Fuggin' Nuts About the Modern World

Summer – Wk 6: Dude, You Be Chippin’! | DogBots on My Trail | Cart Me Off to the Tard Farm | Imagining the Future: The Weird History of UFO Religion

Dude, You Be Chippin’!

Big news from Engadget — “FDA clears Synchron's brain-computer interface device for human trials”:

Synchron plans to start an early feasibility study of its Stentrode implant later this year at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York with six subjects. The company said it will assess the device's "safety and efficacy in patients with severe paralysis."

Synchron received the FDA's green light ahead of competitors like Elon Musk’s Neuralink. …

Up high! Down low! Too slow…

[Stentrode] is being used "for data transfer from motor cortex to control digital devices," Synchron said. According to data published in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery, two of the patients were able to control their computer with their thoughts. They completed work-related tasks, sent text messages and emails and did online banking and shopping.

It takes around two hours to implant a Stentrode device with a minimally invasive procedure, according to Synchron. The device is implanted through a blood vessel at the bottom of the neck and maneuvered into the brain. Synchron CEO Thomas Oxley told Bloomberg the device could be available to buy within three to five years.

Told you so. Am I right? Eh?

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DogBots on My Trail

From the Associated Press:

HONOLULU (AP) — If you’re homeless and looking for temporary shelter in Hawaii’s capital, expect a visit from a robotic police dog that will scan your eye to make sure you don’t have a fever.

That’s just one of the ways public safety agencies are starting to use Spot, the best-known of a new commercial category of robots that trot around with animal-like agility.

See Spot. See Spot go. See Spot check out a drug-lab explosion

But privacy watchdogs — the human kind — warn that police are secretly rushing to buy the robots without setting safeguards against aggressive, invasive or dehumanizing uses.

In Honolulu, the police department spent about $150,000 in federal pandemic relief money to buy their Spot from robotics firm Boston Dynamics for use at a government-run tent city near the airport.

Acting Lt. Joseph O’Neal of the Honolulu Police Department’s community outreach unit defended the robot’s use. … He said it has protected officers, shelter staff and residents by scanning body temperatures. ... The robot is also used to remotely interview individuals who have tested positive.

“We have not had a single person out there that said, ‘That’s scary, that’s worrisome’” …

Or any other disparaging adjectives, such as “dystopic,” “terrifying,” “unreal,” or “depressing.”

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Cart Me Off to the Tard Farm

Latest piece: “Love Letter from a Teen Sanitarium” — in ColdType
(PDF - pg. 10-12)

June, 1994
Tennessee

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Dear Lisa,

They finally locked me up in a padded room. I had to loosen my straightjacket to write this in my own blood. The System did this to me. Yet they have the nerve to say I’m the crazy one.

Just kidding. I’m not in a straitjacket, and this is actually written in my roommate’s blood. He’s an arm-cutter, so I should be able to write you every week.

Remember our last phone conversation before I got sent off to the loony bin? You said you weren’t sure it’s cool for a sophomore to date a freshman. Well, if I pass and you fail, we’ll both be sophomores next year. So blow off summer school! Then we can be together forever. Soon as I get out.

It’s hard to grasp why my parents decided to deal with an unruly kid by locking me up. Yeah, my curiosity gets the better of me. And yeah, I punched my stepdad. He hit me first, so...

Maybe I’ll be more understanding of their fear and desperation when I’m older. Until then, fuck this shit. I feel like a fetus yanked out with a coat-hanger and tossed into a toilet. I’m just swimming in circles, shrieking that Sex Pistols song into the echoing porcelain: “Mummy! I’m not an ANIMAL!”

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It’s hell in here. One minute, you have amped-up counselors browbeating you, breaking you down—maybe slamming you against the wall or on the floor—then an hour later, they’re consoling you. It’s all Pavlov bells ringing in your ears.

The lockdowns are the worst. If you screw up bad, they’ll put you in isolation until you’d kill to get out and confess your sins in group therapy. Personal secrets—that’s how they getcha. …

Read the whole thing THERE
(PDF - pg. 10-12)

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Imagining the Future: The Weird History of UFO Religion

Latest article: “The Weird History of UFO Cults, And How It’s Only Going to Get Worse.” — in The National Pulse

Alien gods are the new gay marriage. A 2019 Gallup poll found 33 percent of Americans believed UFOs are occupied by extraterrestrials. In 2021, a Pew survey saw that number jump to 51 percent. During the 2020 COVID-19 panic, UFO sightings doubled from the previous year. Media hype is more potent than a Martian mind-control ray. 

Even if you don’t believe in ETs or UFOs, you can’t help but rub elbows with those who do. They’re all over the place.

We all know the amateurs. They quote Joe Rogan, follow Jeremy Corbell on Twitter, and smoke DMT to contact interdimensional beings. They watchAncient Aliens on the History Channel, or listen to Coast to Coast AM until sunrise. In the UFO scene, they’re “spiritual but not religious.”

Desert-dwelling saucer-chasers are pretty committed, at least professionally. Conference tickets get expensive, as do quality night-vision goggles. Still, hardcore chasers are more obsessive than religious.

Only serious fanatics join UFO cults. Some do it to summon ETs with magic spells. Others employ alien wisdom to clone human babies. One group cut their testicles off and drank cyanide to escape Earth’s gravitational field. That takes real commitment.

Historically speaking, UFO religion is just getting started. People have seen strange lights in the sky for millennia. But flying saucer sightings weren’t widely publicized until the 1940s. Unsurprisingly, the first major space cults appeared soon afterward.

What’s baffling is how many old school sects survived. You have to admire their tenacity. And now, after years of ridicule, important people are finally taking UFO phenomena seriously—including pop punk stars and former presidents.

Who’s laughing now?

Haters…

1 – AETHERIUS SOCIETY – (Europe: f. 1950s)    

Here’s the story.

For millennia, various extraterrestrial Cosmic Masters—including Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Krishna—descended from outer space to guide human evolution. Presently, Jesus and the Buddha have retired to Venus. Krishna lives on Saturn. As usual, Lao Tzu has wandered off with no forwarding address.

In 1954, this Interplanetary Parliament noticed the Cold War’s nuclear arms race. The End Times were near. So they sent a Venusian emissary, Aetherius, to deliver a message of peace and cosmic consciousness to a British yoga fanatic, George West.

The Great White Brotherhood from the stars ordered this crusty eco-pacifist to form the Aetherius Society. His robe-clad army was to wage spiritual warfare against invisible black magicians, also from outer space. Through Operation Prayer Power, the Aetherians can amplify their prayers with Spiritual Energy Batteries in order to avert eco-collapse and nuclear annihilation.

The Aetherius movement, which is still active today, laid the groundwork for subsequent UFO cults. In a modern world dominated by science and technology, the only way for the old gods to stay relevant is to trade in their chariots of fire for gleaming flying saucers. …

Read the whole thing THERE

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Metallica - “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” (1989)