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Geekend: Predicting Your Future By Scanning Your Brain
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Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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1/14/2015 | 1:28:50 AM
Re: The end of crime?
David, 

The teenager's story is very sad. :( Most likely her pain was intolerable if she was ready to die. I believe the parents had a very selfish attitude thinking more about them losing a daughter than accepting the fact that their daughter couldn't tolerate the condition any longer. They should have respected her. The court also showed no respect toward the girl's will to end a painful and slow death. How sad. It's like if she were not the owner of her own body and wouldn't know what's best for her according to something only she can feel, and had no right whatsoever to decide on her own life.

The same I think about denying treatment to a child that could be saved otherwise.  

"And kids don't have protection in the cases where a parent makes a reasonable decision that goes poorly."

That's terrible. I said earlier that it's not easy to know what is right. I don't know how this is going to sound to you, but I believe in such cases, like the ones you mentioned, it's the child the one who should make the decision if the child has understanding of the situation; like the case of that teenager. 

Another thing is that each case should be taken individually instead of just following what the book says, which can work for some, but not for all. 

-Susan
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
1/14/2015 | 1:05:30 AM
Re: The end of crime?
David, 

I remember the one on drawing and math ability. Yes, I'll put them on my reading list. :) 

-Susan
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/13/2015 | 6:05:23 PM
Re: The end of crime?
@GAProgrammer0 to be fair to the scientists in question, I don't believe any of them are offering tests right now for anyone who wants them. I just suggested that it might be possible in the future. So it may be that all we are doing is learning about the brain and there never will be tests to determine these things. But we have GMO food so I assume one day we'll have GMO babies. Or at least people who want to try to change the babies they've got.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/13/2015 | 6:02:22 PM
Re: The end of crime?
@susan- for the most part, parents can give consent on behalf of kids for scientific research. And kids don't have protection in the cases where a parent makes a reasonable decision that goes poorly. For instance, if a child has a disease and the parent chooses to allow the child to take an experimental medicine to try to save the child's life, the child usually can't over rule the decision.

In fact, recently, a teenage girl asked to be allowed to die because she had cancer. The parents wanted her to fight on and try more potential cures. The girl actually sued her parents to let her die and the court ruled for the parents.

that said, in other cases, parents have denied treatment to a child (usually for religious reasons) and the government has ruled in favor of protecting the child. 

I guess if there is anything to learn from that, usually the government forces you to take your medicine. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/13/2015 | 5:57:25 PM
Re: The end of crime?
@vnewman2- You're right. And I feel like I'd need a PhD in psychology and another is statistics to even begin to give informed consent and then understand the results. :)
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/13/2015 | 5:55:43 PM
Re: The end of crime?
@Susan- I couldn't read them all. I started to and I quickly fell down a rabbit hole of really interesting stuff. i had to stop myself in order to file a story. That said, I've actually covered a few in the Geekend before, including one on drawing and math abilities. 

The thing is that each one has strengths and weaknesses. the size of the test varies greatly based on funding. The choice of what to compare it to matters and some fields are more advanced than others. But if you've got time, the bibliography to this article is one of the best you'll ever see for the topic. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/13/2015 | 5:52:41 PM
Re: Expectations
I remember studying Thomas Szaz in college. He said if you treat someone like they are schizophrenic, they will act like one even though they may not have a mental illness. That is what i feel might happen with these tests. Parents might start treating their children differently based on these tests which might make the results a reality.


@tjgkg- On the other hand, if you treat a child like they won't be a murderer their whole lives, paying special care to consider what activities they do and how you talk to them, maybe the grow up as not a murderer. 

But you are right. The problem with this is not unlike a Star Trek episode where you are sent back in time to change the future. You have no idea what your actions will do to change the timeline. In getting a couple of humpback whales, you may also be accidentally changing the future of the world by giving them a technology they wouldn't have invented without you.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/13/2015 | 5:48:26 PM
Re: prediction
@Ariella- I totally get the phrenology comparison. And to a certain degree, we're not much farther along on the path than that. I think the only difference right now is that people who are doing it are being more careful. But it is difficult considering we're dealing with probabilities and potentials, not dead certainties.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
1/13/2015 | 11:18:02 AM
Re: The end of crime?
GAProgrammer, 

I am glad you had a good laugh with my silly idea. :) And yes, technology is advancing at a fascinating pace and the bad guys seem to be always around ready to see how they can make something horrible out of what was an idea intended for good. 

I also agree with you on your point that it's not necessary use something just because it is available if the outcome is not going to precisely be something positive. 

A couple of days ago, I read a story of a girl and her brother who were sentenced to prison for life first at the ages of 13 and 12. Then this was changed to an 18 year-sentence, I believe. The kids had been suffering from sexual abuse for years by a member of their family, in desperation they killed their father's girlfriend. The girl will be released this year at the age of 30 something. Her brother in 2017 because he tried to escape once. What kind of life awaits for them in a world where they never had the chance to know? A really sad and injust story. And I remembered about this article we are discussing now. Maybe you read about the case. It happened in the US. 

I wondered what would have happened if their brain would have been scanned when they were babies. Were they already predestined to murder someone being kids? Or was it more the result of the unfortunate life they had before they could even finish school? 

I thought it was really unfair to put those kids in jail on top of all the abuse they had suffered already at such a young age, with no experience of life whatsoever. 

-Susan

 
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
1/12/2015 | 11:42:08 PM
Re: Geekend: Predicting Your Future By Scanning Your Brain
I think there are other factors to consider if we will start scanning prisoners's brain to determine whether they will commit a crime after they leave prison.  I think this technology still needs some work.  Humans have a hard time predicting the future. Even futurists who suppose to be their job predict how society will change get it wrong.  How about having brain marker than would determine whether you will develop alzheimers or parkinson disease?
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