Charlie Brookers unbridled cynicism towards mind control.

14 Apr

My brother, just like myself, enjoys to read the rantings of Charlie Brooker. My brother pointed me towards an article that Brooker posted in the Guardian recently about mind control and computers.

There are a few things that I would like to take and savour from the article. First of all is this incredibly humbling point:

All computers are mind-controlled already. My hand may steer the mouse and my fingers may punch the keys, but none of this takes place without my mental say-so. My brain runs things round here.

Isn’t that brilliant? That’s  a brilliant observation on Brookers part. Of course, everything is mind controlled, it just has to be.

Nothing we say or do in this world isn’t mind controlled, it’s just that we haven’t become so bewilderingly lazy to cut out the middle man until just recently.

Yes, being able to control things with just you’re thoughts is amazing, it’s the future waving hello at us while we blink our newly formed eyes in it’s bright, shining wake.

In a few years we will be controlling all sorts of things with thought alone. And that’s terrifying.

The problem is that the body is the final, crucial buffer between the skittish human mind and the slavish machine servant. Think of how many furious email responses you’ve composed in haste, only to halt and reflect at the final moment as your finger hovers over the “send” button. The simple fact that a small physical action is required to actually deliver the damn thing is often enough to give pause for thought.

I’m scared for the future that we are developing just because we can. A future where the only control over our actions is what happens inside our heads. The terrifyingly bizarre thoughts that we all thought were kept locked away inside our heads will have complete control over the world around us.

I don’t like that at all.

I’m all for using new technology to be able to passively interface between man and machine. Have computers recognise mood to play the exact right song for what you are doing, change your workspace to match your ability to concentrate at that time. The computer being able to adapt and work around your own mental ability to do the work would benefit work and probably speed up work flow.

Being able to send an email by thinking about it will destroy the world as we know it.

It makes me think though, my work, as limited as it is, is probably dancing around on the happier side of this horrible line. The side of entertainment and more practical use instead of focusing on stream lining tasks or making complicated actions simple.

To be honest, mind control is an odd thing to demonstrate to others, how can you really prove to others that you are doing what you say you are doing. They only person who knows that is you, the guy who’s thinking about the thing you’re doing.

It’s something that will never be used for big, crowd gathering displays. It’s all about the personal usage.

Imagine, sitting in your home, you feel relaxed and warm but you dont want to get up to turn the lights down. You don’t need to because your computer knows that you are relaxed and sorts that out for you. You’ve fallen asleep but you’ve left the lights and the TV on. Not a problem, the built in mind reading headset knows that you’ve fallen asleep and turns everything off for you. Saving you money in the process.

That’s the kind of future world I want to live in. One where things around me adjust to the way that I think and feel. And frankly, that’s something that I know I can be a part of. Making games that react to how you feel about the game is something that I myself can make. I want to make.

The future is all ours for the taking, we just have to build it the way we want it and be careful not to do anything and everything “just because we can”.

Article link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/11/beware-mind-controlled-computers

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