I am sure many of our readers have seen the headline: Scientists take first step towards growing brains in a lab
Nathan: This of course, is the latest example of mad science to threaten the world: like mad scientists of the past, these men and women are naive and do not understand the threat this invention could pose to the world. It also raises some SERIOUS questions. For example, Mama Liberty, our beloved publisher’s first thoughts were:
Mama Liberty: OH GOOD!! And they can start immediately by testing them in politicians. Since they don’t have any brains at all, anything would be an improvement.
Nathan: It will all end in tears.
I have been told by several experts that most politicians are born with normal brains (there are, admittedly, some who inherit that brainless condition, as we all know). But as they mature and get more involved in politics, their brains atrophy, and as a result, the body fills up the brain cavity by depositing additional bone on the inside of the skull: it calcifies! I suppose if you can catch and halt the process in time, there might be some room to use to put more brains in, but it will be nowhere close to non-politician human norms.
Even if they find a way to enlarge the cavity (decalcification, or is that denazification, I lose track of the proper technical terms), it really isn’t necessary to GROW new brains. For several centuries now, the US military has followed an SOP, which supposedly was adopted from the French Army, way back in the Revolutionary War. Anytime someone is promoted to full Colonel, a large portion of their brain is removed, stabilized and preserved, and filed away. If they are promoted to flag grade (general – I’m not sure whether it is brigadier or major or lieutenant general), they have the preserved brains put back in – giving them an advantage since the organ has not aged. The problem is, the various Medical Corps have had a truly horrible filing system, and so a lot of the time, the new general does not get the same brain that was taken out, but someone else’s! It is a major problem, but still, overall the system worked well – except of course with the political generals… But since most colonels do NOT get promoted to flag grade, there is a large repository for each of the services, where all these excess brain parts have been stored. Admittedly, many are probably well past their shelf life, but even so, would be better than what the politicians have – and at a fraction of the cost of growing new brains and then condensing them to fit into the small space left.
As I said, the US took this idea from the French. It is well known that they used the technique for years, but applied it to the flag officers. During one of the early battles of the Napoleonic wars, it is sad that Napoleon himself observed the colonel of one of his regiments distinguish himself not just by his bravery but by his wisdom and intelligence on the battlefield. Napoleon immediately told one of his staff to go and tell this man (Dumont? I don’t recall the name.) that his performance had been observed and was being rewarded: he was immediately promoted from Colonel to General de Brigadier. Unfortunately, Dumont was wounded badly, and before the aide could get to him, the new General had been carted off to surgery. So the aide rode to the hospital tent, flung himself off the horse and strode into the surgical tent, telling the doctor that he was looking for General Dumont with a dispatch from the Emperor himself. The doctor (as you can imagine) was in a foul mood, and snapped back. “I don’t know any General Dumont but Colonel Dumont is the man you see right here on the table. I am operating because he has been shot in the head and I am trying to put his brains, which are here in this bucket, back in his head. But you just splattered dust all over them!” At that, Dumont sat up on the operating table and said, “Doctor, don’t waste your time. Now that I’m a general, I don’t need them anymore!”
Sam also had some pithy comments: Politicians, like other zombies, do not HAVE brains, rather they EAT brains. So there is some potential hope of improvement in world conditions, if we can use these vat-grown brains (a common SF concept, by the way) and bait politicians with them, then trap and humanely put them down in order to make available the carcasses for “useful public service” such as subgrade in roads or soil amendments, or even to improve those coral habitats made with old cars and trucks out under the ocean. Although some people want each zoo to keep a specimen or two for exhibition (as a warning), I feel that is both inhumane (to the zookeepers and visitors) and potentially dangerous, should they escape. I suppose that one could surgically remove the tongue or the vocal cords, but then the point of the display in captivity would be lost. Better to simply rid the world of the potential danger.
Nathan: Everything you say makes tremendous sense, Sam. It is especially important to make sure that no wild populations would be left in such a situation. We’ve seen what happens when the wild populations of predators like wolves and mountain lions is allowed to rebound. Because of their chameleon-like abilities, there might be viable populations of the politicians springing up around us without warning, leading to a sad new cycle of overpopulation and predation on normal humans. I don’t think that a lot of us had thought it through and realized that there are species (or would it be “races”) of zombies which look like normal humans but still crave brains, blood, gold, and other precious things like liberty and peace and prosperity – not to enjoy them but to consume and digest them. It is indeed horrible to contemplate.