Literature is simply a portrayal of ideas, thoughts, and emotions that are often reflective of the writer’s personal situation and the society in which the writer is in. Dystopian novels especially serve as this reflection of the modern world, in criticizing government, society, and human interest. Personally, I find this theme of incorporating societal concern and technological fear into dystopian literature incredibly interesting. Dystopian writers often focus their novels on predictions of future societies, explaining the possible destruction of current government and societal institutions, while criticizing the ethics in scientific advancements and technological development. Should innovation be criticized? Can scientific improvements be taken too far? Specifically, how do dystopian novels portray a prediction evolution of scientific research, and are these predictions practical, feasible, or realistic? This is the research question I intend to pursue, narrowing my search with a focus on nanotechnology in the human brain, incorporating technology and neuroscience.
The independent reading book that I will be incorporating into my research is Feed, by MT Anderson. I find the societal and government institutions in this book very interesting, as it ties in monopolistic corporations and societal consumerism with neuroscience technology. The book shows how intelligence becomes storable and how materialism becomes the focus of everyone’s lives. The book’s dystopia also raises the question of practicality: can the brain chips, or Feed, in this book become something of reality? I will be expanding on this thought, researching the neurobiology of the feasibility of implanting brain chips, as well as the ethical problems that could arise. I will also tie in societal concerns and economic problems that could accompany this scientific change, as well as shifts in government and public institutions. In addition, is scientific advancement heading towards this direction? Will human nature ever let technology get to the point of total control over daily life? These are the questions I would like to explore in my research. The topics and questions that I am not able to answer now include specifics of brain chip technology, damage done to the brain during implantation, and the plasticity of the brain around the chip itself.
Brown, Kristen V. “DARPA Is Testing Implanting Chips in Soldiers’ Brains.” Fusion, 28 Sept. 2015, fusion.net/story/204316/darpa-is-implanting-chips-in-soldiers-brains/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017.
Anderson, MT. “Feed.” MT Anderson RSS, mt-anderson.com/blog/his-books/books-for-teens-and-adults/feed-2/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2017.