Re: Geekend: Predicting Your Future By Scanning Your Brain
This is a topic that's on my mind farily often. As you guys have pointed out, the idea that we shouldn't use technology to a given end just because we can is as old as time itself and a popular topic in sci-fi; At the same time, Dave makes a very important point that the age where this is reality rather than fiction may be coming sooner than we think; in fact, it may already be here. I find myself thinking of those data tablets in Star Trek - the tablet computers we carry around every day would seem to have a lot more functionality already, and Star Trek is supposed to be quite a ways off yet. In other words, the decisions we make on these brain scans now (or soon) may have a more direct correlation to the final outcome than we realize.
I tend to err on the less-fatalistic side of the equation, but then again, maybe that's just because I have a neuromarker that's telling me to :). In all seriousness, There is a conundrum here, and it's one we're facing a lot these days. Should we really make self-driving cars? Is it really healthy to binge-watch five seasons of a show on Netflix in one day? This is basically the pinnacle of that 'can vs. should' question. Examples about assigning children jobs at birth are extreme but relevant. On a practical note, I'd like to raise the question of just how definitive and objective current tests are. Dave mentions a 'high' or 'low' activation rate in a certain part of the brain - this seems a little more open to interpretation than, say, looking for a certain concentration of a substance in the blood. Are we really ready to put that part of the equation in doctors' hands yet? Additional food for thought.