IT’S all too wonderful. Scientists in the US and Britain are working on a brain implant that will stimulate pleasure centres, according to an authority on Ayurvedic and complementary medicine and surgery, Robert Svoboda, speaking in Sydney as part of an annual conference run by the AYA association (Ayurveda Yoga Australia).
US-based Svoboda says “the sex chip” will stimulate the part of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex. And as many mind-gasms as can be fitted into one day can be achieved after getting the kids off to school, or in work breaks. It’ll replace the “outside ciggy” as the daily dopamine hit, hopefully with soundproof cubicles for “five orgasms in five minutes”.
Serious scientists are remaining straight-faced, claiming the chip — which is similar to technology being used to treat Parkinson’s disease with tiny brain shocks — is being refined to treat a joyless condition called anhedonia, as in non-hedonistic or incapable of pleasure. But then there’s the rest of us who seem to suffer from the debilitating “maximus hedonius” where we greedily need copious amounts of pleasure or we become rancid.
A spinal cord “machine” is also being developed with great success. But the brain chip seems more practical. According to Oxford professor Tipu Aziz, a workable implant is a few years away. That’s OK; I can wait. I have good staying power.
Apparently, we can turn the chip on and off, but I suspect we’re in for trouble. There are always going to be addicts; those who gamble, smoke, drink, and are already sex addicts.
A swath of new signs will have to arise: “No Orgasms on the train”. “Orgasms are forbidden during this flight”. “Orgasms strictly limited to 10 decibels (rustling leaves) or person will be towed away”. “Fines for people caught with their chip on while driving”.
Why do we need this unnatural chip? Svoboda told the AYA conference that it was a natural human urge to avoid the messiness and scariness of life.
He says human beings, since the beginning of time, have been looking for escapes from reality beginning with The Temple — a place of lofty spirituality — and thereafter many different forms: shamanic drugs; then alcohol, then movies. While not averse to humans using the chip in moderation, he fears too much pleasure will fuel “non-reality” which doesn’t help people come to terms with their mortality.
He fears people will further isolate themselves from others. Given we are social creatures, depression and loneliness may follow. Our chemicals may go out of whack with calming hormones inhibited.
“Happiness comes from learning to deal with reality, not escaping it. Always try to live with reality; because one thing is certain: at some point reality is going to come live with you!”