Headlines can be deceiving. The other day I quickly read a headline with the words … Deep Brain Stimulation in it. In a hurry to get to church, I read no further, scampered out of the door and hurried down the street. As I walked, my brain began to question the contents of the article. Did brain stimulation mean sticking probes into the brain to make a person smarter? Did it mean that one could stick needles into either the right or the left hemisphere to make a person more logical or more creative? Could one get a brain stimulation much like a “nose job” or liposuction to enhance one’s self-esteem or date ability? If several generations had brain stimulation, would the brain, much like some computers, remember the pattern and pass the enhanced brain on to the next generation?
Good old Saint Paul and his fire-brand rhetoric helped me to forget about brain stimulation for my half-hour in church. Nevertheless, I could hardly wait to get back to read below the exciting headline. In truth, the President approved the use of 70 billion dollars for research into brain stimulation. The reason for this approval is to find ways to help soldiers returning to civilian life, many of whom suffer from chronic depression. Although neurosurgeon do not know the exact location in the brain that triggers depression, all of that money spread over several research centers and over time will come up with ways to help the young men and women who put their lives on the line to keep the world save for the rule of law to prevail .( I can no longer write, “save for democracy”, as I know that not every society functions best under that political system. The rule of law is more important for the safety of all citizens).
Headlines can be deceptive. But, they give one a great opportunity to explore possibilities. And, to be disappointed in realities.