Replace Death Penalty With Brain Implants Says Transhumanist Candidate

brain implants

Futurist, Zoltan Istvan, has suggested replacing the death penalty with brain implants that can control the prisoners mind and behavior

In an article on Motherboard Istvan says that the technology could be an alternative for criminals on death row and might be considered as sufficient punishment.

But where could this lead and what could possibly go wrong?

brain implants

SHTF reports: Zoltan Istvan, presidential candidate for the Transhumanist Party, thinks that prisoners would be better motivated to obey the law if the death penalty were abolished, and it be replaced by implanting a surveillance brain chip that notify the law and can even deploy a “tranquiliser triggered to block violent behavior.”

Of course, once it becomes legal to control the brains of one sector of society (convicted criminals), the rest of society may follow, each with their own rationales and justifications that make using spy chips inside the brain somehow acceptable.

It is a scenario ripped straight from the plot of A Clockwork Orange, where the ethics and finer points of behaviorism are put into practice as prison-reform-via-mind-control, in turn packaged neatly for political debates and electioneering. According to the International Business Times:

Brain implants able to manage out-of-control tempers and violent actions of prisons were suggested to minimise crime rates in the United States and as alternative for death penalty, according to Zoltan Istvan. The futurist and presidential candidate for the Transhumanist Party, Istvan suggested that the technology could be a near-term alternative for criminals on death row and might be considered sufficient punishment.

Violent crime is a version of mental disease,” Istvan stated in an article published in Motherboard, suggesting conducting brain alterations to prisoners could change behaviour and attitudes of criminals into decent members of society.  The brain implants would work as a surveillance device that could monitor or possibly control each action of the prisoner with a tranquiliser triggered if violent behaviour is reported or attempted by the inmate.

But, of course, the story isn’t limited to just murderers and the worst violent offenders with career prison sentences.

You knew that.

The full solution proposed here would come only at the hand of further deep-seated government control over the entire population.

Of course. Why not?

No one can ever be safe without giving up total control, right?

Implants should also be put in the brains of law abiding citizens, according to Istvan who is advocating a transhumanist platform for society.

This would serve as an emergency alert to authorities that they are experiencing a trauma (where a crime may be taking place), theoretically cutting back on the number of criminals who would be willing to follow through with the crimes if they knew they’d get caught.

Trauma alert implant should also be in the brain of citizens, a device that sends signal to alert authorities directly from the brain if someone is experiencing trouble or trauma, he proposed. The surveillance enhancement would reduce criminal rates rapidly in the future, Istvan said.

“If people knew they were going to be caught, crime would drop noticeably … violent criminals will be caught far more frequently than now, especially if we have some type of trauma alert implant in people,” he said.

Already, consumers are buying mood altering devices that change brain waves, while the Obama Administration has funded deep research into brain tinkering and engineering.

“So the technology to change behaviour and alter the brain isn’t science fiction,” he stated. The article indicated that U.S. President Barack Obama’s brain initiative focused to treat the involuntary movements associated with Parkinson’s disease and improving deep brain stimulation or by developing new technology.

Simply formula, really: Keep the status quo, instituted by the power monopoly of the state. Do nothing to change unfair systematic economic and socio-political problems; let known cheats and liars continue to operate a rigged game.

Then, keep tabs on everyone, and push a few buttons to make everyone afraid – not only to commit crimes and hurt other people – but afraid to speak out or stand out at all. Right to bear arms? Not a good idea, especially if it means arms in the hands of people who are quick to anger, or capable of violent tendencies at all.

Use a few consumer incentives to keep everyone in line, and keep pushing the pleasure button, the artificial happiness button, and keep the information about what is really going on swept under the carpet so that everyone learns to love their servitude.

Yeah, what else could go wrong?

  • Miss.Anne Thropee

    ‘Clockwork Orange’? Hmmmmmm, based on how I understand Burgess’s book, and of course, Kubrik’s adaption for screen, wasn’t about implants, but changing behavior with psychological torture. If I wanted to compare this subject to a work of fiction, I would definitely refer the comparison to Charlie Booker’s ‘Black Mirror’ series.
    Actually, if I didn’t know better–about Zoltan Istvan, that is–I would definitely think he has probably seen them, as the stories (in Black Mirror) are far more frighteningly real, and even bang on concerning brain control in startling comparison is almost too close to home.
    I have always personally felt that our so called ‘Justice’ system is flawed, nevermind corrupt and filled with ineptitude. As one whose interests include History and Philosophy of Death Penalties for proven criminals, I can honestly say that I never thought I would see the day where a child molester, murderer, or even any other offense punishable by Death, would become a paradox of Humane rights vs. the actual execution. I know that all cases of Death Row inmates has proven to also be imperfect, however, with today’s DNA technology, I would fathom to wager that we are at least trying to ensure that no innocents end up dead because of a flawed system, and of course, those whom are in charge of it. I have always agreed that execution offers a reasonable punishment, but why let it end there? We could harvest their organs. We could also use them as Human guinea pigs, and indeed, if implanting a chip to take away every aspect of freedom, including the minds of the condemned is also worthy of having a think about. I cannot understand how someone whom has committed serious crimes, resulting in loss of life, and any abuse that the victim(s) endured before they were killed, should weigh in on what happens to the murderer. They stopped having ‘rights’ when they took some other minds and lives. If you are doomed to Death Row, there should not be years of appeals, as that defeats the purpose, imo. How silly is it when it comes down to making sure that the ‘proven guilty’ goes from this world under the most comfortable circumstances–at least that is what it certainly appears to be, going through lengths to make sure that a Lethal Injection is the most ‘Humane’ way to go.
    Are we really supposed to have any empathy for hardened criminals who not only committed serious enough offenses that led them to that Jesus on a Crux positioned bed, hooked up to the killing machine, should not be comfortable. It should not be gentle, it shouldn’t be so ‘politically correct’, I would wager that the victim’s families would agree. If we do have the technology to place an implant into their brain, straight away, they could definitely be harnessed to become a slave…and depending, just how much memories–if any–that one may be allowed to garner, vs. just what we shall use these cerebellum slaves for. I am quite sure that there are many things to gain from implementing this sort of thing, as opposed to using taxpayers money, (on average $120-$150,000.00 US dollars to keep just one convicted person alive, (including dental and other health benefits that even our war heroes and vets don’t even get) every year. This seems incredulous considering.
    I am glad that this topic is being discussed, as I know I have major problems with watching somewhat ‘martyred’ men whom had some problems dying quick and humane enough, that the media confuses many into actually feeling sorry for a ‘difficult and uncomfortable’ execution. Especially since a good clean hang is about as ‘quick and humane’ when done properly offers. (plus rope is cheap…No dilly-dallying over what drugs to use, since the Pentathol of the cocktail normally given is simply unavailable to use in the Injection. A rope has done the job for centuries…why mess with a good thing?
    Whether we utilize these criminals, whom otherwise would just be a drain on taxpayers, with a chip that is likened to a implanted whip, would definitely be worth checking into. Besides, time is on everyone’s side.

  • WAK Anamjem