Tuesday, April 5, 2016

D is for . . .

Image source: Wikipedia

Download. Have you seen the movie The Matrix? When I first saw it, I was in graduate school, working toward a Ph.D. in math. Like, whoa. (Thanks, Keanu.)

Anyway, part of that process is taking a series of three exams based on the material of six classes. They are called serious freakin' torture comprehensive exams. Talk about pressure. If you fail, no Ph.D. for you. So when I saw the part of the movie where Neo gets to download huge amounts of information instantly, I was pissed fascinated. I wanted that technology. No, I needed that technology. Alas, it wasn't available.

Now consider the title of this article released one month ago on ScoopWhoop: You Will Soon Be Able To Download Information Directly To Your Brain, Matrix-Style!

Are you serious?

Yes. According to the article, scientists at HRL Laboratories in California used a simulator to feed information into a person’s brain. They attempted to transfer the skills of a professional airplane pilot to novice flyers.

How? First they analyzed the brain activity patterns from six commercial and military pilots. Then they put several test subjects to sleep wearing electrode-embedded head caps. Next they zapped these peoples’ brains with transcranial direct current stimulation to transmit the brain patterns of the experts into the novices. The novices then took lessons in a flight simulator.

The results?  Subjects who received brain stimulation via electrode-embedded head caps improved their piloting abilities and learnt the task 33 percent better than a placebo group.

Again, whoa!

This breakthrough fits perfectly with Sylvia Ney's WIN, a short story about a world in which all knowledge is downloaded into our brains and people who "learn" are considered oddities. (Much like some view the Amish today.) That's all well and good until the mechanism for downloading gets a virus. Oops.

You can read this haunting tale in the upcoming anthology, Parallels: Felix Was Here, to be released on May 3. This anthology also has a website participating in the A to Z Challenge. To learn more about the ten tales and their authors, go here.

What knowledge would you like to download into your brain?


  1. Gosh, what a question. I'd just love to know everything I know now, but at that age of 20. I don't need to be smarter, I need to be informed. LOL Love this, and WIN is a great story!
    Happy April 5th!
    Ninga Minion @YolandaRenee from
    Defending The Pen
    Murderous Imaginings

  2. I would love to download some languages into my brain. Being able to communicate with all my multilingual friends would be brilliant.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  3. Yeah. This has potential disaster written all over it! It sounds great though.

    Great job on the buttons! I already used the TWEET!

    Heather M. Gardner / @hmgardner
    Co-Host, Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
    The Waiting is the Hardest Part

  4. That's cool! I'm with Natasha and would download some languages. And maybe some better math skills because I am horrible at math!

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  5. Thanks for the mention Tamara! I absolutely loved the Matrix - what a terrifyingly exciting idea it is to download information! Thanks too for sharing the article about the California study. I never would have been the guinea pig for a project like that - it's too easy for people to mess with my head when I'm NOT hooked up to a device ;-)

  6. That is really freaky. Hopefully unlike Sylvia's story, we don't grow to rely on it.

  7. You're right that's a perfect tie-in to Sylvia's story. Freaky.

  8. Wow, wouldn't that be the ultimate equalizer? If we all could put the same information in our brains, we'd be able to pick what we wanted to do in life, I guess. Anyone could be a doctor?

  9. Ooh, downloading directly to your brain? Not sure I like that. What if there's a corrupted file? ;-)

  10. Great post, Tamara.

  11. You've done a lot of research for your blogs!

  12. Oh,my, that would be great -- having information directly downloaded into my brain and actually being able to make sense of it and use it. More math would work for me, so I can help my son with his homework. :) Great post. Thank you. Loved The Matrix.

  13. What I'd like downloaded to my brain? The knowledge to understand how someone may react to something I say/do so I can prevent negative repercussions.

    Aneeta from
    How to Tell a Great Story

  14. Whoa is right! I would want to download languages and piano playing ability, and maybe some of Neo's kung fu moves as well :)

  15. Matrix is one of my fave films. I never tire of watching it, like any good scifi movie. And downloading to our brains would be a great way to 'learn'. Sign me up.

  16. Just stopping in from the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge.

    Ever since seeing the Matrix and the download scene, I've wondered if its possible to "overload" the brain. Sure, you could download all the information you want, but could the brain max out on storage capacity or slow down, like a computer?

    Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

    The Word of Stelios


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