By James Corbett and cross-posted from The International Forecaster
Bill Kochevar just scooped a forkful of mashed potatoes into his own mouth. No cause for celebration, you say? Well, it is when you consider that Kochevar is a quadriplegic, paralyzed below his shoulders in a cycling accident eight years ago. He hasn’t scooped a forkful of mashed potatoes or anything else into his own mouth since then.
So what changed? Just the two pill-sized, 96-channel electrode arrays implanted on the surface of his brain by a team of neurosurgeons. Well, that and the 36-electrode “muscle activation system” that helps translate Kochevar’s thoughts into muscular activity.
As Case Western Reserve University, which directed the research leading to this momentous forkful, explains in their press release on the case: “The arrays record brain signals created when Kochevar imagines movement of his own arm and hand. The brain-computer interface extracts information from the brain signals about what movements he intends to make, then passes the information to command the electrical stimulation system.”
It’s hard to dispute that this is anything short of a modern medical miracle…
…which is exactly why we’re going to be hearing a lot more about these types of “making cripples walk again”-type stories in the near future, and a lot less about the truly horrific potential of the brain/computer interface technologies that are slowly being revealed to the public.
Neural smart dust? Mind reading technologies? Tranhumanism? Never mind all that, look at this cripple type! What have you got against paralyzed people, you bigoted, heartless monster!
Enter Elon Musk. As we should all know by now, he’s the huckster behind multiple government-sponsored Ponzi schemes that he can strategically exit when times get tough, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.
Having made his first $22 million with the sale of his “Zip2” web software company in February 1999, Musk launched X.com, one of the first online financial service companies, the following month. X.com then merged with its main competitor, Confinity, which had a money transfer service called PayPal. Musk served as CEO of the PayPal conglomerate until 2000 and remained its largest shareholder until it was bought out by eBay in 2002 for a cool $1.5 billion. Musk pocketed $165 million from the deal.
From there, Musk founded SpaceX, which borrows money from the government at ridiculously low interest rates, and Tesla, which borrows money from the government at ridiculously low interest rates, and SolarCity, which borrows from SpaceX and Tesla. Neither Tesla nor SolarCity actually make money, but in the age of entities like YouTube, which boasts a billion users but still has “no timetable” on reaching profitability, perhaps we can chalk that up to the “new normal.”
As MarketSlant noted in their expose of Musk’s three-way government-sponsored arbitrage scheme last fall: “Elon Musk now has 2 companies that do not make money [Tesla and SolarCity]. He has 1 that makes money from prepayments for services yet to be given [SpaceX]. All are financed by the US taxpayer at ridiculously below market rates. The table is now set for financing using inflated currency (sound familiar?) in the form of Tesla stock to get real cash in Mr. Musk’s pockets.”
Now the story of how Musk parlayed his government-created Tesla fortune to help bail out his government-sponsored SpaceX venture through his SolarCity venture is a fascinating example of a multi-billion dollar shell game in action, but that misses the point. The real question to ask is how this PhD dropout from nowhere in particular was able to found a financial service company in the late 1990s that received FDIC insurance. Or how he worked out the exceptionally low financing from the government for his SpaceX venture. Or how he then managed to bilk another $5 billion out of Uncle Sam to underwrite his (unprofitable) Tesla venture.
If you answered by saying that all of these unlikely business ventures would have been impossible for the average, unconnected Joe Schmoe, you’d be completely right. But Musk is not the average, unconnected Joe Schmoe. He’s like Beelzebub, popping up every time the worlds of government funding, military research and Bilderberg technocrats collide.
When convicted IMF criminal Christine Lagarde, World Bank head Jim Kim and 100 other global misleaders gathered in the UAE for the World Government Summit earlier this year (yes, there really is such a thing), there was Musk, arguing that humans will have to merge with machines as they work toward the world government utopia.
And now that brain/computer interface technologies are making headlines, here’s Musk to cash in on the trend. And, as usual, he has big name financial support backing him…