Is this a worthy do-it-yourself neuroscience experiment, or an example of a technology gone berserk, foreshadowing a bleak future?
A US company is planning to ship $99 kits this fall, allowing anyone to turn a cockroach into a remote controlled cyborg. Educational? Or more like the stuff of bad dreams?
For me, it’s the latter. Perhaps it doesn’t help that I am halfway through reading Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, sequel to Oryx and Crake, a dystopian science fiction novel set in a bleak future in which humanity destroys itself through the reckless use of biotech and related technologies.
A cockroach may not be a beloved animal. Its nervous system may be too small, too simple for it to feel real pain. Nonetheless, I feel there is something deeply disturbing and fundamentally unethical about the idea of turning a living animal into a remote control toy.
To put it more simply: it creeps the hell out of me.