Mind-Reading Is Quickly Becoming Reality

Thanks to advances in computing power over the last few years, it is now possible to scan someone's brain and get a reasonable idea of what is going through his or her mind.

What's the Latest Development?

By scanning the brain, scientists are increasingly able to tell what a person is thinking about. Three recent studies demonstrate the frontiers of real-life mind-reading. The first looked at dreaming and whether certain parts of the brain operate the same whether a person is awake or dreaming. When an individual clenched his fist in a dream, his brain registered the action as though he were awake. In principle, then, we could know what someone is dreaming about by "reading" the dream as it occurs.

What's the Big Idea?

Two other studies conducted at Berkeley and Princeton looked at awake minds. The first, using sheer computer power, was able to reconstruct data from the brain's visual cortex to give a pictorial representation of what the person was watching—film trailers, in the experiment. The second took large swaths of data on what happened to a person's brain when they imagined a given object. By compiling the data, scientists were able to guess with some accuracy what a person was pondering. 

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

Why avoiding logical fallacies is an everyday superpower

10 of the most sandbagging, red-herring, and effective logical fallacies.

Photo credit: Miguel Henriques on Unsplash
Personal Growth
  • Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
  • Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
  • Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less