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Queen Guitar Rhapsodies

Telepathic guitar-playing is just round the corner

Carlos interviewed on Radio Nuevo Leon Monterrey, Mexico, 2009

Implanted brain-to-brain connections will turn you into the guitar player of your dreams

While the front pages carried news of no real importance, buried somewhere deep inside Friday's national newspapers was a news item of shattering significance. It now appears that at some time in the future we may be able to communicate by thought alone, following experiments conducted with rats. The poor things were implanted with microelectrodes - each about one-hundredth the width of a human hair. After some careful experiments organised by the Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, an "encoder" rat in the USA was able to transmit a message to a "decoder" rat in Brazil who behaved (unknowingly) as subliminally suggested by the USA rat.

Now it will not have escaped your attention that Brazil is not only the home to decoder rats but also to some fine footballers, attractive carnival dancers and good guitar-players. Brazilian footballers will one day encode and transmit their knowledge and experience to willing decoders anywhere in the world by thought process alone. Consider the ever-accelerating pace of technological and scientific advances: I am willing to bet that within the lifetime of some readers of this article decoders and encoders will be common in humans.

The best thing about rat-style encoders and decoders in human beings is that it could translate to passing on musical and guitar skills. If we can persuade a player to allow an encoder implant into his or her brain and aspirant guitar-players to receive the information on an implanted decoder, then we would at a stroke go straight from know-nothing to expert in seconds. Whether that is a good idea or not I leave that for you to decide.

Here is what Miguel Nicolelis, Deane Professor of Neuroscience at the Duke University is also working on, and it is even closer to home. The experiment is described by the New Scientist magazine as:
"currently on trial are the implants in monkeys, getting them to work together telepathically to complete a task. For example, each monkey might only have access to part of the information needed to make the right decision in a game. Several monkeys would then need to communicate with each other in order to successfully complete the task."

I can only see one snag at present and that is Nicolelis' admission that his team is:
"blasting a relatively large area of the brain with a signal they're not sure is 100 per cent correct".

If the technology remains somewhere short of 100 per cent consider the social, or rather unsocial possibilities of monkeys not communicating with each other to make the right decision in order not to complete a task. Let me put that in guitar-playing language: one decoder receives information only about left hand technique, another only about right-hand technique and yet another only about tuning the instrument. A frustrated guitarist in Timbuktu would show amazing left hand dexterity and have no ability in the other hand, another one in Ontario would play open strings at the speed of lightning while his left hand hung uselessly by his side, and so on. Each would scream with frustration. That would be a recipe for a global lunatic asylum full of guitar players the likes of which we can barely imagine.

On the other hand, if you subscribe to the theory that we are all mad already, then this future scenario of human existence will hold no surprises for you, and will only serve to confirm that actually there is nothing new under the sun.

2nd March 2013, London

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Printed from: http://www.carlosbonell.com/blog/?p=2254 .
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