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Privacy Concerns Got You Down? Well Then, Enjoy This!

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: Decades ago, we undertook to chronicle the frightening mind control programs that U.S. and other intelligence services have implemented.

Fielding mind control assassins, whose actions can be erased from their consciousness was an early and successful effort. To this day, the sheep filling the ranks of the working press will not go near such investigations.

As readers peruse the items excerpted below, they should remember that military and intelligence establishments are almost always way ahead of the civilian sector in cutting-edge scientific research and development.

Implanting faulty memories and scanning brains using small devices augur the dawning of an entirely different technological age. It is probable that these technologies have already been developed, tested and (possibly) deployed by intelligence services. If not, they soon will be.

It is also a safe bet that such technologies will be interfaced.

Internet privacy will be the least of concerns in the future.

Suffice it to say, that we are entering into a technological age which will not only render constitutional democracy obsolete, but will change and negate the very concepts underlying our physical and cognitive existence and civilization.

And YOU were worried about internet and telephone privacy!

“Computer-Brain Inter­faces Mak­ing Big Leaps” by Nick Bilton; The New York Times; August 4, 2013.

EXCERPT: Sci­en­tists haven’t yet found a way to mend a bro­ken heart, but they’re edg­ing closer to manip­u­lat­ing mem­ory and down­load­ing instruc­tions from a com­puter right into a brain.

Researchers from the Riken-M.I.T. Cen­ter for Neural Cir­cuit Genet­ics at the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy took us closer to this science-fiction world of brain tweak­ing last week when they said they were able to cre­ate a false mem­ory in a mouse.

The sci­en­tists reported in the jour­nal Sci­ence that they caused mice to remem­ber receiv­ing an elec­tri­cal shock in one loca­tion, when in real­ity they were zapped in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent place. The researchers weren’t able to cre­ate entirely new thoughts, but they applied good or bad feel­ings to mem­o­ries that already existed.

“It wasn’t so much writ­ing a mem­ory from scratch, it was basi­cally con­nect­ing two dif­fer­ent types of mem­o­ries. We took a neu­tral mem­ory, and we arti­fi­cially updated that to make it a neg­a­tive mem­ory,” said Steve Ramirez, one of the M.I.T. neu­ro­sci­en­tists on the project.

It may sound insignif­i­cant and per­haps not a nice way to treat mice, but it is not a dra­matic leap to imag­ine that one day this research could lead to computer-manipulation of the mind for things like the treat­ment of post-traumatic stress dis­or­der, Mr. Ramirez said.

Tech­nol­o­gists are already work­ing on brain-computer inter­faces, which will allow us to inter­act with our smart­phones and com­put­ers sim­ply by using our minds. And there are already gad­gets that read our thoughts and allow us to do things like dodge vir­tual objects in a com­puter game or turn switches on and off with a thought.

But the sci­en­tists who are work­ing on mem­ory manip­u­la­tion are the ones who seem to be push­ing the bound­aries of what we believe is pos­si­ble. Sure, it sounds like movie fan­tasy right now, but don’t laugh off the imag­i­na­tion of Hol­ly­wood screen­writ­ers; some­times the movies can be a great pre­dic­tor of things to come.

In the movie, “Eter­nal Sun­shine of the Spot­less Mind,” a char­ac­ter played by Jim Car­rey uses a ser­vice that erases mem­o­ries to wipe his brain of his for­mer girl­friend, played by Kate Winslet.

But it seems the movie’s screen­writer, Char­lie Kauf­man, was sell­ing sci­ence short.

“The one thing that the movie “Eter­nal Sun­shine of the Spot­less Mind” gets wrong, is that they are eras­ing an entire mem­ory,” said Mr. Ramirez of M.I.T. “I think we can do bet­ter, while keep­ing the image of Kate Winslet, we can get rid of the sad part of that memory.”

Hol­ly­wood and science-fiction writ­ers, of course, have had fun with mem­ory manip­u­la­tion over the years.

In the film “Total Recall,” which is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, a char­ac­ter played by Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger receives a mem­ory implant of a fake vaca­tion to Mars. In “The Matrix,” char­ac­ters can down­load new skills like lan­guages or fight­ing tech­niques to their mind, much like down­load­ing a file to a computer.

Far-fetched? Per­haps, and we’re not yet fight­ing our robot over­lords as the humans were in “The Matrix,” but researchers really are explor­ing ways to upload new infor­ma­tion to the brain.

In 2011, sci­en­tists work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Boston Uni­ver­sity and A.T.R. Com­pu­ta­tional Neu­ro­science Lab­o­ra­to­ries in Kyoto, Japan, pub­lished a paper on a process called Decoded Neu­ro­feed­back, or “Dec­Nef,” which sends sig­nals to the brain through a func­tional mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing machine, or FMRI, that can alter a person’s brain activ­ity pat­tern. In time, these sci­en­tists believe they could teach peo­ple how to play a musi­cal instru­ment while they sleep, learn a new lan­guage or mas­ter a sport, all by “upload­ing” infor­ma­tion to the brain.

Writ­ing to the brain could allow us to inter­act with our com­put­ers, or other human beings, just by think­ing about it. . . . .

“Portable Brain-Scan Headsets: 4 Incredible Applications” by Brian Handwerk; National Geographic; 8/1/2013.

EXCERPT: Emotiv Lifesciences, the company Le co-founded, produces portable, high-resolution EEG (electroencephalogram) brain-scanning headsets that Le hopes will open new windows on the complex functioning of our brain. On August 1, Emotiv unveiled Emotiv Insight, a faster, next-generation wireless brain scanner that collects real-time data on the wearer’s thoughts and feelings and delivers it directly to a computer, phone, or other device through Android, iOS, OSX, Linux, and Windows platforms.

Le hopes the product, which costs $199, can further democratize brain research and help scientists gather more data. Using the EEG headsets, she says, people around the world can study brains under conditions and stimuli as varied as those we encounter in everyday life—because subjects can wear the headset while doing everyday tasks.

Discussion

One comment for “Privacy Concerns Got You Down? Well Then, Enjoy This!”

  1. Total Recall is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. Another short story of his, Minority Report, got onto the big screen as well. The main character played by Tom Cruise in that film is the chief of a police force created to fight what is called “pre-crime”. The intrigue takes place in Washington in 2054. That special police force targets individuals for “crime” happening in their thoughts, either as mere imaginings or as real projects. What happens to the character of Tom Cruise is beside the point. What is important to note here, is that in a very short future police and intelligence organizations will begin to target individuals (if it is not already the case…) based on what they think, not what they do, like it used to be in the Middle Ages. We are heading backwards.

    Posted by Claude | August 10, 2013, 7:03 pm

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