Brain hacking sounds really exciting, only nobody knows that this actually means. We can do all sorts of cool things: improve brain functions by applying an electrical current, consume nootropics and get high scores, do things much better due to cool strategies. I will discuss these aspects and more. You can read further here, here, here, here, and here.
Programming someones’ brain
This is actually very basic and there are many techniques to do it. If we find the right sequence of sensory inputs, and if the target is collaborating we can program his brain. A little.
After holding a warm cup a person is more collaborative than after holding a cold cup. If we discuss religion with someone his next choice will be ethical. When a high number is stated at the beginning of negotiations, the end number will also be higher.
If we want to go beyond simple conditioning, we can use metaphors and guided visualization. The person will relive what he visualizes. It is similar to placebo effect: the body may heal, the pain may recede, certain psychological issues may be over.
Hypnosis takes this one step further, but it needs certain licenses. Why bother? We can hack our own brain or program another human being without breaking any laws and ethical codes.
Cyborgs have been a stuff of fantasy. Partially human and partially machines, the next stage of evolution. Guess what. Now all of us are cyborgs. If you do not believe it: compare losing forever your mobile device or driving license with losing a pinky. The pinky may go.
When scientists entered our lifestyle trends into their modules they came up with an image of the man of the future. That was not a demi-god, but a seriously deformed creature that developed to optimize UI of the current devices. This is only partially a joke. Machines will change faster than us, but we will blend in.
In the future, we will get yet better search engines, exoskeletons facilitating our movement, VR glasses to give us visual hints and record our lives, some mindreading tiara that responds to our emotions. All of the technologies are already here, simply not sufficiently accurate. In a decade or two they will become nearly perfect.
There is no point to have full digital diets and learn to live without our devices. This is like trying to live blindfolded, an unnecessary handicap. We are one with our devices. Embrace them. Learn tech.
Isaac Asimov envisioned the earth as a planet with one supermind. All of the human and possibly some of the animal minds interconnected. We call this thing the internet. This is not the original internet and not social networks of 10 years ago, but the vision for the future. As we connect to the devices, and the devices communicate with each other ever faster, we function as a hive.
I dare anyone of you to build a computer alone, with just one another person, or a group of 10 people. This will not work. To live fully we use devices that need a collaboration of tens of thousands of people. Maybe more.
Our songs and our books can be created by a single person. This is old media. We do not use it that much. The movies we watch, the games we play, the apps we activate require efforts of many people with different specialties. Improving communication with other people [in person or digital] is one of the best brain hacks science can offer.
Zap your lifestyle
Our brains and bodies are simply not built for the hectic lifestyle we live in. We need to adopt technologies and cultural changes much faster than ever before. So why not zap ourselves into the 21st century?
There are many things we can do. We can apply electric current or magnetic stimulations to certain areas on our scalp, with a half-an-hour improvement of skills selected by the placing of electrodes. Want an improvement that lasts for hours? Take vitamins, coffee with sugar or simple breathing exercise. Need to focus and cant? Take prescription drugs. And when it comes to relaxation, you can legally use marijuana in some states. If you do not have time to sleep, consider polyphasic sleep. There are solutions to every issue.
I really think that 99% of our time we should eat healthy food, do exercise, practice meditation, and sleep well. Without a good healthy lifestyle, we cannot handle the extra boost. But then if we really need the extra-boost, we have all the means necessary.
When I was a child, learning was a slow passive experience that required presence of a tutor, grit and hard work. Today, traditional classrooms are comfortable jails for our children. The real learning happens not in the classroom and it is very different. It is an active, immersive experience.
When we utilize all of our senses and all the communication channels to learn the things we need, learning is very fast. The more we know, the easier it becomes to understand the gaps and learn more. We can read x10 faster than our parents, build projects using cheap and amazing hardware and software, shape the way people see us and we see the world. The theoretical learning is faster because we have better strategies. The practical learning is faster because we have all the tools and guidance we need on our PC with a digital printer attached. And if we want to simulate, computers are ready to tutor us 24/7. Their tutoring is free. They never get tired.
Crazy is the new normal
I really think that for a Victorian person from the 19th century, all of us will appear insane. Probably our parents would qualify us as insane if they did not know that this is normal. We are adapting to the brave new world, and it leaves a mark on all of us.
So we kind of learned to accept the people of all colors and sexual orientations, all sorts of focus control issues and learning disabilities. Boredom and privacy are almost gone, replaced by a combination of mania-depression, narcissism, and voyeurism and all sorts of internet-inspired behaviors. We need to do grounding exercise and communicate with nature, simply to stay connected with reality.
I remember that once I worked a bit too much. When I went outdoors I was struck by the perceived resolution of the reality and the level of details in slightly decaying structures. Then I thought: as long as we do not endanger ourselves and others, why not hack the perception of the reality and enjoy the process? Why not develop synesthesia and more?
We are evolving
Maybe many of us went well beyond hacking the brain and into mutations. Quite possibly each of us is a metahuman, we simply are not fully aware. I know that I have a very good sense of taste, e.g. I am a supertaster, but my smell and touch are below average. My wife is not very musical but very groovy with a great sense of timing. Possibly a mutation. Most athletes that succeed in their sports are mutants, and some of these mutations have been already detected.
What causes increased mutations? A century ago mutants would be likely to die. If a female could not deliver a healthy baby that would be a death sentence. Today supermodels use artificial insemination, c-sections, breast operations, and other enhancements simply to be alive and produce healthy offsprings often well after 40 years old. There are studies where injection of diced and preserved uterus allowed the female to produce offsprings 20 years beyond the normal limits. The children whose creation was assisted often tend to have mutations.
Our food, the radiation of our devices, poisoned environment, and global warming. There are plenty of reasons for mutations. A simple DNA test or a test of capabilities will tend to ignore may reveal that you are a mutation.
Everything is available
As crazy as this sounds, all of the things discussed here are available either on my site or up to two clicks from it. And if nothing of what I wrote sounds crazy, this means you probably lost the reasonable and grounded perception of the reality. We are fascinated by animals and robots, yet these may be our past and our future as human evolution hits the singularity.