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The great enhancement debate
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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    My cranium, my castle?
    Project: The great enhancement debate
    Over at Wired Mag, Clive Thompson, serves a fascinating piece of thought provoking words to incite us to think about the coming revolutionary technology that will allow mind reading/writing.

    Wired: “We think of our brains as the ultimate private sanctuary, a zone where other people can't intrude without our knowledge or permission. But its boundaries are gradually eroding. Hypersonic sound is just a portent of what's coming, one of a host of emerging technologies aimed at tapping into our heads. These tools raise a fascinating, and queasy, new ethical question: Do we have a right to "mental privacy"?

    The ethical concerns Clive Thompson points are so fundamental as to be practically the very backbone of every society humans partake in.

    The main question he raises asks: “Do we have a right to "mental privacy"?

    Mental privacy is the foundation of our unique perspective upon the world, is it not our basic right to think our own thoughts in our own cranial territory?
    Is it not the case that my innermost thoughts are mine and mine only?
    Technology is coming, which will eventually allow all and everyone (from gov. agencies to advertisers) to either peek into or input info into our minds, most probably both.
    Is it desirable? Are we ready to face the challenge of the information age when it will invade our last bastion of privacy? Our own minds?

    Wired: "We're going to be facing this question more and more, and nobody is really ready for it," says Paul Root Wolpe, a bioethicist and board member of the nonprofit Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics. "If the skull is not an absolute domain of privacy, there are no privacy domains left." He argues that the big personal liberty issues of the 21st century will all be in our heads — the "civil rights of the mind," he calls it.”

    The NYT in an article entitled “The Brain on the Stand” had an insight into the issue stating the following:” Proponents of neurolaw say that neuroscientific evidence will have a large impact not only on questions of guilt and punishment but also on the detection of lies and hidden bias, and on the prediction of future criminal behavior. At the same time, skeptics fear that the use of brain-scanning technology as a kind of super mind-reading device will threaten our privacy and mental freedom, leading some to call for the legal system to respond with a new concept of “cognitive liberty.”

    All this demands of us an in-depth appreciation of ourselves as humans and as social creatures. We may need to re-describe ourselves in a fashion that will push both the limits of our own so-called private territory and the limits we impose upon ourselves by accepting new technologies in our surroundings and eventually into ourselves, our craniums, our minds.

    Tue, Apr 8, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: Mind, cognitive liberty, privacy
    Sent to project: The great enhancement debate
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    aeonbeat     Tue, Apr 8, 2008  Permanent link
    Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
    None but ourselves can free our minds.
    Have no fear for atomic energy,
    cause none of them can stop the time.
    How long shall they kill our prophets,
    While we stand aside and look? ooh!
    Some say its just a part of it:
    Weve got to fulfil de book.
    awindow     Wed, Apr 9, 2008  Permanent link
    Scary stuff. Remarkable that considering the mental effects of our invasive culture have yet to be fully understood, this seems like it could very well be a an utter disaster.