As much as I love science and the idea of a using science to create a cloud of swarming insects that replaces the sky with eternal darkness, I have to protest. I was browsing through the articles on one of my favorite sites hackaday.com when I happened across a post on controlling beetle flight remotely. Well, that's cool. Someone built a robot beetle that can fly, like in the movies when you see a spy fly that buzzes deep into enemy territory and sniffs out where the terrorist nukes are.
But no, these ain't no robots. An group of engineers from UC Berkeley "restrained" a beetle, implanted electrodes into its brain, and used a remote to force the creature into controlled flight. I have to say this is a pretty disgusting act. As humans, we've now taken another life form, a being with its own free will and consciousness, and stripped it of just about all that makes it alive, and made it dance a jig for us. It still breathes and exists (for how long I wonder) but its very actions are now controlled by some group of people who did it just to see if they could. Congratulations on making the human race as a whole a just bit more repulsive than it was before.
Also, I don't buy the "relax, it's just a beetle" bullshit. Torture is torture, it doesn't matter who it's happening to. None of us can imagine what it's like to have electrodes implanted in our brain administering continuous electrical shocks...and to justify a wrong by saying it happened to something small in size, or happened to something with an exoskeleton is no excuse. What makes it so separate from us? It's a living, breathing, procreating biological machine that feels and responds to its world...just like us. The only real difference between a beetle and a human is that the human falsely thinks there is a difference between the two.
It is my firm belief that everyone who participated should be subject to remote control neural implants for a day, with a retarded 6 year old behind the controls.