Manic Muses

BrainDuring his last State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama briefly touched on the idea of the US Federal Government funding a program for a Brain Activity Map (BAM).  Basically, signals sent by every brain cell would be recorded so we can better understand the circuitry of human thoughts, feelings and emotions. (1)  The implications of successfully completing a project like this are enormous – from advances in everything from medicine to artificial intelligence (AI). The project is, supposedly, the next logical scientific progression for the US after the strides we made in cancer research in the 70’s and the human genome project of the 90’s.

Of course, instead of the President selling this program with examples of potential benefits to mankind, the message immediately became about the positive economic impact a program of BAM’s magnitude could have.  For example, for every dollar spent on the human genome project (on…

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