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Urgent need for a “culture of rational improvisation” PDF Εκτύπωση E-mail
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Συντάχθηκε απο τον/την Χρήστος Μπούμπουλης (Christos Boumpoulis)   
Πέμπτη, 05 Ιανουάριος 2017 17:44

Urgent need for a “culture of rational improvisation”

In this article I am going to advocate against Magna Cortica.

Occasionally, various arbitrary incidents inspire some of us, the subject of our next article without, necessarily, those incidents being related to our next article’s subject. Likewise, only superficially related to the subject of this article is the occasion, which has inspired it to me.

The inspiring incident

Many years ago I met my friend xyz and I had the opportunity, together with him, to contribute in the accomplishment of many creative things.

My friend having worked in one of the biggest multinational companies, at a large and powerful country, he possessed valuable professional knowledge and he was graceful enough to share his knowledge with me.

Then, I moved to another town and for some years we had, both, neglected to communicate to each other, until, approximately one and half years ago when I made a phone call to him.

Among other things, we discussed thoroughly about the political situation in Greece and he expressed to me with on of the most keen ways his disappointment about the quality of the Greek political – economical regime. Furthermore, he described me the unjust economic decline of his father’s manufacturing business, who had bought, many years ago, brand new, high tech production machinery, but, the Greek State’s infrastructure, seemed to, somehow, keep systematically undermining Greece’s industry. The bankrupt of his father’s business was inevitable and unjust.

Approximately, three months later I called him again and the voice of a young woman answered. She told me that she was his daughter and that, while having a surgical operation for removing a brain tumor, his father passed away.

The main subject.

“In 1204, during the reign of King John, mainland Normandy was taken from England by France under Philip II, while insular Normandy (the Channel Islands) remained under English control. In 1259, Henry III of England recognized the legality of French possession of mainland Normandy under the Treaty of Paris”. [wiki]

Since 1204, according to my opinion, the radicalization of the international community was inevitable.

The evidence of this collective radicalization are galore: severe degradation of most of the mediating international foundations; ruthless wars at Middle East, Asia and Africa; international crimes of aggressiveness; massive colonialism; illicit international interventions; hybrid/asymmetric wars; violations of the international law; massive violations of the Human Rights; etc.

The alleged radicalization of the international community coincides with the development of various sensitive technological developments, including the technology of the electronic brain implants.

In order for, this technology not to become abused in ways that might violate the international law of the Human Rights, many honest and dissent people are working in order to contribute at the establishment of adequate protective legislation.

A sample of this work is the proposed Magna Cortica.

The Magna Cortica: A bill of rights for our future, implant-enhanced brains.

In 1215 the feudal barons in England imposed the Magna Carta upon King John. The document was designed not only to proclaim their liberties and protect their rights, but to constrain the seemingly unlimited scope of the King’s will. In a nod to the prescience of the Magna Carta and social expediency it spawned, a group of neurally-inclined futurists have begun to draft a similar constitution for our time. This new “Magna Cortica” has set for itself the task of defining a set of rights and restrictions to preempt potential abuses in the rapidly growing field of cognitive enhancement.


The Magna Cortica

1. The right to self-knowledge

2. The right to self-modification

3. The right to refuse modification

4. The right to modify/refuse to modify your children

5. The right to know who has been modified


The five points of the Magna Cortica, drawn up by Jamais Cascio of The Institute for the Future, may remind some of Issac Asimov’s famous Laws of Robotics. The Cortica represents an excellent starting point. The rights to self knowledge, and to seek or to refuse self modification, appear somewhat obvious but provide the necessary foundation. The fourth point, the right to modify or refuse the same for our children, would increasingly loom in direct contradiction to the previous points as any child matured, but similarly lays the groundwork for where we might later set this bar.

The proposed right to know who has been modified seems to be the one that may need further refinement. Clearly patrons would like to be assured that their tour bus driver is still capable of achieving sufficient REM sleep, but what one does at age, and independent of external effect, should ideally remain within the province of self. The problem with full public disclosure of who has been modded with what is not so much it’s futility, but rather — as we have seen in digital rights management — it is the greater injustice wrought through any attempt to enforce it. The right to know what others might have done to their brains, essentially their medical history, presently stands in direct contradiction to the social behemoth we might affectionately call the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) monster. That barely even knocks upon the door of other possible ethical incongruence.

