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Hearts and Minds
August 18, 2008 4:53 PM   Subscribe

The US military has been putting more attention into brain science research, covering such potential applications as mind reading, mind control, cognitive enhancement and brain-machine interfaces. This is detailed in the report "Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies" (also available in an abridged PDF version), authored by a National Research Council committee convened by the Department of Defense.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing (28 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Considering the fact that cognitive psychology's roots are deeply entrenched in the need for soldiers/pilots to efficiently interface with WWII technology, this shouldn't come as a surprise, but it's still damn scary.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 4:57 PM on August 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tasers were going to be great for law enforcement because hey, they're non-lethal, right? Of course they'd never be abused, and if it might possibly save a life (since who really knows what a suspect has in his pockets) isn't that more important than delivering a bout of excruciating pain to a fellow human being?

From that, it's only going to get worse.
posted by JHarris at 5:18 PM on August 18, 2008


I am staring at a goat RIGHT NOW.
posted by GuyZero at 5:19 PM on August 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Context is important here. The number of troops coming back from Iraq with mild traumatic brain injury has lead to it being considered one of the "signature injuries" of the conflict due to the IEDs, so much so that they're trying to train every soldier in the Army about it. On the flip side, medical research is finally understanding it, at least in my opinion. With all the work that is being done it's only natural some parts of the military get interested in how it can be used beyond therapeutically.

The sad thing is it's taking a war to disseminate the information. Most of the doctors I saw just didn't have a clue. It pissed me off so much the first draft of my opinion piece above ended up as a massive venting session.
posted by jwells at 5:26 PM on August 18, 2008


I am staring at a goat RIGHT NOW.

Are you sure that's not a sheep with the brain of a goat? [audio opens with that link, BTW]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:31 PM on August 18, 2008


I think I'm getting a military industrial complex.
posted by yhbc at 5:50 PM on August 18, 2008


That's what they want you to think.
posted by pompomtom at 5:56 PM on August 18, 2008


Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:09 PM on August 18, 2008


I hope the US military uses mind-control beams to keep people from stopping suddenly on the sidewalk right in front of me, for no perceptible reason. Particularly wide people.

Might as well speed everyone up, too. Move along, citizen! The sidewalk is lovely, I'm sure, but let's get where we're going.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:17 PM on August 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Baby I'm more than a little concerned you see
about the New World Order conspiracies
And the covert spreading of deadly disease
They've got earthquake machines and UFO's
and black helicopters wherever we go
But I forget them all when you are with me
They can telepathically read my
mind I'm not scared of what
they'll find - Let them do what they're gonna do
Cuz if the government can read my mind
they know I'm thinking of you.

They've got secretly funded internment camps
and biological warfare labs
But when you look at me they all don't seem so bad
They've got Martian traded technology,
and mind control psychology
I'll let them do what they wanna do
Cuz if the government can read my mind
they know I'm thinking of you.

I could stockpile food and join a militia
but I'd rather stay at home and kiss ya
Let them do what they're gonna do
Cuz if the government can read my mind
they know I'm thinking of you.

If the government can read my mind baby,
you know it doesn't matter what
they find, cuz if the government can read my mind
they know I'm thinking of you.
posted by Hicksu at 6:22 PM on August 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


The beams from the satelites can't git in yer brains if'n yer wearin' yer tin foil hat.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:33 PM on August 18, 2008


When mind-control technology creates an absolute dictator of the human race, will we all die on the day (s)he does, or will it happen earlier?
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:34 PM on August 18, 2008


Hey that's a cute song, hicksu. That your own?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:36 PM on August 18, 2008


When mind-control technology creates an absolute dictator of the human race, will we all die on the day (s)he does, or will it happen earlier?

No no no, the robots will enslave us first.
posted by delmoi at 6:41 PM on August 18, 2008


Please go stand by the stairs so that the pusher robot can protect you from the terrible secret of space.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:59 PM on August 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can kill you with my brain.

I just thought you should be aware of that.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:16 PM on August 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


The increase in traumatic brain injuries is because they are not getting dying of their wounds like they would have in previous combat.
posted by gjc at 7:19 PM on August 18, 2008


"You're not right in the head, you know that?"

"It's the popular theory."
posted by ZachsMind at 7:19 PM on August 18, 2008


Not mine, flapjax at midnite

Artist: Vandals
Title: If The Government Could Read My Mind
posted by Hicksu at 8:10 PM on August 18, 2008


I'm staring at goatse RIGHT NOW.

And, I know it sounds crazy, but I think he's staring back into me.
posted by homunculus at 8:42 PM on August 18, 2008


What I'm really concerned about is weaponized transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Though I doubt it would be possible to attain a high degree of specificity with the current technology, I bet that the military could readily deliver a strong magnetic pulse into someone's brain.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 8:49 PM on August 18, 2008


The voices in my head tell me to eat more banana pudding.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:07 PM on August 18, 2008


The leprechaun tells me to burn things.
posted by homunculus at 9:40 PM on August 18, 2008


Dumb Stuff. So you grab a suspect in Kabul, A Big Cheese. you slap on your fancy brain helmet on him and you see/hear the dudes thoughts...in pashtun . You still need interpreters and analysts to put the data in context. Most folks thoughts are a multitasking jumble bound to give off more haze than clarity...

Jet Pack 1st

Brain Helmet later...
posted by vurnt22 at 9:51 PM on August 18, 2008


We need to convince the fundies to invest in faith-based neuroscience, or declare this to be high-tech witchcraft. One video of a guy in a brain helmet pretending to be possessed should be all it takes.
posted by benzenedream at 1:23 AM on August 19, 2008


Ain't this what psychology is really all about ?
posted by nicolin at 3:10 AM on August 19, 2008


What I'm really concerned about is weaponized transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Though I doubt it would be possible to attain a high degree of specificity with the current technology, I bet that the military could readily deliver a strong magnetic pulse into someone's brain.

You know what that can do (assuming you aim it right) is induce orgasm. Best way to end a riot ever!
posted by you're a kitty! at 6:30 AM on August 19, 2008


I'm staring at goatse RIGHT NOW.
And, I know it sounds crazy, but I think he's staring back into me.

homunculus

"He who looks at internet shock images should look to it that he himself does not produce internet shock images. And when you gaze long into goatse, the goatse gazes also into you."
-Friedrich Nietzsche
Aphorism 146
Beyond Dancing Babies and LOLCats
posted by Sangermaine at 11:23 AM on August 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


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