Opening windows into men’s souls

In a pickle

Private?

Telepathy could one day become a reality: is that something to celebrate?

Today’s Times (£) reports from the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where a Professor Miguel Nicolelsis of Duke University claims to have invented a ‘brain-to-brain interface’.

As well as telepathic communication, “the development opens up possibilities such as soldiers being able to read each other’s thoughts on the battlefield and a person being able to experience directly the imagination, dreams or emotions of another.”

As long as telepathy was in the realm of science fiction – and worked like a kind of brain-telephone – it seemed a benign enough concept. But the telepathy described in The Times could enable the grossest imaginable invasion of our private selves.

In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith tries to comfort himself with the notion that “the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourself, remained impregnable.” Perhaps not for much longer.

 

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5 Responses to Opening windows into men’s souls

  1. maybe,as with all disruptive technology,for a period of time it would be traumatizing and even chaotic in the extreme,but perhaps a later outcome could be a species finally rid of all its own dishonesty,cause the only solution to world order would be fairness and forthrightness… maybe wars as we know them would become an obsolete impasse,where the only available option would be our leaders employing the power of reasoning.

  2. David says:

    When I first read the article, i was thinking: well, before we start worrying about the telepathy we should be worrying what the Internet revolution means for our privacy… Then I stuck on the telepathy topic as the potential for abuse (by governments, criminals etc) is so huge. And on a more philosophical, perhaps, level: surely we stop to exist as individuals when the boundaries that define us, and within which lie our deepest selves, are ripped away?

    • someone’s bound to produce a firewall….but you have a point there..or maybe we’ll reach the disarming conclusion that we were never that different from each other after all…the only difference might be that some are possibly better or worse than others,and before the technology, some simply held up a better construct than others.

  3. Pingback: Inside out | clear blue water

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