Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Telepathy through wireless Internet? Can thoughts and fantasies remain private?
In a dark bedroom, sleeping alone, in the predawn hours, you have a ribald dream. It’s about an encounter with someone you’re “interested in”. You really believe it while it happens. You eventually awaken from REM sleep with your heart beating faster, and it takes about a minute for it to slow back down.
Does “he” or “she” know? Maybe. Could telepathy be the next development on the Internet, making the whitelisting of friends or followers on social media redundant?
Item 6 of “The CNN 10: Ideas” is “Mind Control” (by Todd Leopold, here.). Maybe this reminds one of “The Manchurian Candidate” (the novel and both films – I like the 1962 version better). But CNN reports an experiment at the University of Washington where motor signals could be sent by wireless Internet from one person to another. It was suggested that the technology could be used to teach motor skills (to a surgeon, or maybe to a tennis or baseball player).
There is a precedence for a “natural” Internet. That would be the sonar system among whales and dolphins (including orcas), which our own ships and submarines disturb. The whole order (cetaceans) of these mammals returned to the ocean millions of years ago for “free fish” and gave up the use of hands to develop technology – these are animals whose brains rival ours. Instead, they evolved technology genetically – a startling sci-fi concept that even has moral implications. We have a lot to learn from these “animals”, who seem to be our equals. (How about decoding their languages?) The film “Avatar” suggests that human-like beings on a planet similar to Earth in another solar system have also grown a biological Internet and connect through telepathy. Thoughts and fantasies could never remain private.
Imagine X-ray vision (with backscatter) or Infrared vision, as well as telepathy, using MRI analysis that compares brain waves to a dictionary. Then imagine this getting miniaturized. Yes, but don’t “imagine me naked”.