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Geekend: Predicting Your Future By Scanning Your Brain
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Ariella
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Ariella,
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1/9/2015 | 4:17:48 PM
prediction
I know this is much more scientific, but it still reminds me of the false science popular in the 19th century --phrenology.
tjgkg
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tjgkg,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 4:53:57 PM
Expectations
Imagine if you take a child to have of these scans and the results are ominous. The findings are shared with the parents. Now the parents are told the child has a high probability of being a murderer yet has never exhibited any such behaviours, in fact they are quite the opposite. How are the parents going to react? Are they going to raise the child as if the test never took place? WIll they be suspicious and careful? Will they be fearful? Would they be aggressive and try to raise the child in a religious type of environment?

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.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
1/9/2015 | 5:24:38 PM
Re: Expectations
tjgkg,

Not far from reality. Thomas Szaz was quite right. Not going as far as treating someone as if he suffered from schizophrenia, but constantly repeating to someone that he is stupid usually convinces the person and lowers his self-confidence in a dramatic way, which obviously will affect his future and make his look as if he were stupid. Suggestopaedia is a quite powerful tool, usually used by NLP.

-Susan
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
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1/9/2015 | 6:08:18 PM
The end of crime?
David, 

Did you read the studies? I would like to read them all. I have plenty of questions about this. 

Then, this occured to me: What if in the future, this is applied to all babies as soon as they are born. According to the results, then they are immediately killed, or sent to a pre-determined special area where they a group of scientists will help them develop whatever skill they have impressed in the brain, because, why waste time?

And the ones who are immediately killed is for a logical reason: Why to feed a criminal when you can save the trouble to society, a society that by then will be as safe (?) as you can imagine thanks to this procedure. Wow! I love this story now for a fiction book. :D Thanks for the inspiration, Dave. :) I'll send you a signed copy. 

-Susan 
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
1/9/2015 | 7:36:47 PM
Re: The end of crime?
I would personally love to take such tests, having studied psychological assessment testing extensively in graduate school, but before admininstering such tests you were obligated to give infomed consent to the subject so they knew what they doing, why they were doing it, and risks involved.  So performing testing like this on individuals not capable of providing informed consent opens up a pandora's box of ethical issues in my eyes.

The ability to use such knowledge to intervene to in order to improve an undesirable outcome is noble, but it is such a slippery slope.  
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
1/10/2015 | 3:12:08 AM
Re: The end of crime?
vnewman, 

I would like to take the tests, too. If I am not a criminal by now I doubt I will become one. But you never know, of course. 

"So performing testing like this on individuals not capable of providing informed consent opens up a pandora's box of ethical issues in my eyes."

Ahh, good point. :) Yes, I agree. But, in the case of children, if their parents give their consent those babies/kids are defenseless and may pay the consequences for the rest of their life. I am not familiar with the rights of kids; I assume kids have some rights that protect them from the bad decisions of their parents. If not, and f these kind of tests can take off, it would be wise to have some some conscious people drawing some lines on this matter. It's not simple, though. Then you can also question why strangers should have more power of decision over your own kids. :/

-Susan 
batye
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batye,
User Rank: Ninja
1/12/2015 | 8:17:51 AM
Re: Expectations
@tjgkg interesting point, I could not agree more... as with human brain and body we still have a lot to learn....
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
1/12/2015 | 9:13:52 AM
Re: The end of crime?
LOL sorry Susan but you'll have to go to the back of the line. There are a number of sci-fi short stories that are based on this very idea - that we use science for the purpose of the betterment of mankind. It also asks the reader - are the methods and outcomes truly moral? I recall a short story where a boy is being tested and you are given the impression that if he tests too low it will be bad. Well, the child scored too high and was killed just the same, in the name of equality.

I often make the case on many sites and forums - we live in a fascinating time when we have an explosion of technology. However, just because we CAN do something doesn't mean we SHOULD. Technologists and well-meaning people look blindly at the possibilites of technology without factoring in the reality of humanity. There are a lot of really bad, evil people in this world who will turn the postitive into a negative. Anything that can be used can also be misused.

Also, there are laws that are SUPPOSED to protect children from the bad decisions of their parents, but only in the most extreme situations (abuse, neglect, etc). There are no laws that do anything to children whose parents raise them with bad morals, or horrible money management skills, or lack of structure. Again, another road we probably don't want to go down...
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
1/12/2015 | 5:41:39 PM
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.
LeeB120
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LeeB120,
User Rank: Strategist
1/12/2015 | 11:15:07 PM
Re: prediction
1984...... we are geting closer and closer every day.
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