The right to reasonable free speech, for example, does not exist independent from context. What we might speak (or type) cannot be extricated from who it is spoken to, when and where it is spoken, and in our progressive times, by who speaks it. Might we therefore expect any more or less right to its complement, the right to non-disclosure? In other words, the right not to speak and to maintain privacy? As we maintained in a recent post on stem cells, ethics does not just involve contradictions, it is the science of them. The best we can offer for now is to do exactly what we are doing: propose ideals on a public forum and let them compete for our minds as the hardware concerning them is realized and becomes commonplace.

In that spirit we have asked for additional comment from Ayden Jacob the President ofThe Academy of Medical Ethics in Bio-Innovation. AMEBI has been grappling with the balance between increasing human capabilities while remaining within the bioethical zone of acceptable enhancements. With regards to the Magna Cortica, Ayden had this to say:

“It is with fervor and zeal that scientists, and society as whole, approaches this new horizon of innovation in the brain. We long to enhance our cognitive abilities at all costs, even when pharmacologic intervention may hinder us with unpleasant side effects. Philosophically speaking, man is made to develop into the greatest Man we can become. Scientifically speaking, man can become the most influential and powerful Man when technology and physiology are linked together within the human brain. As we aim to increase our cognitive abilities, whether that be to think smarter, faster, quicker or longer, it will be important to allow science to explore various opportunities at enhancing the brain’s lurking power. And to accomplish such a goal, many may feel we are tainting Nature. This is the debate. But it is only right that we give science the room, freedom, and ability to push us to the next level of human capabilities.”

[source: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/182356-the-magna-cortica-a-bill-of-rights-for-our-future-implant-enhanced-brains]


My opinion is that, during the radicalization of the international community there can not be any kind of, National and/or international, legislation that could effectively exclude violations of the citizen’s Human Rights and more specifically, legislation that could effectively ban the illicit abusage of the electronic implants’ technology.

For example, we know that, more or less, pharmaceutical industry may control both, medical profession and diagnostic labs; we know also that, the “markets”, more or less, may control the pharmaceutical industry; and we, rationally, estimate that military establishment, more or less, may control the “markets”. Therefore, a hypothetical e.g. political leader who may has displeased the military establishment, what trustworthy means (diagnostic, medical, etc.) could he use in order to prove that the, potential, “shadow” at his X-Ray radiography is not a brain tumor, as, a fabricated diagnosis might suggest, but it is an electronic brain implant, for avoiding health, or even life, threatening, unnecessary medical interventions?

As long as the radicalization of the international community continues, I believe that, the only peaceful, rational, effective and legitimate way for safeguarding our Human Rights and our Fundamental Freedoms is, by materializing a “culture of rational improvisation”.

With the practical means that we can get from the local stores we can invent creative and effective means to defeat most of the existing and present threats to our Human Rights, while, avoiding to expose ourselves to, potentially, trust worthless collective foundations.

This culture regards, exclusively, the part of our human kind, who is willing, or, who is determined, to have his life led by, his own distinct, and/or, his community’s collective, moral compass.

The choice of sensitive information management may be the discriminating factor between the two parts of our human kind. Those, which, inhumanly, withhold sensitive information, which may save the lives of the others, are prone for “playing” this information over a “poker game”. Instead, those which properly direct all the sensitive information they possess, in order to rescue the lives of the others, are the most eligible for embodying the proposed, urgently needed, “culture of rational improvisation”.

The usefulness of the proposed culture of rational improvisation shall cease to exist if and when, the radicalization of the international community becomes terminated. And this termination, according to my opinion, is possible, mostly, if and when, the international community finds the courage, for resolving the current and pending international problems, to burden accordingly, the “engineers” of our international community (the Germans) and the “guides” of our international community (the Greeks).


Christos Boumpoulis



P.S.: The proposed culture of rational improvisation, must be creative, peaceful, legitimate, non violent and must respect all existing safety regulations for the protection of the health and the life of the citizens.