A working group led by the Royal Society has warned the scientific community and the Government to tread carefully when entering the ethical minefield that is the use of neuroscience.
A report published today by the Royal Society tackles the divisive issue of the potential uses of neuroscience research by the military or security forces — whether to improve the performance of our troops, to “diminish” the performance of the enemy or, perhaps most controversially, in law enforcement.
The paper, entitled Brain Waves Module 3: Neuroscience, conflict and security, is one of four that have been published looking at the current and potential impact of neuroscience on society and policy, the law, and education.
This, the final report to be released, looks at the neuroscience research that is already being deployed by the military and what is being developed.
Illo: Electronic Arts
American soldiers already prep for war using virtual worlds. One day, the Army hopes, you’ll join the GIs in a military-approved digital realm.
In the Army’s latest call for research proposals, the service is looking for ways to develop a “Virtual Laboratory of Aggregate Behavior,” or VLAB. Put simply, the program would yield a digital domain wherein hundreds or thousands of civilians could assemble and partake in “randomized controlled trial experiments” of the Army’s design.
But if you’re thinking Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 — think again.
It’s official — the Iranian government is in cahoots with COBRA from G.I. Joe.
The Iranian channel Press TV has produced the above 6.5-minute segment about these shinobis-in-training. The women in the video show off their fighting stances, defensive gymnastics, and stealth techniques, all set to a pulse-pounding techno-orchestral soundtrack.
As much as this report seems ripped straight from a 1980s straight-to-VHS release by the Cannon Group, it’s more likely fodder for a Touchstone Pictures beating-the-odds flick a few decades hence.
ABOARD THE U.S.S. WASP — Very early Monday morning, over 14,000 U.S. sailors, Marines and their foreign allies will launch the most ambitious naval war game in a decade, testing their ability to come ashore by sea and air from dozens of miles out in the Atlantic Ocean against a hostile force, (hopefully) demonstrating that amphibious warfare is back after ten years of grueling land battles. And tonight, in the hangar deck of this 40,000-ton assault ship, no one cares.
Because tonight is Super Bowl XLVI.
The training exercise called Bold Alligator is unofficially on pause for the rematch of the dramatic 2008 Patriots-Giants Super Bowl. Hundreds of enlisted sailors and Marines watching the game in the ship’s hangar deck aren’t interested in rehearsing the complex flight, landing craft and logistics plans for the evening. They wonder about Tom Brady’s plans to escape the Giants’ pass rush; about the Patriots’ questionable secondary defense against the Giants’ deep threats of Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz; about how a Giants team that finished the regular season a pathetic 9-7 stands a chance against the most dominant NFL team of the last decade.
Inevitably, the answers came. The Giants took the rematch, 21-17, on the strength of a crucial 40-yard Manning-to-Manningham completion, some savvy delays to drain away the clock ahead of the final Giants touchdown with a minute left in the game, and an inadvertent first-quarter assist by Brady to hand the G-men a free two points. Giants fans took over the hangar deck, blowing whistles, jeering Brady, and turning the decibel level to a sonic boom.
Bold Alligator is for tomorrow, and tomorrow is a very long way away.
The cold, cavernous hangar deck bearing the Wasp’s logo was bathed in green light for the game, almost like night vision, except for a screen fit for a small movie theater projecting the game via satellite. It’s deafeningly loud until the National Anthem starts; when the song ends, so does the silence. A huge cheer goes out when the cameras cut to a shot of soldiers and Marines in southern Afghanistan’s Camp Leatherneck. A second goes out for the game’s first beer commercial, since the ship is dry.
Navy and Marine aviators in khaki jumpsuits talk trash about how Brady wears man-Uggs or how Manning isn’t even the best quarterback with his last name. Everyone can agree on one thing: these are two teams with explosive offenses and mediocre defenses — kind of the way they themselves want to perform against the war game’s fictitious enemy.