By Robert Cordery
It all began with Superintendent, the nasal spray that cured Alzheimer’s. Perhaps now the technology has gone too far. But how can I get a snort of the advanced stuff for myself?
Supers are the nanoparticles in Superintendent. They are so small that they easily pass through the blood-brain barrier to do their work. Each Super is specialized. Some break down amyloid beta plaques so they can be cleared from the brain. Other Supers specialize in correcting the mutation of tau protein that causes protein tangles in the brain.
Scientists realized that they could vastly improve the effectiveness of Superintendent if the particles could coordinate their actions like a flock of starlings. Each bird in a flock responds only to a few neighbors. It uses simple rules to decide its next move. The leaderless, aerobatic flock develops a swarm intelligence. It provides protection from predators, warmth and cooperative searching for feeding and roosting sites.
Superintendent V2 uses flocking Supers to improve its effectiveness. Superintendent has been a godsend for people suffering from dementia. But it is the recent, illegal advances that I crave.
The word superintendent is ambiguous. It could refer to a building maintenance person much as Superintendent V2 maintains the brain. Or it could refer to a boss who communicates instructions from a leader. Tech companies saw communicating flocks of Supers embedded in peoples’ brains as an ideal user interface. The user just inhales a nasal spray and they are connected.
Startups soon began developing “iSupers” with specialties including detecting neurons firing, triggering neurons to fire, and sending and receiving messages to an external transceiver.
The first people who tried iSupers became immediately catatonic. Horrified, Congress quickly outlawed research, development and trial of iSupers. Of course, illegal development simply went underground. Well-publicized raids on secretive labs and arrests of rogue scientists failed to deter the research.
Now you can find the iSupers on the street. One snort gives users heightened concentration, creativity and awareness. Add an inconspicuous earpiece and the user is a connected cyborg. The integration of the brain with the intelligence of the web and with the swarm of other cyborgs must proceed slowly. There were tragic failures when users were overwhelmed because they integrated too quickly.
iSupers are still illegal and are expensive to manufacture. The integration process is risky and requires personal attention from several experienced cyborgs. I find the power of the cyborg swarm irresistible.
The cost is beyond my reach right now but I am saving. The cost and risk are coming down slowly. Maybe next year.