Mind Control in the 21st Century—Science Fiction & Beyond
… by Steven DiBasio
[ Editors Note: Dear Readers, we have a special treat for you today, a mjajor piece of work. I won’t lead any of the enjoyment so I will let you jump right in. Steven is a writer, attorney, and sometime musician. He lives in the Midwest. And more will be on the way… Jim W. Dean ]
Is it coming to a home near you?
“Mind control” is a topic commonly perceived as “conspiracy theory” or “X-Files” fare. That is, it is seen as possibly not “real,” and certainly not something about which one should be “overly” concerned.
This attitude at least partially arises from the widespread belief or assumption that the human brain is so complicated—(“the most complex entity in the universe” is a common formulation)—that it has not, and perhaps cannot, be comprehended in any depth.
One writer, for example, describes the brain as of “perhaps infinite” complexity, while another, David Brooks of the New York Times, writes that it is “probably impossible” that “a map of brain activity” could reveal mental states such as emotions and desires.
Similarly, Andrew Sullivan, blogger and former editor of The New Republic, opines that neuroscience is still in its “infancy,” and that we have only begun “scratching the surface” of the human brain, and links to a New Yorker piece in support of that position.
And the cover story for the October 2004 issue of Discovery Magazine entitled “The Myth Of Mind Control” advises the reader that while mind control is a “familiar science-fiction” staple, there is little reason for real concern, because actually deciphering the “neural code” would be akin to figuring out other “great scientific mysteries” such as the “origin of the universe and of life on Earth,” and is therefore hardly likely.
According to the article, as the brain is “the most significant mystery in science” and quite possibly “the hardest to solve,” mind control remains at worst a distant concern.
The underlying idea seems to be that sophisticated mind control is unlikely without understanding the brain; and we do not understand the brain.