Do You Wish to Read My Mind?
CBS Network's long-running news magazine Sixty Minutes ran a segment on 30 December 2008 that is difficult to shake; its subject was mind reading and medicos have actually accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of doing just that.
In one scene of the segment, a technical sort actually bragged that all of the tests had been passed on one hapless subject, a person who had been asked a question while lodged in a queer bit of machinery known as a "functional" MRI (FMRI).
Although this sort of MRI is super-powered and functionally different, it is basically just like the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) diagnostic machine found in every USA hospital and many smaller clinics.
But souping up the MRI into an FMRI, connecting it to a computer and then testing individuals creates a new environment. The testing was to ask the test subjects to visualize certain objects such as hammer or screwdriver and, while the FMRI was imaging the brainwaves at that instant, run the results through a computer which determines what object was imaged by the subject.
Sure, today's technology is a 3-ton FMRI in which a subject in placed and, if the subject but moves a smidgen one way, or the other, avert a correct analysis. But, that is today.
The FMRI program leader, Marcel Just, a neuroscientist, doesn't refer to the results as mind reading; rather, he call them "thought identification" because the computer program mathematically attempts to link together imaged mental pictures coming from various parts of the human brain during the test with a database of previous mental pictures that have been previously mapped.
Think of the process this way: Dr. Just takes 100 people and runs them through the FMRI and of each asks identical questions. The FMRI is connected to the computer that does the data collection and building the database. Then, when the new "subject" comes in to be tested, only the questions asked of the original test group are asked. Thus, in this early, initial stage of "thought identification" not only are the questions standard, so too are the results.
An intriguing advancement of this process involves showing a test subject a picture of an existing thing such as a room, a picture of a human face and so forth. The purpose is to determine whether or not the test subject is familiar with the thing shown. Using the database concepts discussed above, scientists are of a reasonable belief that the test subjects' brainwaves are determinative as to whether, or not, the test subject "knows" the object shown.
This advancement, in fact, was used in India last summer to convict a woman of having poisoned her ex-fiancé. The conviction withstood appeal by the convicted woman. India's legal system is drawn largely from England's common law except that jury trials are no longer tolerated.
While nothing approaching the aggressive use of brain scans in murder trials is permitted in the USA, like all scientific advancements useful to prosecutors it is certain that such will be shortly attempted.
Considering the general swing of the USA towards the left, as witnessed by the recent elections, will there be a concurrent swing in the previous "lock 'em up and throw away the key" public mindset?
California might be the first state to provide an answer to this question. With a 46+ billion dollar admitted deficit in the next 17 months many critical budget decisions will have to be made. For example, do the people of California really want to incarcerate for 25-years-to-life some drugged-out guy who commits a third strike while doped up by stealing a pizza on the Santa Monica Pier? Well, stuff like that happens in California and not just because it is the land of the fruits and nuts. It happens because people here were so inflamed by the media that these ridiculous laws were passed in the first place.
But, what will be the decision, say, ten months from now when the people are faced with the decision to let the pizza thief go or let a teacher go? Multiply that by hundreds and you will have a crippled education system even though you have all of the pizza thieves off the street.
Thus, it may not only get harder for prosecutors to get sloppy convictions it may be that current penal laws are relaxed to the point that even getting a case to trial may prove problematical.
In comes the brain scan to save an otherwise unwinnable prosecution. The DA seeks an order compelling an accused to have his, or her, brainwaves analyzed much like the alleged Indian murderess. The results show, based upon the computer program and the thousands of thought patterns that have been built up over the years that the accused is mathematically guilty.
Based upon the mathematical guilt — and that is all that a computer can be is mathematical as even so-called artificial intelligence is nothing but a series of ones and zeroes built up into mathematical formulae — the accused is no longer the accused as he is, in fact, now a felon.
How does one cope in this impending New World Order where your very thoughts are what will convict you regardless of your culpability?
Mind encryption! The answer is mind encryption and it will work like this: a person will develop a system whereby one item is replaced by another. For example, one could decide that a hammer must be identified in her mind as a cloud; a leg would become snow; a loaf of bread would become a diesel piston; and, endlessly, an encrypted mind would result.
Exactly as in World War II, when the USA defeated Japan in large part because the Japanese did not believe its encryption system was decipherable, the individual of tomorrow must be constantly concerned that her encryption system might, too, be "cracked".
Real-life cryptologists of today know that encryption systems range in strength in the ability to fight off decryption. Usually, today's encryption strength is determined by bits and really strong encryption bit strength is, say, 256 bits. These "bits" are the number of mathematical computations that must be made to decrypt. Again, just more math because all computers are nothing but math junkies.
But, not so with individuals. We run along lines of similarities and it is fairly plain that our mathematical capabilities are nowhere close to being sufficient to compute in bits.
Thus, the closer the similarity between the actual object and the substituted object (say, hammer and cloud from the above example) the easier it will be for tomorrow's neuroscientists to create a decryption system that is mathematically-based.
Whether, or not, the humans around "tomorrow", whenever in the future that may be, will be faced with these dilemmas is certainly unknown. It could be 50 years or five. It could be next year. We just don't know. Certainly, for the Indian murderess it was last year.
The even more common currency of today's secular world community is the ridiculous evolutionism brought on by the rascal Darwin. Yes, Darwin's concept of evolution is an "ism" just like Mohammedanism, Bolshevism and every other ism that ever existed in most degrees. As grasped by today's seculars, evolutionism may be factually more ponderous from other isms in only one way: it is possible that evolution can create newness.
And thus we come to the ultimate outcome. It may be that human mental faculties soar to unprecedented heights and accomplishments once forced into mental encryption in order to survive a corrupt police state. The reason for this prediction is clear: how many of us use but a small fraction of our brain power today and how much will be required in the future just for survival. If contemplating running from or killing a tiger in the savannas catapulted Homo Erectus into Homo Sapiens then what new creature might evolve running from a know-all police state?
© 2009 Charles Benninghoff
Mentality at Troynovant