An idea long restricted to the realm of science fiction could soon be going live within the next five years. The idea? A plan to augment human brains with a technological upgrade that grants “superintelligence” to those who can afford it.
Enter the “brain chip”–a concept that could vastly increase the gap between those considered elite and, well, the rest of us.
ormally inured to the fire and brimstone of Russian state TV, international audiences perked up their ears last month when a Sunday evening news show singled out a handful of locations in the United States that could be targets for annihilation by Russia’s new hypersonic weapons.
“For now, we’re not threatening anyone,” said the TV host Dmitry Kiselyov, who some label Russia’s chief propagandist. However, Russia worries that the United States, after having withdrawn from an important arms control treaty that regulated missile deployment, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, might again station intermediate-range missiles in Europe. “But if such a deployment takes place, our response will be instant,” Kiselyov said.
Russia is set to train another 100 Chinese servicemen for the PLA’s second S-400 air defense system regiment.
The Russian military is set to continue its training of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel this month with another batch of around 100 Chinese soldiers undergoing a training course on operating the Russian-made S-400 Triumf long-range interceptor-based air defense systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler), according to Russian media reports.
“About 100 military servicemen from the People’s Liberation Army of China will undergo instruction at a Russian training center in the operation and combat uses of the second regimental set of the S-400 system, to be provided to China in the second half of the year,” a Russian government source was quoted as saying by TASS news agency on February 5.
In disputes upon moral or scientific points,”Arthur Martine counseled in his magnificent 1866 guide to the art of conversation, “let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.” Of course, this isn’t what happens most of the time when we argue, both online and off, but especially when we deploy the artillery of our righteousness from behind the comfortable shield of the keyboard. That form of “criticism” — which is really a menace of reacting rather than responding — is worthy of Mark Twain’s memorable remark that “the critic’s symbol should be the tumble-bug: he deposits his egg in somebody else’s dung, otherwise he could not hatch it.” But it needn’t be this way — there are ways to be critical while remaining charitable, of aiming not to “conquer” but to “come at truth,” not to be right at all costs but to understand and advance the collective understanding.