Engineering the Mind
Combining, manufacturing, and manipulating genes are not the only methods scientists use to reshape living systems. One important related technique that we have not yet discussed is mind modification. This could mean improving the brain's function by raising intelligence or sharpening memory. It may also come to mean altering our moods, calming the distraught, or putting the jumbled thought processes of the mentally ill individual in order. However, in a more ominous sense, it may mean the deliberate wiping out of intelligence, erasing memory for questionable motives, or altering beliefs that a government or demagogue might find threatening.
Mind modification can be accomplished with drugs or surgery, or by electrical stimulation of the brain. And it is this area of human engineering that conjures up some of the most frightening images -- vague-eyed people doing what a computer or a chemical additive forces them to do. That negative view is due partly to the mystique that