Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

News & Supplemental  

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.


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

Post a comment