This week I would like to return to our theme of minding minds, or is it mining minds? In weeks past I have discussed how technology promises to do everything from read our thoughts to literally direct them—and I’m not speaking of potential technologies! No—those technologies already exist and are being improved upon for deployment in the very near future in a number of overt, and I’m sure, covert trials.
When most people think of the mind and our thoughts, they draw upon images of a linear lexical nature—words. However, our feelings are also rooted in our thoughts and so our emotions are accessible as well via these new technologies. And more and more the data miners are interested in our emotions rather than our thoughts per se’. This interest has led to some interesting developments such as the increasing popularity of the use of facial coding in neuromarketing. Facial coding, technically referred to as Facial Action Coding System or FACS, is based upon the work of psychologist Paul Ekman, and even Disney is getting into the act using his system. Indeed the Pixar movies feature facial expressions identified in FACS to prompt mirrored emotions in the audience. Arguably the great success of Pixar is not due to animation technology but rather, as journalist Roger Dooley puts it, “The characters seem real not because of the lifelike animation, but rather because they have human emotions and reactions.” 1
This is not a new effort by Disney to plumb your unconscious, reach in and pull out your emotions. Their work with Media Science goes back several years, and they are not alone. More and more businesses realize that it’s not reason making decisions—it’s emotion!
Enter a new way of generating an understanding of thought and emotion. Think about linking up with your friends and sharing experiences. What could be learned from this? Now by linking up, I’m not addressing the idea of simply getting together. No, what I mean by linking up is connecting multiple minds together. Confused?
Let me share a quote from an article titled, “Linking Multiple Minds Could Help Damaged Brains Heal” that appeared in the online publication, Smithsonian.com. “In recent lab experiments, Miguel Nicolelis and his colleagues melded together the brains of multiple monkeys and rats to function as ‘brainnets’—shared networks able to cooperatively manipulate a virtual arm and make calculations and decisions.” 2 Now think about that!
Researchers are working at this moment to develop a non-invasive method for establishing “brainnets” in human beings. Now true, this technology could really be a fantastic tool for treating certain diseases like Parkinson’s and even paralysis. However, it could also hold the potential to remotely instill a group consciousness—one designed by those who might be served via this manipulation.
As we learn more about how the mind works, what prompts emotions and how we express them, we gain ever more present abilities to manipulate the same. Is it unimaginable in your mind to think of a society where a remote non-invasive means is employed to orchestrate the thoughts and feeling of a group? Perhaps I have just been too deeply steeped of late in research that’s in my newest book, “Gotcha: The Subordination of Free Will,” and perhaps not—for there are already many uses of advanced technologies presently deployed for exactly the purpose of winning the hearts and minds of the public.
Thanks for the read,
NY Time Bestselling Author of Choices and Illusions
1 Disney Knows Your Brain And Wants Your Emotions
2 Linking Multiple Minds Could Help Damaged Brains Heal