Saturday, September 24, 2011

E. Paul Zehr

E. Paul Zehr is a professor of neuroscience and kinesiology at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and the author of Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero and the newly released Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine.

From a Q & A at io9:

What is the most scientifically plausible superpower?

My own penchant is for the human basis for superpowers — hence Becoming Batman and Inventing Iron Man. If we consider Iron Man, we are getting close to being able to "fly" without being "inside" an aircraft, as in Yves Rossy. With some major advances in power source, that kind of technologically enhanced powered flight is close. Maybe also a bit like Angel in the X-Men?

What I can also see is a kind of technological telekinesis. That is, manipulating objects at a distance. Or, rather, manipulating humans (and other mammals) from a distance by controlling their nervous systems. I can see the outcomes of advances in brain machine interface (and which is central to my Iron Man book) as a way to lead to increased knowledge of how to "hack" the human nervous system.

What I am thinking of is some kind of projectile neural interface that would connect to the head of someone (let's say a bad guy) when shot out from someone (let's say the good guy). Now the interface activates and controls the body of the "hacked" bad guy. He becomes compliant and is basically "remote controlled" by the hero.

This is essentially the reverse of brain machine interface where the brain of the user is supposed to control the machine (like the Iron Man suit). Now, that interface is used in reverse-to control the user from an external person. Please note that this isn't...[read on]
Writer's Read: E. Paul Zehr.

--Marshal Zeringue