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Chris Berman predicts the dark side of human brain mapping in "Ace of Aces."
"Ace of Aces", a novel by popular science fiction author Chris Berman, warns of the dangers in mapping the human brain and the potential to control thoughts.
For many years, science fiction writers in their novels have thrown up warning signs that signaled “danger, turn back.” H. G. Wells wrote about this in his 1910 novel War in the Air, with his prediction that the newly developed airplane would be turned into a terrifying weapon of war, used to bomb cities into oblivion. Robert Heinlein’s short story Solution Unsatisfactory, written in 1940, predicted the development of the atomic bomb, the Cold War, and nuclear proliferation. Even Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring predicted the devastating effects on the environment due to the use of chemical pesticides. Now author Chris Berman in his novel Ace of Aces sheds light onto human brain mapping and brain-computer integration, and the dark side of such technology. Berman says, “In the hands of a powerful central government, having the key to control human behavior -- by being able to directly stimulate areas of the brain controlling emotions, loyalty, fear, and aggression -- would be a very dangerous thing. The ability to ‘read a person’s thoughts,’ by a government capable of directly accessing someone’s brain to ferret out and ‘re-educate’
In Chris Berman’s novel, Ace of Aces, the trait of aggression has been all but removed from human beings by the use of genetic modification of areas of the brain and brain-computer interfaces, turning humanity into an obedient and passive society. Berman says, “The idea of controlling human aggression comes from an experiment done in 1964 by Dr. José Delgado, who implanted an electrical stimulator into the brain of a bull. With the touch of a button, Delgado was able to demonstrate complete control of the dangerous animal. If this could be done in 1964, just imagine what a powerful central government could do within the next few years. It opens up the potential for creating an unquestioningly obedient and hive-like future society.”
Other predictions of Berman’s have come true: His book Red Moon predicted the discovery of water–ice on the Moon, and Chinese plans for a manned moon mission before 2020. The Hive predicted a planetary system around the star 61 Virginis. Such a system was discovered two years after the release of The Hive. In Ace of Aces he predicted prosthetic limbs that connect through a neural network of artificial nerves that allow feeling and natural movement. This technology was announced just a few months after the release of the book. With so many correct predictions from this author, we should take his warning of the misuse of brain mapping and brain-computer technology very seriously.
For a frightening look at a potential future, read Chris Berman’s Ace of Aces