I knew that.
........or did I dream it?
The US needs to draft in psychopharmacologists, neuroscientists and even goateed cultural studies experts to fight 21 century wars that will be largely in the mind. A report commissioned by the Defense Intelligence Agency on Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies predicts a freakish future of advances in …
Will this be against that most wily of the USA's enemies; the difficult-to-spot peasant with the robust, cheap, produced in its millions assault rifle? Being as insurgents with Kalashnikovs and pointy sticks have trounced them once in Asia, and will again in the Middle East, is this anything more than military-industrial-complex porkbarrelling at its most esoteric?
I for one intend to BE one of your new psycho-pharmacological overlords . . . !
Just think - a cheap, harmless pill/gas/food additive that:
1) Convinces religious fanatics of all flavors that peace and love-thy-neighbor is actually much better than killing them in the name of (fill in the deity of choice).
2) Convinces scammers of all kinds that honesty really is the best policy (all 419ers and their buddies would instantly be out of business).
3) Convinces democrats that Obama is NOT the Messiah, and will NOT be able to cure all the ills of the universe, real or imagined, .0000001 microseconds after he is annointed, er, elected, uh appointed.
4) Convinces OPEC that it is their duty to the human race to give away the oil to anyone who needs it, need being defined by desire.
5) Beautiful women . . . free love . . . the mind boggles . . .
6) That everyone should patronize MY business and give me ALL their money because I am such a nice guy . . . Muhahahahah!!
I could get really used to this stuff - I just need to make sure to lay in a good supply of the antidote in advance. Who's with me?
Reading this has given me an idea - by creating special 'adverts' you could undermine the rational thinking of normal people by keying into subconcious fears and so bypass reasoning skills.
These 'adverts' could be deployed by electoral candidates in the run up to 'democratic' elections so as to bypass any intellectual or carefully considered preference any member of the electorate may have to voting for the other guy. Any political weakness, ideological unpleasentness or policy vacuum that may make you unelectable can be hidden beneath a false facade of attractiveness that subverts the electorate without them understanding why their voting intentions have changed.
Thus, a well planned campaign of adverts (esp. when supported by the popular press) can unjustly win you an election without having to go to all the effort of threatening people with guns.
It's a good job they didn't know about this stuff in the US for the last couple of elections - who knows who they would have ended up with as President!
Oh... hang on...
Give them a happy pill.
Give them a pill that makes them feel warm when sleeping on the street.
Give them a pill to convince them the government is doing a good job.
Give them a pill to make them vote for more government spending new pills.
People who are the first to rip the US for announcing such projects are the first to ignore the fact that their own countries are either in kahootz with the US or are secretly working on their own little black projects. But the rub is their governments aren't telling them about it.
One of the classics has to be the Echelon project. The UK, Australia, and possibly New Zealand all have data "welcoming/reception" centers. My guess is that every country that maintains a permanent position on the UN security council is now or has conducted testing in these areas. But only the US is fessing up.
I actually have studied some recent results, and one of the things we know is how little we actually know (corny but true). Yes, methods such as diffusion tensor imaging allow better insight into the wiring of the brain, and functional MRI does let us know where activity takes place if you perform certain yasks (as do several other techniques, such as EEG and MEG). The resolutions of these techniques are really still very coarse (in the order of milimeters for fMRI, and worse for many others), and unlikely to reach into the cellular level resolution to capture real, lowest level brain states.
There are these pesky limitations physics imposes on things, but the "planners" do not want to let these get in the way of a juicy report.
Worse, thought the bulk anatomy and major wiring schemes are similar, even the details we see show large inter-individual differences, and changes in time within an individual. At finer levels of detail this gets worse. It is very likely that similar brain states in different individuals encode different infomation at a detailed level. Add to that that the brain is a chaotic system, and you will understand that it is impossible to derive information such as e.g. passwords from directly studying brain states. You might well be able to tell someone is lying from brain states, but if the subject stays silent, waterboarding is the better way to extract the information than any brain scanner.
But of course we can alter brain states at a distance already. Two common methods are:
(i) talking to people
(ii) shooting them in the head
I always prefer the former
...long before any of this stuff becomes viable - although Watashi makes an important point: "Mind Control" for military purposes has been around at least since World War I, Goebbels and Bernays, not to mention the Roman Catholic church in the middle ages and the sophists of ancient Greece. Been there, done that.
Oh c'mon. The U.S. is the only one qualified to predict where the next battlefield will be.
We'll be the ones starting it. We might even pretend the rest of the world exists when we do. You'll be able to tell, we'll have an excuse first.
Whatever it takes to teach us americans geography.
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