Cognitive Enhancement (For Us) Vs. Degradation (For The Enemy)
The USAF has solicited ways and means of enhancing the abilities of our own troops by a variety of means. Not content with merely advantaging our own troops, they also seek to disadvantage the enemy.
Goal is to develop and exploit advances in biotechnology and associated nanotechnologies to enhance performance and situational awareness of the force.
Application and integration of transcriptomics, proteomics and metabonomics, and advanced bioinformatics to identify performance enhancement measures and provide optimal state for mission training conditions and deployed mission performance
Synthetic biology and other aspects of cellular dynamics for systems engineering that capitalize on emerging developments in cognitive, biological, informational and nano sciences.
Development of effective, reliable, and affordable alertness management, performance enhancing and emotional state modulation technologies. Includes non-medical neuroscience and biochemical pathway techniques.
Fans of Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune recall sapho juice, favorite of Mentat Assassins like Thufir Hawatt, for cognitive enhancement.
"I've always prided myself on seeing things the way they truly are," Thufir Hawat said. "That's the curse of being a Mentat. You can't stop analyzing your data."
The leathered old face appeared composed in the predawn dimness as he spoke. His sapho-stained lips were drawn into a straight line with radial creases spreading upward.
As I mentioned, the USAF-sponsored research request also seeks to find technologies that can be used to cloud the minds of our enemies, reducing their operational effectiveness.
Conversely, the chemical pathway area could include methods to degrade enemy performance and artificially overwhelm enemy cognitive capabilities.
Fans of Futurama recall the stupid ray, which seems to be a pretty good description of what the USAF is looking for.
(Stupid ray in action from Futurama)
Philip K. Dick was also fascinated by the idea of degrading enemy performance with targeted weapons. Consider the Garbage-Can Banger from his cold-war classic The Zap Gun:
"It's a missile that wide-cracks in the atmosphere... above the popcen - the population center - which it's aimed at. We place the Judas Iscariot IV above New Moscow, set to wide-crack at half a mile, and it rains down minned - miniaturized - h'd, that means homeostatic -"
"...They're about the size of gum wrappers. They drift throughout the city...
Each pellet, fully cammed, begins to emit a sound... a horrid sneering sound. Buzzing... The point is, it keeps you awake... I mean wide-awake. Once the noise of a Garbage-can Banger gets to you, for example... you never sleep again... You can't perform your job. You're no good to anyone, yourself included."
See also this description (with quote and citation, of course) of the Civic Notification Distorter, which accomplishes the same goal, but targets the enemy's information systems.
From Advances in Bioscience for Airmen Performance (.doc) via News.com.au. Thanks to Moira for the tip on this item.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/16/2010)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.
Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'...you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.
TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.
Britney Spears And Lynn Minmay - Weapons Of Choice
An attack can take many forms.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'
Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'
Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'
Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'
Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'
BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.
Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.
DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'
I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'
Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'
Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'
Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'
Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!
TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.
Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'
Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories