Neuralink – which is “developing ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers” – is probably a bad idea. If you understand the science behind it, and that’s what you wanted to hear, you can stop reading. But this is an absurdly simple narrative to spin about Neuralink and an unhelpful attitude to have when it comes to understanding the role of technology in the world around us, and what we might do about it. It’s easy to be cynical about everything Silicon Valley does, but sometimes it comes up with something so compelling, fascinating and confounding it cannot be dismissed; or embraced uncritically.
Science and Technology
NASA will launch a probe next year into the Sun’s outer atmosphere that’s expected to improve dramatically our understanding of “space weather” and its risk to satellites, electrical grids, and telecommunications. Mission leaders gathered at the University of Chicago on Wednesday both to introduce the Space Probe Plus and to rechristen it the Parker Space Probe, in honor of Eugene Parker, the University of Chicago scientist who in 1958 hypothesized the existence of solar wind—an idea his contemporaries ridiculed until the Mariner 2 probe confirmed it a few years later.