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Working with the 90% of the brain that doesn't supposedly do anything:
Looking at the Nintey Percent Of Your Brain article does things. What if the "hidden potential" of the ninety percent could be unlocked, psychic powers and all that? Problem is, you still need the functions currently provided by it. Solution? Highly-invasive brain surgery to implant nanomachines or similar technology to provide stripped-down versions of the functions that the ninety percent used to provide before being modded into what it is now. Because who needs fine motor control or coherent long-term memories or the absence of audiovisual and tactile hallucinations when you can crush buildings with your mind? Wait as second. The problem now is what to do with it. The brain damage could be debilitating, making the process impractical for use on anyone that wants sanity and/or free will afterward, making those so modified useful as servants or curiosities for the rich. Or, the process could be fine-tuned and only viable for a small portion of society with a similar neurological makeup to the type the surgeons know the best. It would still have dramatic effects on anyone else, but unless the surgeon knows exactly what they're doing, it'll be very traumatic. Basically, I'm stuck as to where to put this. What do youse guys think? On a tangent, if you wanted to work with the straight version of the trope, you could just say that the powers unlocked replace the need for the other functions.
Eye'm the cutest!Biologically you use 100% of your brain at all times. You only consciously use about 10% of it at any given moment. The only (realistic) way to implement a 90% of Your Brain scenario is hook up technology that the brain controls. Technology that can do things the body and brain normally cannot such as telekinesis. Otherwise, just come up with a flimsy Hand Wave that more or less says "This is a show, roll with it."
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
of course with that in mind, you could make it so that the conscious parts of your brain and the unconscious parts of your brain are aware of each-other. So unconscious brain does the powerful stuff while conscious brain is taking care of the rest of you. This can lead to power incontinence, which allows you to have limitations: only psychologically healthy people are allowed to undergo the surgery. I'm sure there's a story in that.
Amateur cook Professional procrastinator
Also known as KatzTen Percent Of Your Brain is a seriously discredited trope, and besides, that device has been used to death (turns out the other 90% is filled with curds and whey). Just have the nanomachines directly increase brain capacity by increasing the density of neural tissue or something like that.
edited 27th Sep '10 3:22:51 PM by jewelleddragon
I'm aware that it's a discredited trope. I read our article on it and a few more. I'm working with it in a modified capacity. Actually, it came out of the concept of mages or psions that had to have neural implants or surgery to get it to work, this is just one way it could go.
I think you should just go with the implants and not bother mentioning the 90% of your brain, because that is seriously discredited and will make anyone who knows anything about the brain roll their eyes. So, two options. One is that the implant is activated by part of your brain that also does something else - for example, telekinesis could be activated by imagining something rising (which would require two chips - one to check that the person is seeing something rise, and another to check that they aren't really seeing something rise). Accidental activation could be an issue, particularly during REM sleep. Second option is to give the implants to newborns. They're constantly getting rid of excess brain cells and organizing the ones they need to keep to have the right connections. You could plunk the chip almost anywhere (not in the brain stem, of course, or in a primary sensory area) and they'd reorganize the brain so that thing belongs there. They'd learn to activate it at will, accidental activation wouldn't be an issue after the age of 2 or so, and they wouldn't need to do anything special to use their powers - it would be just like moving a limb. Problem is, of course, toddler tantrums with superpowers. And you couldn't turn off their powers until they're older, since that would defeat the purpose of implanting them so young.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
Alternatively, re-organize the cells to force them to act differently, with side effects as a result (obviously, fucking with neural pathways is bad for you). Make sure that this is a universe where Ten Percent Of Your Brain works, because, otherwise, so much people would spray Did Not Do The Research all over it.
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