Metavalent Stigmergy

How New Default Consensus Realities Instantiate

7 Modes of Neuropower

In Politics for the Neurocentric Age, (Journal of Futures Studies, November 2010, 15(2): 51 - 70) Jake F. Dunagan delineates Seven Modes of Neuropower, tempered with the admonishment, “that we should be wary of falling into the latest ‘magic bullet’ mentality that sees neuroscience and neurotechnologies as the solution to all our problems, from health to law to selling more soup. The challenge for neuroscientists and ethicists is to create a nuanced and layered view of developments to temper the litany of hype, and to contextualize the rise of the brain sciences within larger psycho-social processes, shifting political-economies, and mythologies surrounding the brain and mind. My goal is to examine the process as it is occurring now — to continue to question the priorities and values that drive this research and its application in the future, with the goal of seeing neuroscience deliver its greatest benefit to the most people on Earth.”

7 Modes of Neuropower

  1. Mental surveillance
  2. Brain facticity
  3. Neurocompetitive environment
  4. Predicting and preempting behavior
  5. Sensibility at high speeds: Similarity as equality
  6. Ownership of the extended mind
  7. Framing mind and metaphor

Functional MRI

It’s well worth the effort to read the paper, to get to the nitty gritty of these Seven Modes.

Dunagan adds, “Cognitive models are foundational to construction of political worldviews and systems. As old paradigms like rational-actor theory or individualist-isolationist models of thought give way to new models of behavioral economics or distributed cognition, political orders and possibilities change as well. Neuroscience will not only change the way we see and interact with our brains and minds, it will transform our political imaginations.”

“The governance of thought, cognitive enhancement, neurodiversity, and the re-mapping of mental spaces is happening now, as the transformative power of neuroscience has already woven itself into the fabric of our cognitive environments, into mind-body-world relations, and indeed, into the fabric of our imaginations.”

Sound familiar?

“Every morning my computer and I wake up together. I am not truly awake until I have accessed the information on my computer: picking up on the notes half-thought and blog posts half-read, checking for new emails, trolling through Twitter and my social networks, and getting the morning’s news. Philosopher Andy Clark said he felt like he had the functional equivalent of a stroke after he lost his laptop — forgetting meetings, names , contacts, and streams of thoughts . Many people are intuitively aware that their networked computing machines, from desktop computer to mobile devices, don’t just feel like—but really are—functional extensions of their minds.”

Which is why, “There are certainly new and opposite cognitive, social, and political forms taking shape before us: artificial intelligences, cyborgs, posthuman subjectivity, a breakdown of mind along with the destruction of the planet, a technoprogressive democracy, a society of control networked from synapse to street, and on and on. This paper was an attempt to look out the window at our minds as they reach the “sound barrier,” and what possibilities, if any, might lie just beyond the sonic boom. We’re almost there; meet you on the other side.”

Written on April 11, 2011


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