 1, 2003 04:29 PM

I adore your posts on your natural environment, it is why I read your blog regularly. Indeed probably why many others read your blog too. But don't let that keep you from voicing your other concerns, it is actually a good combination! I'll be watching your blog, interested in what more you'll say on the issue (s)

Posted by: anne at October 2, 2003 04:39 AM

Fred, I like the fact that your concerns reach far outside the tranquil hillsides and quietly burbling creek bottoms of Floyd. The motto, "If it can be done, it should be done!" blithely assumes that the fundamental patterns of life and our environment are fully understood. They are not.

Science, for instance, still thinks that we are bodies and has no real understanding of the capabilities and anatomy of the human spirit. Most scientific types, including psychiatrists, view out-of-body experiences as hallucinations. They also tend to confuse the mind with the brain. If you trust such experts to improve your mental state, you will also believe that Tsuga can fix your watch by chewing on it.

I feel that the only real barrier to universally enforced behavior modification is the free flow of information through a network of independent webloggers. Keep on writing.

Posted by: David at October 2, 2003 05:47 AM

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