The voices in your head – again

Here’s an interesting article that ran on Monday in the Daily Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/earth/2008/06/09/scimind109.xml

The gist of it reads that scientists have been working with MRI scanning equipment to see if they can identify information about what subjects are thinking.  Minute changes in the brain can indicate what a person is looking at, whether they are lying, and some emotional responses. The results are suggestive.  A trip down this particular technological road, says the article, could result in someone eavesdropping on dreams or memory—even long distance.  Employers could screen for fibbers during a job interview. It goes on:

“Another possibility raised by studies of how the brain encodes memories and other information is that these methods could be used by intelligence agencies: a suspect’s brain could be interrogated against their will. “There are obvious military activities and the CIA and so on are known to be interested too.”

And it could be possible to reveal unconscious prejudices . . . raising the nightmarish possibility of interrogation for ‘thought crimes’.”

Of course this is all very yucky and scary, but I wonder about the optimism of evil geniuses who might want to go rooting around in my head. How many useless random thoughts are stored in my head? Will they finally be able to tell me what I did with my lost poetry notebook? How would they know what’s real and what’s just my fantasy life?  Yeah, okay, some of it would be pretty obvious, but I’m just saying …

You’d think the Men in Black would have enough to do with all jabber on the phone and wire taps and internet (hi, guys) without having to sift through the idiocies that DON’T actually make it past our internal editors!

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