Nootropics are popular in our circles, but in my opinion there isn’t a non-prescription substance on the market right now that is staggeringly apparent in its effects. You know; something like the pill on the movie Limitless.
I’m always on the lookout for exotic compounds. I’ve wanted to make a batch of C16 for a while now even though it hasn’t been used on humans yet (to my knowledge). It is a PKR inhibitor, which is an entirely new class of drugs for me. The tests on rats look positive. I met a chemist who was going to make me some. I think we got too drunk and decided to make a mountain of DMAA instead, so I never got around to C16 and my chemist went to jail thanks to the DEA-holes and operation log jam, so I haven’t attempted trying since. The LD50 on it is kind of intimidating and it is a pain in the ass because it requires refrigeration, but I still want to try it if someone wants to whip me up a batch.
A few Grinders have made transcranial direct current stimulation devices (tDCS) which have been shown to improve focus and cognitive functions when used correctly to stimulate the prefrontal cortex. Hospitals started buying them and it didn’t take Grinders long to realize that they could make them for pennies on the dollar. It is essentially a hat that mildly electrocutes your head. You can create the reverse of that effect by switching the positive and negative ‘trodes. I’ve been told that this is handy if you have racing thoughts at bedtime. Other strange things can happen when the electrodes are placed on other areas of the skull. There has been talk about turning it into a subdermal implant at some point.
I know of one Grinder who has made a transcranial magnetic stimulation device (TMS) that I’ve been eager to try out for a while. It is a pretty powerful device that can stimulate a lot of different parts of the brain using magnetic pulses. If you have ever seen the god helmet, this is one use of a TMS device. You can also cause muscle twitches, alien abduction experiences (if you are into that kind of thing), or turn yourself into a cold blooded psychopath. There are hundreds of cool and terrible things that can happen depending on which part of the brain you target. Cognitive enhancement is another use.
Since we have seen that different parts of the brain do different things, we might as well talk about deep brain stimulators (DBS). DBS works by inserting a lead into the brain. Electricity is sent through the wire, stimulating the brain. Parkinsons patients have found relief from motor symptoms using DBS devices. Move the leads to a different part of the brain and you can cause all kinds of other effects. Suffer from fits of rage? DBS can stop that. Can’t have an orgasm? DBS can bypass your junk and send the big O straight to your brain. Have you ever experienced pain? Have you ever been sad? A DBS device can make that pain and sorrow completely optional at the push of a button. Have ADD? Want to over-clock your brain? Addicted to drugs? Obese fatty? DBS can help. To me it is one of the greatest transhuman technologies on the market today. The problem of course is that the elective brain surgery market is still too young, and some doctors have issues with randomly giving people brain implants when they don’t suffer from some kind of impairment. That and the $90,000 price tag.
Hmmm…maybe you read about that brain implant and now you are pissed that you can’t afford one? Let’s see how entering the Grinder mindset can change your possibilities. First, that device is roughly $40,000 in labor and facilities for the 4-5 hour procedure. You have to be awake for the operation, but the brain feels no pain, so really all that is needed in the way of pain management is a local anesthetic for the scalp. A drill is needed to get through the skull. Really, this is just over-priced trepanation so far. The DBS device alone costs around $50,000. It has passed all of the FDA bullshit and years of testing. How do we make this affordable?
I found a DBS patent that I like. It is leadless, so instead of wires, we would just be sticking small pellets into the brain. Even better, the pellets are powered wirelessly, meaning you will never have to open up your brain to replace the batteries. A nearby RF unit can control multiple pellets and we can stick a kill switch on it so hacking isn’t going to be a big concern. Scanning through the parts list, it looks like I can make this thing for under $10. That’s right: a $50,000 device for under $10. It uses off the shelf parts. I have even thought of a few ways to improve on the device.
Grinding lesson #8: Never let the retail tag of any tech intimidate you. Retail is for suckers.
Now that we have the device out of the way, let’s tackle the labor costs. We can’t take the DIY route on this procedure. We will stick with a legit neurosurgeon. There are several problems here. First, those fuckers are expensive. Second, brain surgeons in the US aren’t allowed to install medical implants that haven’t gone through all of the FDA nonsense. Ironically, they are allowed to take devices that are approved by the FDA and implant them in non-standard locations at their discretion. So theoretically, a brain surgeon could install a bed pan on your back just for giggles, as long as the bed pan is FDA approved and legal. Legal and therefore moral.
