Separation of Mind and State

Despots and dictators, get excited. Finally, first world countries are helping you out a bit. For so many years, you had to live with just standard torture methods. And while they’re great for extracting confessions, there’s something missing… There’s nothing quite like being able to really prove that your prisoners are trying to overthrow your regime. I mean peace loving power stabilization machine. But fear not, the day you’ve all been waiting for is almost here!

From ripping a person open to using X-Rays and giant magnets, there are a number of ways to find out what is going on in somebody’s head. It’s recently been shown, however, that it is possible to get a glimpse of what is going on in their mind. Scientists at a number of institutions are showing that there are now a number of ways, using various imaging and recording methods along with a good amount of computing power, to peer inside a person’s mind and in some cases, literally see what people are seeing. Similar methods can be used to get a vague idea of what topics people are thinking about or to fly helicopters (albeit in a virtual environment). While these developments are not nearly advanced enough to find out exactly what a person is thinking, they show that what was once regarded as a safe haven is no longer completely impenetrable. So what rights do our own thoughts ultimately have? Will there be a day when simply thinking of something can be illegal? Will businesses use this technology to perhaps make subconscious marketing more powerful? But not all of these technologies are negative-there is the possibility that new medical applications arise from them, or that we finally find out whether O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony are killers. Thus, perhaps a better question we should ask is how we as a society plan to regulate similar new technologies and protect people from their less-desirable uses. Or, we could just leave the field open and without regulation, like the Internet in many ways is. I may be comparing apples to oranges, but the Internet and the development of atomic energy are similar-one was barely regulated, while the other was heavily monitored. Both have had immense impacts on people around the world, in both positive and negative ways. The government is not afraid of meddling in mind control, as seen here. Perhaps we are better off without the government getting involved (I’m thinking that there may need to be a separation of mind and state…). We can’t have a governing body that can influence the body it derives power from, can we? Clearly, the question of government intervention is a serious one. No matter how this turns out, I’m going to start wearing a tinfoil hat.