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At MotherBoard, Meghan Neal writes We Need a Legal Framework for Biohacking Our Brains:

Do we need a legally protected right to augment our own brains? If so, what would the guiding ethical principles look like? California think tank Institute for the Future figures we’ve got about 10 years before society starts bumping up against these kinds of questions.

As chugging coffee at work and sneaking Adderall for cram sessions quickly gives way to brain-booster drugs, neural implants, augmented reality gadgets, transcranial stimulation (i.e. DIY brain zappers), mind uploading, and future technologies not even conceived yet, neuroenhancement is predicted to be a billion-dollar industry already.

"There's an enormous potential for chaos," wrote Institute for the Future’s Jamais Cascio. "The legal and political aspects cannot be ignored."

And so as part of the institute’s 2014 10-Year Forecast report, Cascio drew up a legal framework to define the ethically hazy right to self-modification and prevent abuse of biohacking technology. It's dubbed the 'Magna Cortica.'  […] The constitution of sorts is meant as more of a conversation-starter than actual proposed law—a chance to get bioethicists and policymakers thinking about the inevitable legal and ethical complications of mainstream cognitive enhancement.

It poses questions like: Will posthuman brainpower be considered an unfair advantage in schools or workplaces? Should parents be allowed to neuroenhance their children without consent? Will people have to publicly disclose if they've been cognitively modified?

"We are almost certain be facing these questions, these crises and dilemmas, over the next ten to twenty years," wrote Cascio. "As long as intelligence is considered a competitive advantage in the workplace, in the labs, or in high office, there will be efforts to make these technologies happen."


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011Gingrich denies supporting health coverage mandate after saying he supports a mandate:

You know you're having a bad day in the Republican primary field when you feel compelled to put out a video denying that you support a health coverage mandate. And if you're name isn't Mitt Romney, you're having an especially bad day.

Newt Gingrich, who last held elective office nearly fifteen years ago, found himself in that position today, thanks to comments he made yesterday:

“I agree that all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. And I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy,” Mr. Gingrich told the host David Gregory. “I’ve said consistently, where there’s some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable.”
That's pretty clear support for a federal health coverage mandate. It's not precisely the same one as signed into law by President Obama—Gingrich would allow people to post a bond that would cover any potential medical expenses (presumably very few people could do this as it would need to cover potential expenses)—but the principle is similar: no free riders. Everybody must pay.

Tweet of the Day:

Wow, a president who "couldn't stand up to Putin" swept in & hauled 30 million off the mall without leaving a trace #OperationAmericanSpring
@drhug



On today's Kagro in the Morning show, we ask the important questions. Will this podcast even survive the Operation American Spring revolution? And, can white privilege be compared to net neutrality? Obamacare's closing health care clinics, in a good way. Baseless speculation on outlandish net neutrality possibilities! Conservatives (whatever that means these days) get together to feed each other tax deductible sandwiches. "Should Your Driverless Car Kill You to Save Two Other People?" And "Why Don't We Know How Many People Are Shot Each Year in America?" Armando previews his Sunday Kos piece taking issue with Glenn Greenwald on issues of race & gender.



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