Tag Archives: animals and ethics

Show & Tell

In response to the typically grandiose claims made by Elon Musk while updating the world on “progress” regarding brain chips, the honorable non-profit, Physicians for Responsible Medicine, released their own Show & Tell.




Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interfaces Are the Future

Devices implanted in the brain come with a myriad of problems, including difficulty of repair and a high potential for severe medical complications. In comparison, noninvasive BMIs can allow for the risk-free monitoring of large-scale neuronal activity across the entire brain. 

While Neuralink continues its invasive, painful, deadly experiments, noninvasive methods—which often rely on brain signals read using an electroencephalogram (EEG)—are already changing patients’ lives and hold even greater promise:

  • Noninvasive BMIs can improve quality of life for older adults and elderly patients. They “have been used for restoring memory and planning using electromagnetic stimulation and biofeedback that modulate activity in a patient’s brain as part of a rehabilitation program….Moreover, invasive [BMIs] that require implantation of the device might be a serious ethical issue. Therefore, non-invasive EEG-based [BMIs]…appear to be the most promising technologies.”
  • They can “assist paralyzed patients by providing access to the world without requiring surgical intervention.”
  • They can allow patients with limited mobility to control robotic arms. “[Invasive BCIs] require a substantial amount of medical and surgical expertise to correctly install and operate, not to mention cost and potential risks to subjects…”
  • They can allow patients with severe tetraplegia to control a wheelchair.
  • Noninvasive BMIs can also allow people to communicate directly using a computer, and research is being done to improve this capability.

The development of noninvasive BMIs should be the focus of innovation, and there is clearly much discussion in support of moving in that direction. Neuralink should halt its animal experiments immediately and invest in human-relevant research.


DP view: Neuralink is nothing more than a synthesis of technophilic hubris with human supremacist abuse of other sentient beings, in this case, our close relatives.

We are also skeptical of noninvasive BMIs for the simple reason that we live in a time of Inverted Utopia wherein we are unable to imagine the full range of consequences of our technological innovations, particularly when it comes to messing with our brains. 

We close this week’s post with a montage of excerpts from the TV series The 100, regarding a lethal intermingling of brains chips, AI, violence, anthropocentrism, Inverted Utopians, oblivion and extinction:




The Absent Referent

We are grateful to a DP correspondent for steering towards an excellent essay by distinguished philosophers and animal rights ethicists Alice Crary and Lori Gruen, adapted from their recently published book, Animal Crisis: A New Critical Theory. A few paragraphs below, with the cover image linked to the book’s webpage. 








Of Spotigy and Buri

In the wake of our brief excursion into the slaughterhouse sensorium, we received correspondence steering us to a December report in the Sacramento Bee, uncritically lauding the advent of a brave new chapter in the dark annals of livestock management and the eventual transformation of cattle into beef.

The untitled images of well-horned creatures were bred from the imagination of Michel Nedjar.




Here is an explanation of gene editing from the horse’s mouth, that is, the researcher referenced in the article: Alison Van Eenennaam.




When scientists begin to talk about intervening in millions of years of evolutionary biology as comparable to word processing, as we cut and paste out way into eternity, DP begins to think humans have descended so far into the chasm between techne and ethos that there is surely no way out.

How soon before the word processor is applied to ourselves, in pursuit of obedience, efficiency and order, achieving safety for the masters of the universe, such that they will not be gored by an unruly stampede?

In the comments to the newspaper report, we were relieved to find the below sting from a Wooly Bee:

Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 11.14.23 AM

Repulsive and reprehensible indeed; no, this will not end well.