In the US, a brain surgeon makes at least $100,000 right out of residency. After that they make between $500k and million or more. We might have to travel to get this done. Scanning the internet, I uncover the average annual salaries of neurosurgeons worldwide. Many of these guys are stuck with state wages, so they often do side work for extra cash. Often times they can use the hospital facilities. The figures that I found from a chart (below) is data taken from a few years back, and some of these countries list the average wage for all medical workers, not just brain surgeons.
I can tell just by looking at the chart that the Russian salaries don’t look right. It must be an average of all medical salaries. Also, doctors in Moscow probably demand more than doctors in Abaza. Does a brain surgeon in Abaza make 1.5 times Estonian wages ($3150 USD/month equivalent)?
Let’s say that it is an attractive sum for a brain surgeon in Abaza. Again, feel free to debate this in the comments and save me some time. For now we will go with it. Abaza also has an advantage of being a smaller town and red tape is likely navigated easier here than in Moscow.
What was the point of this? The point is we are not looking at the cost of procedures. $40,000 for a 4 hour procedure is retail pricing and retail sucks. We have been looking at annual salaries because we want to put a brain surgeon on salary. This might involve a contract in some countries, or it might involve forming a company. Either way, we think we can buy a brain surgeon in Abaza for roughly $38,000/year. This dude isn’t going to care if our device is FDA approved or not (or whatever FDA equivalent exists in that country), but we will show him false documentation saying it is legal if it makes him feel better. You should trust your boss.
We throw in a few nurses for good measure, some pain killers, supplies, and some bribe money. This device has some custom programming, pre-op, and post-op expenses to factor in too, but in the end we will say that our budget is at $100,000/year. Still out of my price range, but I might be able to find some others who will be interested in having the procedure done too. If I find 100 people that think super cognition and an end to pain and sorrow is worth $1000 each plus airfare, I break even. If I find 200 people (about 4 procedures a week) I can pocket $100,000. So, can I find 100 people? I know people addicted to pain-killers whose habit costs them that much in a month, so I think this is possible.
Grinding lesson #6: Group buys are the way to go, even on services.
Grinding lesson #9: Rules and costs change outside your borders.
On the topic of this brain implant….
As a space gangster my mind often wanders through enterprising alleyways. The average opiate junky spends about $4200 annually on their habit, regardless of employment status. I never underestimate the ability of junkies to scrounge. This device could potentially cure them of their cravings by suppressing some signals stimulating others. A small team of street entrepreneurs and a black market doc could install these for free. Then they could set up the “client” on payment terms. Each time the client makes a payment they are buying more minutes of a functioning device, like a prepaid mobile phone. The payments stop and the device would send them into withdraw-like symptoms (or much, much worse). Their joy and misery can be controlled by encrypted signals. Digital Heroin.
Payments would be steady. We already know they can scrounge up $4200/year, so I’d rate this debt as A-grade paper. What I really love about this plot is the marketing strategy. Junkies know other junkies. If a junky can earn time by convincing other junkies to get this procedure done, do you think she will do it? It is like Amway without real commissions. Sure, you run the risk that they might go into a police station and announce that they have a microchip implanted in their head. How many times have you heard a junky say this? Just in case, it would be good for the implant crew to wear masks. Get a Bill Gates mask, a Putin mask, an Obama mask, maybe throw in some alien masks for good measure, just to make their story weirder if they rat on you. You could also hold the referring client responsible in the event that someone rats you out. There are lots of ways to ensure silence that I won’t go into.
Some countries spend a lot of money every year to feed and house prisoners. They could save a lot of money using black market brain implants. Pedophiles, rage maniacs, addicts, and other compulsive deviants could be safely released back into society. Many of the prisoners would even be willing to pay for the procedure themselves if it meant they get their freedom. Maybe some will view this as a human rights violation and it won’t happen in your country. Rest assured that it will happen in other countries eventually. I only see the dollar signs.
If you happen to be an unemployed biomechanical engineer, a surgeon who has lost their license, or maybe you own a power drill…..send me an email.
We should do lunch.
hero image from: http://fashiontribes.typepad.com/fashion/2015/04/will-internet-become-conscious-self-aware-emotiv-neurophone-meditation-brain-system-neuron-connections.html