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.
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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