As the modern day audience is forced to navigate through the ceaseless echo of polarizing rhetoric and hastily recycled headlines dispersed by a desperate and insatiable media industry, one of the first casualties on the front line of the information conflict, is a reasonable magnitude of transparency within the expansive Octopus tentacles of government.
In a sense, the tangled and decadent mass transit system of tax payer dollars, dispensing hundreds of billions to countless recipients throughout a vast mind numbing network of infrastructure and waste, actually thrives in the presence of a boundless and unconscionable press. This caustic synergy between the two entities directly leads to a whole lot of money, funding a whole lot of nothing. It sounds eerily like one of Eliot Spitzer’s many “dates”, as his staff unintentionally (probably) replaced expensive pharmaceuticals with harmless placebos, while performing a snazzy jig rendition of the Capitol Hill shuffle in jostling for inner office bragging rights.
In any event, the crass metaphor highlights not so beautifully, the broken system of federally funded projects and grants, that are recklessly created and endorsed by unelected bureaucrats, and rubber stamped by politicians. We shared the plight of a federal project in Hawaii exploring tide energy, which basically consists of a small buoy, a powerful cable and a battery, and all for the cost of only $334 million and 99 cents. Apparently, federal grants are just the gift that keeps on giving, and to who, we can only guess? The BBC reports that officials at MIT, decided to terminate a collaboration with a startup leading the cutting edge innovation in forwarding the push to cure a rare cancer? No, but to pursue the creep show terrible B movie plot and store human memories in computers. The one slight problem with the current technology, other than the fact that the current technology is being misrepresented as legitimate technology to begin with, is that the subjects whose memories are being unceremoniously sucked and copied into the digital realm of storage for use in Cambridge Analytics projects, almost always die 100% of the time. The company assures the public that to this point only mice have been subject to the brain removal experiments in the dark catacombs, and maybe a few non-celebrities.
The other tiny issue, is that the startup, Nectome, in lieu of the disturbing mortality figures and pure speculative nature of the project, received nearly $1 million of financial backing thanks to the US Institute of Mental Health. If a government agency supposedly advocating a reasonable approach to alleviating psychological disorders, insanely awards fiscal support to a concept that barely makes the pages of hardcore science fiction literature, than we are royally screwed as a society.
Fear not and keep your brain inside your skull, as a few experts in the Neuroscience community warn that a possible consequence to Netcome’s research, is that folks interested in being stored as forever digital signatures, will seek the Jack Kevorkian route to the after life in establishing a doctor-assisted suicide arrangement. And the federal government would probably fund the program with a grant and a smile. A million dollars here, and a million dollars there, it’s just a drop in the bucket. Who needs to keep tabs on the development of regenerating bubblegum skin in raising the attention span of middle school students by providing needed carbohydrates and mind enhancing hormones to increase standardized testing scores.
Read the BBC News article here.
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