Tuesday, April 8, 2008


CORY DOCTOROW, BOING BOING - Wired's Clive Thompson's latest column probes the new bioethical conundra of "cognitive liberty" -- the freedom not to have our brains scanned. I first encountered the phrase in relation to mind-altering drugs, where it's also a good fit -- what freedom could be more fundamental than the freedom to choose your state of mind?

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"?

"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.

It's true that most of this technology is still gestational. But the early experiments are compelling: Some researchers say that fMRI brain scans can detect surprisingly specific mental acts - like whether you're entertaining racist thoughts, doing arithmetic, reading, or recognizing something. Entrepreneurs are already pushing dubious forms of the tech into the marketplace: You can now hire a firm, No Lie MRI, to conduct a "truth verification" scan if you're trying to prove you're on the level. Give it 10 years, ethicists say, and brain tools will be used regularly - sometimes responsibly, often shoddily.


At April 8, 2008 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

好秘书 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 中国皮肤网 癌症康复网 工作总结 个人工作总结 半年工作总结 年终工作总结 单位工作总结 教师工作总结 教学工作总结 学校工作总结 德育工作总结 财务工作总结 医务工作总结 安全工作总结 乡镇工作总结 党员工作总结 团委工作总结 公司工作总结 实习工作总结 班主任工作总结 党支部工作总结 办公室工作总结 学生会工作总结 总结报告 工作报告 政府报告 述职报告 述廉报告 考察报告 自查报告 情况报告 调研报告 调查报告 申请报告 辞职报告 实习报告 验收报告 评估报告 汇报体会 工作汇报 思想汇报 汇报材料 情况通报 情况汇报 心得体会 学习心得 工作心得 培训心得 读后感 发言致辞 发言稿 开业开幕 领导讲话 动员讲话 庆典致辞 节日致词 新春致词 晚会致辞 追悼词 节目游戏 毕业致辞 思想宣传 组织人事 晚会主持词 会议主持词 婚礼主持词 常用书信 表扬信 感谢信 倡议书 责任书 承诺书 检讨书 申请书 保证书 决心书 悔过书 建议书 慰问信 邀请函 条据书信 礼仪文书 贺电贺词 社交礼仪 个人礼仪 商务礼仪 职场礼仪 涉外礼仪 饮食礼仪 节日礼仪 婚庆礼仪 鲜花礼仪 其他礼仪 交际礼仪 秘书 呼吸机 氧气机 婉转的夜曲 淋过雨的空气 带著一根烟.浪迹天涯

At April 9, 2008 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So while we worry about this form of survellance, has anyone else recieved the "American Community Survey" from the Census Bureau?

This loss of privacy is happening today. The Census Bureau is sending out 3 million 26 page questionaires each year with highly sesitive questions like what time to you leave for work and return home after work, your emplyers name and contact info, how much money do you make, can you climb the stairs easily, how many toilets do you have in your home, do you own your home, and dozens of other intrusive questions. They also threaten recipiants of the survey with $5000 in fines if they refuse to complete and return the form.

If one doesn't return the form, the phone calls start, trying to harass the info out over the phone. If one still refuses, they send people to ones house to try to intimidate the resident into giving them 26 pages of private personal infomation.

The ACS and Census Bureau say they are using the info to dole out pork for schools and hospitals, but they also sell the info to businesses like Wal-Mart. So they use our taxpayer money to spy on us then make money by selling our private info to corporations.

What they are asking for is exactly the info that the US Justice Department recomends people carefully protect to avoid identity theft.

This is really quite a breach of privacy, I'm rather surprised that TPR has not had any info about it.

At April 9, 2008 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At April 9, 2008 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm starting a company to manufacture tinfoil hats. I expect to be able to go public with an IPO that will net me billions within 18 months.

At April 9, 2008 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the census man shows up, I refuse to answer any questions, and state simply: "There are [fill in the number] natural-born U.S. citizens living here. That's all the information the Constitution requires I give you." He hasn't been back.

At April 10, 2008 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

During the 2000 census a percentage of citizens were presented with a similar multi-page questionnaire. We received one. Many of the questions were inappropriate, invasive, and down right insulting---including topics such as the number of abortion procedures an individual in the household may have experienced.

We refused to participate. The only information we were willing to provide was the number of individuals residing in the home and how many of those individuals were eligible voters, thus fulfilling our only constitutional obligation to the Census Bureau ---the census was mandated to apportion representation in the House of Representatives.
Our census takers were not happy. We had several visits, each developing into rather heated discussions.
Each time I waved my copy of the Constitution in their face. We were threatened with implied legal action. I continued to wave my Constitution. Eventually they left us alone.


Post a Comment

<< Home